Story Title: Undercover Hunter
I’m checking the story out right now, and here are my observations so far. I’m not sure if this how we’re supposed to structure the reviews, but I’ll try my best.
Chapters read: 3
When I first saw the description, I was confused about the premise of the story. The exact part that made me confused was the “fight in this new, dangerous world!”. At first glance, it makes me think of a zombie apocalypse story, and not a story involving angels and demons. I also feel like the description might ruin the surprise/reveal of the MC’s life being a whole entire lie for some people.
I think Jade gave good examples of more intriguing descriptions that lets you have a sneak peek into the world of Undercover Hunter. Try to come up with something that hooks the reader in, but doesn’t reveal too much about the story or the story’s biggest twists and reveals.
I probably wouldn’t have read the story because the description and cover felt unclear. For your description, you could put in parantheses “CC; LL” to let reader’s know about the features in your story.
When I started chapter 1, I felt slightly confused we were starting to customize the LIs. I kept them the same for the sake of time, so I could just jump right in. I got a little confused when it transitioned from the first LI to the second one because we weren’t able to name them. It might be good if you let the reader know the name of the second LI.
The introduction about the demons didn’t feel interesting to me because it felt like more tell than show. You could try to implement a scene of the MC hunting a demon.
A person could be chased by a demon, trying to escape until they get backed into an alleyway by the demon. Just about when the demon attacks, they get vanquished by the MC. The MC could leave the scene, and then has a monologue of her being determined to slay every last demon if she has to.
You could also put warning splashes just in case to warn readers ahead of time about the events that occur in the story. For example, the weird garden scene made me so confused, and even with the narration of the future MC, it felt off and weird. It looks like she willingly takes it and doesn’t feel like her sense of free will was taken control of by the wizard.
When you’re trying to transition a scene into the next one, make sure to fade out the music before, so it doesn’t abruptly stop the flow.
You can do this by using commands like volume music 0 2000 or volume sound 0 2000. It helps. The flashes of white felt jarring at times, and I started growing more and more confused as soon as the first flashback happened.
There were some layering issues, characters sometimes didn’t walk, or they were still in a different animation from what they’re supposed to be in the current moment. There’s some consistency issues that don’t make the scenes flow so well.
The speech bubbles sometimes don’t align with the character who is speaking. At the end of the first episode, the scene transitions made it harder to get immense into the storyline, and it felt like it ended too quickly.
The dialogue felt flat at times, and it was slightly long. It didn’t give any real clues into the characters’ personality, and there were grammatical errors or wrong word usage. For example, during the garden scene in episode 1, MC says dragged instead of drugged. These mistakes persisted throughout the episode. A lot of information is revealed through dialogue when it can be easily shown through directing and visual storytelling.
It just felt like there was no distinct personality based on the dialogue. You can do this through your syntax. Some characters might ask more questions because they seek knowledge, some characters might prefer to keep their sentences short and sweet to get their point across, and some characters might like to say whatever is on their mind. You can show this through the use of more exclamation points, question marks, and sentence lengths to give a character a more distinct attitude that differs from others in the story.
MC - She has a lot going on in her life, but it’s like there’s nothing going on with her. She has stuff going for her, but there’s no real motivation except for her parents. That’s a decent motivation, but MC feels gullible at times, making it frustrating to connect with her entirely.
Best Friends - There’s nothing that can be really said about the best friends since they seem like they probably won’t be mentioned that much in the story. Kiara and MC’s friendship feels kind of superficial at times. There’s no real reason to really root for the development of Kiara and Ethan possibly having a romantic relationship because there’s no real buildup. It kind of came out of nowhere.
Maureen - Maureen doesn’t feel like a character for me because it seems like her default emotions is hatred for MC and love/lust for LI. There’s no real reason for her to dislike MC that much except for jealousy, and that makes her kind of superificial. She seems like she’s capable as a fighter based on how LI has her go with MC, who’s not entirely trained. She just feels like she’s there for the sort of superifical conflict scenes with no depth or motives except for a guy that’s hunky.
Nicolas - Probably the best character so far in the story. He genuinely feels like an actual character. He’s like a breath of fresh air who likes to mess with people. I don’t really have that much to comment on him because I feel like there hasn’t been all that much screen time with him. Since he’s the second most powerful fairy, I have a feeling he’s going to become the ruler of Fairy Land.
LI - I don’t like the LI because he just seems kind of problematic. Like some of the stuff he did throughout the three chapters made me want to say wtf. He forces her to drink something, making her think he drugged her. Then he mind controls her to take off her shirt as a way to show his “sense of humor”. I don’t know what motivates him or makes him who he is except for the fact he has a bunch of powers, and the demons are afraid of him. He’s also the information dump character who gives all the information in the world because he can.
- The premise is promising. I like the rules and boundaries of Fairy Land because it adds more depth to the world, and it helps produce potential theories about what might happen later in the story.
- Try to slow down the pace because a lot happens within each episode, making it harder to remember or focus on some things.
- There’s a lot of narration, especially by future MC, that makes immersion into the story harder because we’re not living in the moment of the story. We’re basically hearing future MC recount all that’s happened to her, and there’s no real substance to her telling us about everything/
I hope this wasn’t too harsh.
I personally don’t think you were too harsh and this formatting is a perfect example for future, potential reviewers. Nice job!
I also felt the same about Nicolas. Glad to see you felt the same way!
It’s really nice how you’re providing feedback to writers and allowing others to give their own personal thoughts on a story. I find it to be a more refreshing type of thread that’s different from most promotion or R4R threads.
Do you accept unpublished stories?
Because Nicolas is just that cool.
Aww, thank you!
Yes, I do accept unpublished stories. Just place the link in the application form and I’ll be happy to check it out!
STORY REVIEWED - Viral by @Fettuccine
Description: After a pandemic mysteriously displaces you and your friends’ parents, you determinedly seek them out - only to discover their disappearances were just the beginning…
Episodes read: 3
Below, anyone can reply to this review to continue the discussion on Fettuccine’s story. You can give advice, tips, or mention something that I forgot to discuss!
This advice can be applied to the author’s story and your very own story!
Throughout the story, you fail to zoom in on the characters who are speaking. Zooms help to enhance a story and clarify who is speaking.
Compare these two scenes:
See how zooms clarify who’s speaking?
Try implementing this into your story.
In some scenes, the characters overlap each other and don’t give the reader a feeling of depth.
I recommend looking at @Dara.Amarie’s spot direction advice!
@RudeInception’s Spot Direction Threads!
Some characters’ speech bubbles aren’t truly facing those who are speaking. I think this mostly has to do with the fact that there aren’t proper zooms in the story.
In the first episode, it seems as if the background switches from day to night.
Be careful of this!
I still was aware that it was daytime, but the sudden time change can be confusing.
You end your episodes quite abruptly, it’s good to either have a cliffhanger ending the episode or a definite ending that you can still build upon.
Don’t forget to fade out! That gives readers a feeling that the episode is ending.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS STORY?
- Character development is key! Already within the story, you can see conflict, flaws, and issues between other characters. This is important. Not every character is going to get along with each other, sometimes because of their flaws or internal issues. Be sure to thoroughly develop your characters’ personalities and backstories.
- Plot holes. Be careful of these.
SPOILER ALERT: In this story, the pandemic causes schools to close. For some odd reason, the main characters don’t choose to hide out at home or in a building, they stay… in the forest. The author doesn’t mention where specifically they’re sleeping, but they’re definitely in the woods.
Fettuccine’s story includes a large plot and doesn’t mention it later on in the story. Plot holes can be confusing to the reader, so be sure to plan out what happens beforehand in the story and to explain it clearly to the reader.
- Be careful of incorrect spot directing as it can ruin the viewer’s perception of depth.
*When trying to end an episode, try to look from the reader’s perspective.
“Would I want to continue this story?” “Is this cliffhanger juicy enough?”
Other questions like these can help you as an author to write intriguing endings.
- Issues with speech bubbles, backgrounds, and zooms can add up and cause a reader to become irritated and leave the story. Whether the plot is good or not, an author needs to be careful of everything when writing an Episode story.
- Choices! Choices, choices, and more choices. Choices help to immerse the reader into your world. It’s not necessary to add choices to make a good story, but if you decide to add in choices to your story, make them COUNT!!
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. Once you update the story with better zooms, this story really will be top-notch! Awesome character development, Fettuccine!
I hope this advice helped both the author and other community members reading this. Check out this story and tell me what you think!
Hi, thank you so much for you advice! I just have a couple of things:
Zooms & dialogue: I didn’t realise zooming could be so important to the reader experience/affects speech bubble positioning, I’ll have to go back and tweak that
Character positioning: I’m not sure what you mean about characters overlapping, would you mind elaborating on that?
Background: I was really annoyed by that too - unfortunately, episode only has a night setting for the background of being behind the bushes and I don’t know where to find a high quality background to replace it
Ending episodes: I definitely agree that episode 1’s ending is more abrupt than the others and could use a little work.
The plot hole: I actually noticed this as I was bug fixing! I drafted a flashback episode (planned to be episode 6) to explain it, but your review’s made me think I should move the explanation to episode 1!
Anyway, thank you for your review, it was really helpful and I can’t thank you enough!
Of course, I’m glad it helped!
For the character positioning, I can’t exactly remember where I noticed this issue. I’ll have to reread the chapters to see where I saw it. I recommend you look through your script once or twice just to make sure I wasn’t making false claims.
Relating to backgrounds, the forums is a great resource. Tons of artists are willing to assist you with background problems, whether you need a night background turned into a day background and more! All you have to do is ask!
Also, I’m glad you’re working on the plot hole. Excited to see what you’re coming up with next!
Thank you for your help! I’ll get on the background right away haha
Story title: Snapshot (Episode 1 and 2 is finished)
Author Name: Novialia
Description: When a member of Blood Rage dies, the remaining players must solve the mystery while surviving the traps laid out by the show. Will you find out the truth or suffer the consequences?
What would you like us to focus on? Everything, especially the chapter length.
This thread is a really good idea, I understand that there my be a wait for a review, But if anyone is comfortable reviewing my story and possibly telling me how I can correct it, I would really appreciate that
Title: She Knows Best (Formally known previously as Mum knows best)
Description: Brainwashed teenager nicola has suffered from years of abuse at the hands of her mother will she be able to find a way out? Contains violence, self harm + CC choices matter tappable choices
credit to zoe.x_art on insta
Story Title: Viral
I like the description because it gives this feeling of suspense and gives a clear picture into what type of situation the characters are in.
The introduction looks pretty good. Make sure the characters use talking animations where they’re talking. If they don’t speak during that particular part of the scene, make them do another animation while the other person speaks. I notice it a lot with Athena doing a talking animation while MC talked.
JemU776 has these awesome tips that help a lot, especially with making scenes even more smooth.
⭐ TIP: Having A Smoother Scene ⭐
I like how things went straight into action with the choice of whether or not to approach the student. It looks awesome so far.
The transitions were smooth for the most part, and things felt fluid. You could incorporate more of the transitions available if you want, but it looks pretty good.
I noticed characters sometimes zooming to their locations/spots. For example, in the supermarket/store, it looked like MC just zoomed over to the first aisle she was scavenging in. You could have her get to spot in a set amount of time like 3 to 5 seconds. I also noticed something weird, but it might be something on my end probably involving the knife. Try to make sure characters don’t pop into the scene. I noticed this with only one scene in I believe episode 2 where MC and Devin talk before going over to the others. I noticed Levi popped in, and his arm was showing on the side.
Spot directing will be your friend.
I like the flow of the dialogue. My only gripes is with the speech bubble placements.
MC - I find myself liking the MC because she has motivations, and it feels like the reader is able to shape her personality. I understand why she’s worried about her parents, and it’s clear that she’s desperate to find them because she’s always trying to reach them.
Devin - He seems very pragamatic and mature, but for some reason, I find myself not trusting him. Like I trust him, but I wonder if he’s all too worried about how the group functions. If anybody were to betray the group, he’s my number 1 suspect.
Kashvi - I get this sort of gullible vibe from her. When she was wondering why MC was outside, I started questioning why she was outside, and I felt like just asking her the same question back. She seems more idealistic than pragamatic since she thinks that having a bigger group will be better. I see the benefits, but it also might make things more dangerous.
Ava - She also seems very pragamatic and takes no nonsense. At first I didn’t trust all that much, but I trust her more. It’s pretty cool how she was studying physics and enjoyed learning more about space before the pandemic.
Levi - He’s very chiil and has a relaxed approach. I think he’s very cool, but he does seem like he’s irresponsible at times. I think he has his heart in the right place, but I’m not sure how he would react to some things.
- I messed up like two playthroughs, so my third playthrough is going to be my definitive playthrough now. Those timed choices got the best of me a lot of times lol.
- When I had MC stay behind, I started realizing something. When I saw her, Ava, and Devin’s outfits, I started thinking of Powerpuff Girls based on their outfits colors. MC kind of has that reddish top, and she acts like the leader, so she’s Blossom. Devin is Buttercup because of his green jacket, and Ava is Bubbles because of the shirt tied around her waist being blue.
- I like the premise, and the choices made throughout the story will matter in the future.
So it seems as though we noticed the same things. The characters, in my opinion, were really interesting and I was curious to learn more about them. The dialogue’s quite good, too!
I wonder if the church group will be friendly or not. It might depend your choices, but I feel like that group is too good to be true. Even if they have a lot of supplies, the real thing that counts is the management and handling of the community.
Same! This story kind of reminds me of The Walking Dead (game version) and all the issues the characters went through. And you’re right, I bet the management will have some kind of evil secret, like how in The Rain (awesome show, btw) there was a group just like that. Let’s just say it didn’t end well, haha!
Story title: The Key Holder
Author Name: Goji
Description: Max is living with guilt. Riley is living with anger. What will happen when fate brought them together? Will they be each other’s key holder?
What would you like us to focus on? — Progress/flow of the story and dialogues. If possible, I would also love to hear about anything you think that I need to improve/change.
Thank you so much!
I love the Walking Dead game series! While I was reading Viral, I started thinking based on events that happened in TWD. I have a bad feeling about the church group just like I did with the ranch/farm in episode 2 of TWD. I’m not going to assume anything, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be a shift place.
IKR! Also, I love the TWD game series, too! The church group is suspicious to say the least.
Hi, thank you for your review! It’s really thorough and helpful
Unfortunately, the knife thing is more to do with Episode not having an animation for a character holding a knife and walking, but thank you for pointing out the characters zooming to their spots & the introduction!
Also, the Powerpuff Girls thing was a total accident, but I see it - personality-wise, I think Kashvi is most like Bubbles, lol.
Also I’m glad to see you two enjoyed the story and are dicussing episode 3
Story Title: Between me and the sea
Chapters read: 4
After reading the description, I think it’s pretty good. Although I think the last line could be removed or changed because it sorts of decelerates the sort of mood of the description. First sentence, you get hit with character gets drowned. Second sentence, you get the main plot of the sister trying to find justice for her little brother. Third sentence gives a little twist with the police focusing on her as the prime suspect.
That helps build tension, and it gives more insight into how dire her situation is. The problem is when it goes to the last sentence of find love, find clues, and the responsible. For the sentences before, we get a more personal outlook of the plot and the conflict. You could change the sentence into the features or style you have in the story like CC, LL, or LGBTQ+.
Here’s an example of a possible description.
Matthew was drowned, and Ana has to find the person responsible. The investigation heats up. All signs link up to Ana, turning her into the new prime suspect in Matthew’s death.
I think if there’s anything like mature topics or subjects in your story, you should put a warning splash just in case. You could also add a sound splash and a highly interactive splash, so people know there’s sound, and they need to tap slowly.
When I was viewing the first episode, I liked how we see Ana return back to where it happened, and you can tell the pain she’s feeling. The thing is I think you could cut the sentence before the flashback that tells that her brother died. We have a solid foundation of knowledge because of the description. The description tells us what happened to Matthew, so we know he’s dead.
I was slightly confused during the flashback around the time Matthew called out for help. I didn’t fully realize it at the time, but I found it weird how Ana didn’t try to move or try to help him in any way. I was like did she seriously just let him die like that? Then I realized it was future Ana reminiscing about the scene. It might be better if during the flashback, we could see Ana desperate to save her brother, and she tries to get to him, but it’s too late. We could see her shock, her terror, and all of her emotions spill out at that very moment. That gives us more sympathy for her.
When we transition into the present day, you could have the narrator say how many days, months, weeks, and years later the event is taking place after the scene shown. Let’s say Matthew’s death happened 3 days ago. You could have the narrator say 3 days later when the scene in Ana’s caravan takes place.
I noticed this reoccuring thing where is was replaced by it’s. There was some grammar mistakes. I recommend getting a proofreader or using a grammar check before publishing an episode. There’s some nice proofreaders and beta readers who’ll help you with grammar, spelling mistakes, and sentence clarity.
This is just a side note, but I felt like the sentences where Ana was saying that she must do this thing felt awkward. I think having one sentence starting off with “I must” sounds good, but it was kind of repeating a lot. It kind of made Ana’s dialogue sound slightly stiff to me. You could substitue I must with I have to and I need to.
This transitions felt smooth for the most part. At times, it was kind of awkward, especially with the music. Try to decrease the volume levels of music through commands like volume music 0 2000.
There is something that I’ll explain further in the directing section, but I’ll say it here as it ties to transitions. Characters pop in right after the scene transitions when they should already be in the scene.
Here’s a really good thread done by cece_hunter involving directing that goes in depth with directing as well as transitions.
There’s also plently of good directing and transition threads and websites like Dara Amarie’s websie, Apes’ threads, and JemU776.
I like the use of overlays that let us know who we’re playing as. It reminds me of games like Until Dawn and Man of Medan. It makes me wonder how many characters we’re going to be able to play. From what I can tell, it’s at least 6 playable characters in the story. I’ll explain the multiple playable characters under characters as well as provide extra insight in extra notes.
Characters pop into the scene during the earlier episodes. This distrupts the flow of the episode, and it makes it look like the characters teleported in. Make sure you’re using the right fading command and use & for character spots. It helps it look more realistic and the scene flows better.
Incorporate more zooms to help give a better feel for the scene, especially in conversations. In some conversations, there’s zooms, but in others, there’s not that many. You should also use zoom on x y in 0 for conversations to make it go more smoothly.
Characters sometimes slide to their locations. For example, in I think the last episode, Chase slid over Jessica to get to his spot. You can avoid this through giving him a set amount of time to walk.
For the most part, speechbubbles are in good spots, and they are attatched to the character that is speaking. There’s times where it’s not attached to the character speaking, so make sure it gets placed on the speaker.
In addition, try to make sure characters don’t talk over each other. This happens a lot with loop animations. Here’s a good thread by JemU776 about it.
I already mention the speechbubble thing earlier under the directing section. As for dialogue, I think it’s good, although it could be improved. For example, I felt kind of weird with scenes like the Noah scene in his room. I think maybe that was the only scene where I was kind of confused about pretty much everything in it. I’ll explain it more under extra notes.
I feel like there could be more show and don’t tell. In the first caravan scene, Raven states they’re Ana’s best friend. In another scene, Noah is like Ana is their friend to Jessica. I get Trevor asking for Ana’s friends’ names because he doesn’t know them personally. It would be more beneficial if you give us hints through dialogue of their worry towards Ana and how recluse Ana has become. Ana is essentially the MC, but I’m not sure if she has any real personality based on her dialogue.
There’s a lot of characters, so I’ll try to keep things short and focus on the more prominent characters so far, which is a lot.
Ana - I sympathize with her, but I feel like there’s no real connection formed with her throughout the episodes. We don’t get all that much context except for her motivation to find her brother’s killer. The only thing we really know about her is that she wants justice for Matthew, but we don’t know her relationship with him. Was it strained before the anniversary? Was it very close? Was she protective of Matthew? What was she doing before his death? What was she planning on doing before everything that transpired? She has the chance to be something more than just a grieving sister. You can do it based on choices. Maybe she becomes more like a vigilante and does more risky things like breaking and entering. Or maybe she abides by the law and tries to collect evidence more ethically.
Raven/Ray - I don’t have that much opinion on either of them. It just felt like there was nothing else to their personality or character except for how they felt about Ana.
Trevor - Probably my favorite character so far because he’s a detective, and he’s also pretty cool. At first, I thought he was going to be a LI for some reason, even though there was no CC for him. I feel like he’s willing to conduct the investigation, and he seems mature enough.
Noah - I don’t know how I really feel about him, but he seems like he’s not the most pleasant person to hang out with. If what Jessica says is true, then that makes me feel suspicious of him. I don’t know, but I think he might be the one who drowned Matthew. It’s just a theory, but that’s my feeling.
Jessica - I feel bad for Jessica, but I also don’t at the same time. Like I feel bad about how Noah is treating her, but I also feel like she’s not really making her situation any better. It just seems like she’s moreso an one note character who’s obsessed with Noah, who isn’t that much of a good guy.
Caleb - I haven’t really formed on an opinion on him except that he feels bad about not being there for Matthew. I’m mainly confused with his relationship with Jessica. Like has she called him up before to hook up? He seems like a nice guy, and he’s so far one of the more complex characters in the story.
Morgan - I don’t have an opinion on Morgan because there’s been little screen time with her. I think the fact there’s a choice for her to keep quiet makes me more suspicious of her. Like why would she keep quiet about something like that unless she’s ashamed or she’s hiding something?
I timed how long each episode took me to read. This is just a rough estimate, so take it with a grain of salt.
Episode 1: 11 minutes and 38 seconds
Episode 2: 10 minutes and 1 second
Episode 3: 5 minutes and 53 seconds
Episode 4: I forgot to time for episode 4, but it felt shorter than episode 2.
There’s a steep drop off in time from episode 2 to episode 3. You could insert episode 4 into episode 3 to make it longer. It’s good to keep consistent length of time in episodes, so readers are able to adjust to the story. If the lengths bounce up and down, it might make it harder for some readers to be fully immersed if the chapters are all over the place.
It looks like the preferences for dating didn’t entirely code all the way. I’m doing a second playthrough of the story, and I decided to put just guys this time. Then Raven showed up instead of Ray during the scene with the first clue. I played up to episode 4, and Ray was there just like he was in the playthrough with no specific gender preference. Raven was also in the video, even though I selected the male romance options only for the second playtrhough.
The premise is promising with the multiple perspectives and hidden mystery. Make sure every scene has a purpose for being there, and not just filler. The one scene that I’m mainly talking about is the scene involving Noah and Jessica. I found it kind of ruined the flow of the episode mainly because I wondered what was the purpose of this scene.
My main suspect right now is Noah, although I don’t trust Ana or Morgan. That’s the vibes I’m getting.
I hope this wasn’t too harsh and helpful in some way. If you have any questions or need some clarification, just ask. I should have come out with this earlier a few hours ago, but I was being lazy. Anyway, your story has a lot of potential. Keep up the good work!