How do I make my first episode more intriguing?

Zooms and advanced directing. I’ve been on episode for like 7 years but I’ve probably only finished maybe 10 stories?? this might be personal but I really like stories that have those things from the start.


I would love to review your story~ :blush: :sparkles:

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So I took a look at your story, I read the first chapter right to the end and also made a start on the second… just so I don’t damage your chapter 1 retention.
I don’t think the storyline itself is bad, but it could probably use a little more excitement. I don’t have any tips for that, because I’m not sure where you wanna go with the plot… but I do have some advice related to the directing.

Here’s what I found:

Your first mistake was adding yourself into the story at the very beginning, to give an authors introduction. Many readers [including myself] are often turned off by that… because it’s rather pointless. And sometimes readers click out the second they see that.

Secondly, there is way too many characters to customize. There’s six to be exact, and that’s just too much. I would understand if it was the MC, LI and their parents… but in this case it’s just MC, 4 friends and the villain… customizing the friends and the villain is rather unnecessary, and can be very off putting for readers.
And then when it’s time to customize the next character… the one before it just disappears randomly, no transition, no walk off… they just poof into thin air.
As well as the points above… it takes much too long to switch to the next character, because you’ve made them dance for a few beats after customizing each one. Something to note is: With Episode… the first few minutes of your story are crucial. So try not to waste too much time adding things that no one cares about, because this can also contribute to a major loss in readers and ultimately harms your retention massively.
Or… perhaps you could give readers the choice, rather than making people sit through each character walking onto the screen and dancing?!
You could set it out like: :point_down:t3:

Now, would you like to customize Lydia’s 4 friends and the villain?!

“Yes, please”{

goto AddLabelForCCingTheOtherCharactersHere

}“No thanks.”{

goto DoNotCCOtherCharacters


:point_up_2:t3: That’s just an example.
But this way readers can completely skip the part where the other 5 characters come on screen, if they want to.

Then your own character reappears once again, just to tell readers something that could be found out within the story… so it’s not really necessary to give those details.
It unintentionally gives readers the impression that you intend to do random author pop ups quite often, and that too can drive readers away.

Other things I found were:
• There’s no speechbubble placement, it seems like you’re just using @speechbubble reset throughout, instead of placing it and resizing it yourself. But by using the generic speechbubble placement, it often looks off and doesn’t always place the speechbubble correctly.
• The characters are sometimes way off, scale wise.
• There’s way too many random pauses, long pans and long zooms.

Each of these factors can contribute to why your story retention is suffering so much! I know that may seem like a lot… but they’re usually quick fixes, so don’t worry.

I hope this helps a little. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Okay. I’d really appreciate it. Here’s the link:

Yes. I should do this! And when they customise the characters, should I put them all on the screen at once so it doesn’t waste time?

Do you mean compared to the background or to the other characters?
They are meant to be different in height but I’m not sure if I focused on that always. It’s probably not important.

Thank you. It does help. I’m glad it’s little things.

Okay. I think I’ve got that down but I’ll try to make it more advanced if I can.

You can have them on screen at the same time, or separately… [whichever is easiest for you] but I think giving people a choice [whether they want to customize everyone or not] is definitely the better option. :blush:

They’re fine when compared to other characters… it was more so when compared to the backgrounds.

And you’re welcome, if you need any help with anything… feel free to DM me and I’ll be happy to help out! :blob_hearts:

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Yes. I’ll definitely do that.

I see.

Thank you so much. And thanks for taking the time to review my story. :two_hearts:

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Okay hi. @StoriesByRayna has said most of it, BUT, taking from what she said about using labels to make customizing the friends optional, I would suggest to have them on screen while giving that option so readers can see if there’s anyone they’d like to twitch a bit. AND, Instead of you (the author) showing yourself to say things we would later know, you can use Narrator bubbles.

First thing I noticed were grammatical errors. There were a few of them right from the beginning and sometimes repetitive words. I also think you should give more attention to your character spotting. Another thing is that there’s so much happening in the first episode that I’m scared that there will be nothing to say in the coming episodes.

On a side note, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the start! It was so beautiful. However, the story is a little too confusing for me.


My retention rate for episode 1 is bad :sob: at 37%

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Oh, oops, I’ll look out for that when I look back through it.

That’s an interesting pick up. Maybe I’ll cut down on all the talking and reveal the characters throughout the next few episodes rather than putting too much info in one.

Thanks so much. I understand why you’d be confused. It’s kind of a lot. Maybe I’ve put too much in one episode.

That’s alright. If it makes you feel better, mine went down to 35%.

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I suppose it’s because my story trended several times in the thriller genre and some people just don’t wanna read a story with limited CC/a black MC tbh. Or some people start reading but don’t finish or plan to finish it later.


Genuinely, I am interested, so I don’t really know why readers don’t finish your episode? For me it was long, but I don’t think anyone else complained about that so that’s probably just a me-issue. Can you explain what actually happened in episode 1? I would read more but I don’t have any passes yet.


Ouu…black MC? I’m sold.


I’d read this story. I love thrillers. What’s it called?

Thanks. I’m glad you want to read more.

It might not be just you. I would have thought it to be a bit too long as well but I had a plan for the second episode and I wanted to get everything into the first episode plot-wise.

Haha. Yes. I understand, there’s a lot to follow.

Here’s the plot (Warning: There are spoilers for the first episode in case someone else want’s to read it)


So these people have been experimented on by the ‘Dream Gate’, a company. Their memories have been wiped but they are kind of mind controlled so they don’t think it’s a big issue. Lydia has seen through this. This experiment is being recorded and put out on tv’s so that people think it’s a some sitcom or something. That’s why they find the tape of themselves recorded. The seventh episode is the backstory so the aim of Dream Gate is further explained.


Oh? Well thanks. I think I put it on your promotion thread.

The story is Deadly Nightshade.

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Oh yes I remember that. I’ll check it out.

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Thanks. I’ll take a look at your story too!

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Hey I’ve started reading your story. It’s interesting so far. I like the ‘limbo’ place. I like the revenge story too. I’ll keep reading it and I’ll let you know what I think of it as a I read it more.

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Thank you! I wanna try and world-build limbo a bit more. Revenge is a big theme in the story. Does it strengthen or destroy someone?

Let’s move our discussion with Deadly Nightshade to my promotion/discussion thread.

Promoting… Deadly Nightshade!

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