Thank you so much for this. Negative criticism is nice because it was needed. I agree, I’m not very good at directing but I’m gonna work on all of these things you pointed out to me
I’m glad you take it the good way, and good luck with your writing
I would love a review for my newest story!
Title: MC: Mr. Stole My Heart
Description: 1 drunk night, 3 years later…he starts chasing after her! Skyla is still looking for the guy from that one night and after some shocking news, he is looking for her too! Why?
What is the main concern about your story? The author’s notes and the fact that I am a new author…
First of all, I like your main post it’s great, you had me laughing. The episodes in this story are long, just so you know.
Title: Daughter of the Blue Dragon
Description: Lena is the daughter of a Yakuza boss, who is being set up for an arranged marriage. She decides to run away when tragedy strikes within the Blue Dragon gang.
What is the main concern about your story? Directing in certain parts, grammar possibly though I hope I caught everything on it. I guess the overall pace of the story.
@Sunset_Shimmer - The Story of Avalon
- Your intro is kinda cute. Although I would make it shorter somehow. Dunno if you intend to put it into every episode. If you do - better make it shorter. I felt like sound bg was put for good 10 seconds and bg with the title (before characters appear - for another 10 seconds). Maybe make it more dynamic.
- And yeaaah. Author introduction, which is not technically author’s, cause characters are speaking. I don’t appreciate this approach, just the same as it would be with author character instead. They break this illusion of being “in the story”. After watching it till the end, I gotta admit that this one was kinda cute.
- I am customizing Prince. Eyes customization is a bit messed up, cause on the second page of eye shape “Done” button is in the upper left corner for some reason, also I don’t think you included every eye shape. Same with the face shape and “Done” button. There are some lip shapes, eyebrows absent… Ok, u got the picture. Try @Dara.Amarie customization templates, she recently updated them with new content, that was released last week.
- Second narration line containing “(your parents)”. Not sure it is the best way to tell it. This is kinda breaking the fourth wall, meaning, that you give information like MC doesn’t know that these people are his parents. I would remove it, especially since it’s the logical conclusion, as MC is the prince.
- The first scene with Ophelia. She is saying her lines, and other two characters are on looped talking animation. And their animations, before Ophi starts speaking are taking too long.
- It’s a bit funny. “I thought I heard carriage” and then we see it literally two meters away. I think that “Look, the carriage” would make more sense.
- Btw, look at the characters compared to a horse in the background. The horse looks like a pony. Consider making them smaller.
- I’m not sure about guards outfit. All the citizens and Prince himself are dressed in medieval (?) clothes. So guards look kinda out of place.
- MC “I’m in no rush…”. I always mention it I think. It is way better to put dialogue lines with talking animations. Sigh, wink, admire aren’t talking animation, even remotely. If u want to add this sigh animation, maybe put it after the dialogue line, and for the line use some legit talking animation.
- George line “Thank you, my prince”. If the title is used as a noun, like for example “We expect the arrival of princes and princesses,” it goes with the small letter. If you use the title as in your case, when a person directly addresses royalty, or if the title is followed by the name, like “Prince William” you start it from the capital letter.
- When MC approaches guard. You put like 6 (approx.) seconds for the walk to spot command, then he is simply standing, while you zoom for another 3 (?) seconds. I’d advice u to put it like this to make the whole thing smoother:
& PRINCE walks to spot xx xx xxx in T and PRINCE does it while walk_neutral_rear
@zoom on xx xx to xx% in T
This way you will get zoom going simultaneously with his walk.
- When he says “Home sweet home”. You can do it with him walking at the same time. So he doesn’t have to awkwardly stop and say this line. To do this:
&PRINCE walks to spot xx xx xxx in T1 - where you put the spot, where is supposed to end, outside the screen, on the right.
@pause for T2 - where you pick the time, enough for MC to get somewhere in the middle of the screen (basically half of the T1).
PRINCE (walking-talking animation)
Home, sweet home. - I forgot, but I’m not sure if you put the coma in this sentence.
@PRINCE starts walking-animation.
- Abigail says her line with the bow, and her mouth is closed. Use bow beforehand, and then add her dialogue line. And then after she finished, she stands with the weird pose, with her hands slightly raised. Put her on shiftweight-animation.
- The problem with using stands screen left/center/right in Limelight is that females are higher than males. I don’t say that guys can’t be shorter than girls, but I doubt u meant to do this with the prince. The scene with Abigail and Cathleen, he looks like a teenager. Use spot commands.
- When Abigail says that king and queen would like to have a word with them, I think King and Queen are supposed to go with the capital letter. I noticed some mistakes, more punctuation and use of the capital letters, although ur English is very good. But still, I suggest you find a proofreader. With this, I won’t comment on grammar/punctuation anymore.
- When Kat and MC stand with the King and Queen, MC is layered behind Kat, although it looks like he stands closer to the reader. Dunno if you use layer commands here, if you do - check them, if you don’t - do.
- It is very weird, that when King is talking to them, he speaks about Kat and MC in the third person.
- I suggest u add more to the customization template. His family and sister look nothing like my customized character. Additional commands for the family in skin color and hair color will do. It’s not much.
- When MC remembers that event on the island, the background (“I could see glowing orbs…”) is a bit off, meaning I see the white line on the left.
- After the fight scene between MC and fairies, there is the next scene, and characters appear after the transition. I guess you put their commands after transition command, so this happened. You can just remove the transition in this scene while keeping transition-out command in the previous. Not a big deal.
- When MC and 3 fairies are talking, at some point they just stand there, while narration goes on. Looped talking animation on one person + some shiftweight + listen + nod or idle_handsonhips animations for the rest of them will do.
- Very weird background choice for Sapphire CC. Visual consistency is always better. You could use the same bg, as you used for MC CC.
-Check speechbubble positions. I noticed that they are off in the scene where they write an announcement, but maybe it was before.
- Marabella seems to be talking a lot to herself. Is it a personal trait, or because it was easier to make her talking than thinking?
- More scenes where characters pop-out.
- When Kat is walking in the scene right after Marabella.
I mean, that when you have one character put with the spot commands, and then use another with the enters/walks to screen r/c/l, this character, despite the layer you might’ve put it on before, will appear behind the rest. If you put one character with the spot command, do it with the others.
- On the shop-street scene, I noticed several characters put on listen-nod animation, but they don’t talk to anyone, so it looks like they are insane X_x
- Like you use non-talking animations for dialogue lines, u use speaking animation when the character doesn’t say anything. Check it.
- It looks weird when you have two people coming, and both of them on looped talking animation, like in the scene where Priscilla says to her mother, that Marabella wants to go to the ball.
- Dang, that horse is funny
- Why would u ask if I want to see credits if there is no other option?
- Dang, the episode is so long, you could split it in two, one following Prince POV, and other Marabella’s.
- I dunno if you should tell about the story pace since it’s a fairytale basically. It is not supposed to be really realistic. And here I would point also that I don’t see a point in mentioning time.
- I will leave this here, cause I think you may not understand how these commands work.
When you simply put spot commands like @CHARACTER spot xx xx xxx you put @ .
If you want the character to perform animation before anything else happens you put it like @CHARACTER is animation
If you want the character to start performing animation, while something else coded in the next line continues you either do it like @CHARACTER starts animation or &CHARACTER is animation
Walking to spot
If you want your character to walk before anything else happens you do the regular @CHARACTER walks to spot xx xx xx in T
If you want the character to keep walking/moving, while something else coded in the next line continues you do it like &CHARACTER walks to spot xx xx xx in T
- I don’t think I ever saw u using @zoom on xx xx to xx% in 0. Always non-instant zooms.
- I love their names. I think you did a great job with them.
- Yep. U see, u have this dragging directing, where you try to show every single movement, and add to this that you don’t do well (or don’t do at all) & and starts commands, it is dragging a lot, and makes the whole story more boring, despite interesting plot.
- That horse is so crazy-hilarious :DDD Can’t get over it.
- Ay-ay-ay. The characters placed in the royal ballroom is very wrong. Just because u place characters higher, doesn’t make them look like they stand further. Check the guide below.
- OK. Sry I won’t finish the 2nd story, since due to my 2 hours of sleep I’m not very productive today, but I got the idea.
Overall I liked the plot idea. It’s a nice fairy tale, with few MCs, which is totally fine, especially when they come together. There are some cliches, like evil step-mother and whole Cinderella vibe, but I’m cool with it, as it fits the story well, and as I know there will be more characters from other types of fairytales, I see nothing wrong with these cliches, I’d even say I find them kinda cute.
Now to the things which I think might be improved.
OK. Directing first. Directing is not bad. It is clean in some way, there aren’t major mistakes.
I would suggest you check my Help Thread, wherein the first two posts I mention most common mistakes I meet in stories in regards to directing. I noticed 1/3 of them in your story. Just go through those tips, and note to yourself, if you agree with them, and if you do - fix them. If you don’t know how - seek help on Forum or write here or in my DM.
While your directing is decent, it is not smooth, because I think you don’t use/use very limited & commands.
Note that when I mention some specific mistake, it means you should check it everywhere in your script, in all episodes. I can’t write them all down.
I have more problems with the way you’re telling the story. Especially at the MC memory of fairies. You use this type of narration, that is usually used in books. The difference between Episode and books is that while in the book we can stop action/dialogue at any time in our head, and it won’t disrupt the illusion of being “In the book”, it doesn’t work in Episode. When you put narration, when it is possible to put dialogue, your directing goes slow and interrupted. The whole scene would work much better if you’d put dialogue instead of narration. It would make the scene more dynamic at least. Now it looks like MC is the story narrator, and take into account that you used another narrator at the beginning of the story. Get a grip over narration ways, because now it is very messy, and screws your directing. Get some kind of system, maybe read writing guides (not Episode guides) about the use of different types of narration.
What I also didn’t quite like. Sometimes you go too much into details, that aren’t adding anything important to the scene, but feels more like a filler. These things make the story more boring. I suggest you go through all the story and think, what are those moments that don’t add anything interesting or important to the story. One example is the grocery list. I think there were like 6-7 items mentioned, and it was totally unnecessary.
I would make the intro shorter, at last in the next episodes.
I would suggest splitting the first episode into 2 parts as I said before, but if you will remove all the unnecessary content from your story, the first chapter might get the decent length, so maybe it is not necessary.
Check customization definitely, and overall just go through the everything u find reasonable in my review.
Also, if you can, I’d be glad to hear from you, like if you took my suggestions, and which ones, what you decided to change etc. I ask it, because although I mentioned a lot of things in a negative light, I don’t think your plot is bad, and I liked the characters (although check the girls, as I’m afraid Sapphire’s personality might be too similar to Marabella’s, but I dunno yet). So yeah, I would read it if u’d fix those things I mentioned.
Hope it was helpful.
Thank you for taking the time to make such a detailed review!
Thanks and it’s alright. The warning at the beginning of the thread told me that the review might be a little heart wrenching lol, but I appreciate your honesty and I’m glad I filled out the form anyway. I’m happy to hear that you didn’t dislike it at least lol
I thought it may be a little too long. I kept it there for 7 seconds actually but maybe that’s still a bit too much. I wanted to do something other than a intro splash because everyone has intro splashes in their story lol.
Should I present it in some other way or just cut it out completely? I couldn’t think of any other way to introduce the choices and stuff,
I’ll definitely fix this! They started adding a lot of new features for LL so I guess I forgot to keeping updating them
I noticed that too. If you ask me, I honestly don’t know what era they’re in. It’s sort of Victorian, Medieval-ish? But, no one’s ever caught it before so I never had to explain lol.
I put that in my script but I guess I’m not doing it correctly. I’ll look over it again.
I usually always use @PRINCE is animation. I’ll start using starts animations as well.
I didn’t even notice that. I always tried to use “You” words for the King’s speech. I know that he does say their names a few times.
I put them all having the same skin color, but I’ll go back and change the eye color and hair colors, maybe?
I’ll make sure to check that. When I re-read it from the App and the previewer they didn’t. My code has them appearing before Marabella gets there and before the scene starts.
That’s weird. I thought it was a pretty good length. It’s only around 2000 lines (including customization). But, I’ll definitely see what I can do
EDIT: Oh, crap. I just looked again it’s 3620 lol. I’ll take out some unnecessary stuff lol
Thanks! My inspiration came from a variety of fairtytales: Cinderella, Barbie, Aladdin, and etc.
I’ll definitely look this over!
When I was introducing the fairies, I wanted the introduction to be super quick. That’s why I used narrations as opposed to using the speech bubbles. I just wanted the readers to know Sapphire’s backstory since she’s one of the main characters and will be in the story frequently. I also, didn’t have any lines I really needed them to say.
Now that I think about it, they probably are. I intended to make them both kind. Sapphire is more dedicated to her people though and Marabella is a little bit weaker b/c of her circumstances.
I guess I just like how the non-instant zooms look lol. I’ll go back and change them to 0 for when I’m zooming in on characters and events.
Lol, I thought no one is reading it :DDD
Yeah, I was thinking about your story after the review, and you know, I kinda felt nostalgic? Like I remembered myself reading fairy tales when I was a kiddo. So it gave me this warm feeling, but with little details, like step-mother hitting Marabella (which kinda broke my heart a little), that make the story more mature. So, no, I liked the story. I just tend to pay more attention to where the author can improve the story, so it might just seem like it’s a bad review. Directing is waaaay easier to fix, than the whole story concept or characters
Look, it is my personal hate for author’s introductions. If you want to keep it - keep it, it is your story, so u gotta love what you did. I would put splashes, character-less narration, or readerMessage.
OK. So I kinda offer to do a drawn intro-art for your story, plus sound+language overlays, so u can make a short cute intro. If you are interested and find my art-works suiting your story, DM me.
Yeah I’m a bitch for details. I forgot to send you screenshot of how their outfits could be. Take a look. Well, this is just one option, you might think of something else as well. If u decide to go with this, you might wanna change Prince outfit in the fairy-memory scene, as I think he was wearing it.
There is a space where it shouldn’t be. This might be the problem.
&PRINCE walks to spot xx xx xxx in T and PRINCE does it while walk_neutral_rear
@zoom on xx xx to xx% in T
Eye color, hair color, and lip color definitely.
Yeah, I don’t these these things in the Previewer as well. Only in mobile app. So I always check my story on mobile dozen of times.
Bahaha :DDD When I saw 2000 lines, I was like " whaaaat?!"
Well, u can make them both kind, just add different tiny little character traits Like different sense of humor? Think about it.
Title Stars & Scandals
Description Becoming an actress for the next big-hit TV show is every girls’ dream, right? How will you manage fame and relationships when every move you make is being watched?
What is the main concern about your story? I would just really like to know how I can improve.
Hi. I noticed that you do mostly R4R.
Please be honest, if you just want reads, but u don’t intend on changing anything, and I will read your story, without asking u to read mine.? Because actual review writing takes few hours, contrary to simply reading.
Honestly, I am not asking for a review just for reads, I didn’t even realise it could come across like that and I’m so sorry it did. I really would be interested in hearing a brutally honest review on my story, and I want to make sure that the first three chapters are the best they can be before starting a 4th chapter. Once again, I’m really sorry if it came across that I was only using this for views that is not what this request was for.
No, it’s not something u said, don’t be sorry.
It’s just I don’t know you, so I prefer to ask new people, just in case.
No problem, I totally understand you asking - I probably would have done the same thing.
I temporary close new requests, until further notice.
I will continue reviewing stories in the waiting list in usual pace until I finish them.
I feel a bit tired of reviewing at the moment, as I point on the same directing mistakes over and over again.
I made a Tips&Tricks thread so that people could improve by themselves, and I put a lot of effort there. But in 19 reviews I’ve done since the Help thread appeared, I only saw one story that didn’t contain more than half of mentioned in the thread mistakes. Which is a bit sad and frustrating for me.
I honestly enjoy helping this community, but I will do a little break after I finish the waiting list.
In the meantime, I suggest, if you are a new author, or even not new, just check this help thread, cause even without any review it is a lot of help, at least in the directing department.
Ok, I understand. Thank you!
Oh, I accidentally replied to ur comment.
I will finish ur review as was promised.
Great. I’m not in a hurry, but I’ve updated (and still am updating) my story.
Recently I made a review on Episode story Bad Girl Boss and I’d say I enjoyed it (not the story, just reviewing it).
Do you want me to do another review on Episode story?
- Tots, Trash 'em.
- Bish, please don’t.
- Dunno, I’m here accidentally.
If you want, then which story?
- “The Kiss List” cuz I hate u, so suffer bish.
- “A Little More Me”
- “My First Everything”
- “Living With My Crush”
- “Instant Princess”
- “Back And Forth”
- “Falling For The Dolan Twins”
- “Kill My Love”
- “My Teacher My Gangster”
- “The Player”
- “Vampire Kiss”
- “Rich Witches”
- “Bad Boy Bachelor”
- “Bad Boy Bachelor Island”
- “Real Hollywood”
@loveyourself - College Days: Mysterious Northview
- The thing with filters. No matter how u put the command they still appear too late in the scene. To avoid this, I put the black background, add the filter, just put minimal pause command and proceed with the next scene. This way the filter be applied from the very beginning. Now it appears only after u pan to right zone. Same with the end.
- After that girl, who’s being beaten, runs away from that lady in black, she stops and stands smiling. You can put something like @CHARACTER starts react_animation
- Your mature theme splash are kinda cut from the top. I’ve no idea why it happens to so many stories. Either size is wrong, or the screen was zoomed.
- Adelinde comes way too fast like there’s no time value in a walk to spot command.
- Plus Luna stands with the after-callout-animation weird frozen face until Adelinde finished her speech.
- Arden pops-out, after transition only.
- Check speechbubble positions, at least at Arden part, when she’s in bed, it’s off.
- Hum. TBH, not a fan when authors, to get character our of bad, make just walk. In your case you made MC walk from spot position to screen left/right/center, and I think without timing, so she gets kinda big really fast.
- The closet scene, character slides in. Dunno why, but check it.
- Customization template is kinda messed up. “Done” tabs are kinda at the wrong places. There are also no new eyebrows, noses I think too.
- OK. The thing about Limelight is that women are taller than men. When u put a character with screen left/right/center commands, it looks like girls are taller. While it is a legit thing but looks very weird when the daughter is taller than her dad.
- I’m not sure about the thing when MC walks to the closet to get CC, then goes to her dad, and then to change again. Seems like a filler, and doesn’t add anything to the plot.
- “Let’s get going?” and MC answers “What?”… Why “What?” and not “Why?”. Seems like a mistake. And MC doesn’t know she’s supposed to be checking college today? And didn’t ask why she needed to get dressed? Lack of logic here.
- TBH, I dunno what is happening at the moment, meaning with all the author’s narrations, and car crashes and stuff. Hopefully will. But it’s kinda weird to see these predictions in the middle of the episode.
- Um… I don’t get it… They were in the car, then the car disappeared. I thought some kind of magic made the car disappear, but then we see a car crashed with MC… Don’t get what happened.
- I don’t think u use & or @CHARACTER starts… commands, cause when you make a scene, and character stands for example in the 3rd zone, you pan to it, and the character starts animation only when panning stoped.
- I advise not to use on camera animation unless u have breaking-the-4th-wall thing going in ur story. Lucas used eyeroll on camera I think.
- Um… Not a fan when authors put choices for secondary characters. I’m supposed to get connected with MC or MC’s if there are more than one…
- I don’t get Lucas line about “Can I hide?” It just doesn’t make sense to me.
- Next scene u have the transition going twice. Dunno why, but check it.
At the end of the 1st chapter, I honestly have no idea what is happening…
- When Venetia walks to MC (hospital room bg). MC positioned at spot command, and Venetia walks to screen center… Entering and exit commands mess with the layer your character is supposed to be on. So Venetia is behind the MC, up until she stops walking.
- “Yes, I am” speechubble is too high. And for the next lines, speechbubble tail is facing the wrong way.
- Flashback. MC appears after her dad makes his animation. It happens when u put one character command with animation put as “is” not as “starts”.
- Well… Be skeptical. It’s not really a choice since we know she is evil. I think maybe you shouldn’t have shown Venetia’s evil side, for more suspense.
- Shoot 3 times with pauses to fall down. Kinda weird. And you would expect a witch to kill someone with magic. What’s the point in magic if u don’t use it. Seems more like u went with the easy way of animation over additional overlays.
- Auditorium spot positions are way off, and Venetia walks to the stage again from the enter screen command, which makes it look like she’s walking on top of seats. I am pretty sure u dunno how to make character enter using spot commands. Here’s a note->
Tips, tricks & discussions: How to make your story better
- “I’m the new headmistress, something unfortunate happened to her yesterday”. This doesn’t make sense. I know what u mean, but still. It could be like “Something happened to the headmistress yesterday so I am taking her position.”
- “She protects Eleonora from curse”. Nopenopenope. That’s not how we do it. You either have narrator through all the story or you don’t. You don’t just include narration when u don’t want to make additional directing.
- Northview academy scene where a bunch of characters stands. Looks like u dunno how to use simultaneous animations either. You just put everything in one line like @CHARACTER1 is animation and CHARACTER2 is animation and…
- Dude in a red flannel shirt is talking to no one with his animation, while the girl with red eyes is just watching on camera creepy…
- Um… MC’s dad just died, and she’s cheering over college.
- The flame overlay is not layered right. It appears in front of Nayeon when it’s supposed to be behind since it is in the back of the room.
- Um… She doesn’t know how she did magic, then she casts a spell using specific words?
Length is very good, and grammar I think was very well as well.
Directing is really really messy. I wrote a real lot. Directing is one of the things that makes the whole plot confusing as hell. I didn’t get the most that was happening in the 1st chapter. In the 2nd I started to get something, but then again… A lot of characters doing something, saying something, and I just can’t connect it and stay sane. I only got that there are two realms, MC is a witch, and there’s a magic school with that Venetia chick taking over. That’s it.
Choices. There wasn’t a lot of them, and only one I think (outfit) was for MC. I don’t see any sense to make choices for secondary characters. Especially I am very against choices that don’t give us any context. Even if you’ve guaranteed that every option has consequences, if players have no idea what the consequences of their decisions will be, it becomes impossible to make a meaningful choice.
What else makes the story confusing. I mentioned some stuff with the dialogue, like how some sentences or events don’t make sense or are simply illogical.
Hum… My advice would be… I guess to make a proper plot scheme and fill character questionnaires… Cuz when your characters act illogically it means you don’t have a clear vision. And work work work on your directing. You can figure it out, judging by what I see, but there has to be much more work done, and research as well.
Hopefully, it was helpful.
I didn’t have time to include extra overlays.
I used the actual episode template, and I have most of the updates.
And a pause command?
Other than that, I’m going to fix it. Thank you for the review!