New Story: Iredale High

Hello, I just published a new story and I’ve been working very hard on it. Could you guys read it and give me some advice? Thank you.
Here’s the link:

Here’s my story:
Title: Iredale High
Genre: Fantasy
Episodes 3 (more to come)
Description: Iredale High is a boarding school that used to be a castle in the 19th century before a tragic accident happened. But, do you believe the rumors and stories people tell?
[LL & CC]

Could you guys read it and give me some advice? Thank you.

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Hey there, I just finished the first chapter!:hugs:

(I’m new here and this is my first time doing this so I’m sorry if this is a mess lol)

Also-- warning, I’ve analyzed too many theatre plays so I might go haywire and if so I’m incredibly sorry.

Here are my thoughts: :two_hearts:

  • The opening scenes which introduced the subplot storyline about the castle in its earlier years really captivated me! I want to know more ahh! My suggestion is to make it a bit longer or somehow immerse the reader into this subplot a little more-- I felt a bit jolted out of the story once it so suddenly switched to the present. To give a more full, immersive experience to the reader, I would suggest adding more literary or descriptive details about, say, the atmosphere or something like that. I just… I just need a tiny bit more!!

  • To encourage building on that excellent hook: You could really highlight/build off of those contrasting atmospheres in the opening subplot. You know, the camera pans to introduce the reader to a glittering, elegant castle filled with royal figures drunk on happiness and cheer, yet they are all blissfully unaware of the dark, ominous, and mysterious matter evolving right below their noses. That was pretty clever! …maybe we’ll see a similar contrast like that in the present-day plotline??? conspiracy theory lol

  • Also-- as a very nice reader caring for the wellness of my darling characters, I need to know what’s at stake for them at every moment. Yeah, I know that sounds super weird and like bad advice, but lemme explain, and then you can judge. :joy: What makes a scene particularly suspenseful (I think what would work best for this is in the subplot when the 4 mysterious characters are gathered conspicuously around some suspicious factory machine.) When reading through that scene, I wasn’t totally stressed out for them because I didn’t know what’s at stake for them and what would happen if they failed. Will they die? (:scream:) Will the castle blow up? …Or will they just shrug and go back to the party? The reader doesn’t necessarily need to know what they’re doing (that makes it even more suspenseful-- good job with keeping it a secret!) but I need to know, basically, how worried I should be for them if they fail. Also, side note, just to get that “suspenseful staging” you could spot direct them so they are positioned not spread out across the room, but huddled together. This creates the idea of something fishy is going on, ya feel?

  • Another thing-- I want to be more connected with my amazing character! :tipping_hand_woman:Here’s a really fat and cheap trick, but it really works lol-- if you zoom and do some nice closeups on characters (basically, work with the camera) it creates a more intimate relationship with the character and reader. I dunno why this works, but it does haha. (I guess since you’re not viewing them from a full-body-far-away point of view.)

  • Another tip to build the main character is to get inside her thoughts and eyes: What is she thinking? :thinking: What details does she notice? How does she feel, talking to this person? Are her eyes glittering, are her palms sweating, are her words getting stuck in her throat? Knowing these intimate details really connects the character to the reader. These details really go a long way! Every interaction with another character is like opening a new door to solving what’s behind the mc’s head.

  • Some quick lil thing: You don’t need to make the character say “Wow, this is a really big school.” I gathered that from the background. Maybe, try, for instance, writing how great and grand the castle was, looming over her meek figure and casting a dark, crisp shadow along the perfectly kept grass. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:Idk, but using descriptive language kind of guides the reader’s imagination. Remember: all readers are blind until you give them something to feed off of-- this can be through words like descriptive language, character dialog, or images such as the environment or characters.

Also, here’s some spicy writing tips if you ever feel the urge to be extra : ) :joy:

  • Every character or person in all scenes has a goal, or something they want. Then there’s the obstacle, a dilemma. dun dun dun! So, now, the character responds by doing something to overcome the obstacle-- the tactic. Now, that tactic may fail or work. (What’s so messed up about humans is that we love watching people fail and be tormented! Now that’s called drama.) This sounds super basic and like common sense, but for me, while writing, it allows me to delve deeper in the characters and explore and expand them a bit more. This can help you if you want to make the characters dynamic, mysterious, interesting, and, let’s face it: more human.

Omg this is so long I’m so so sorry. Thank you for reading this extremely long response. I hope my advice helps in some way! I can’t wait for the story to continue and to see what mystery it unveils! :hugs:

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Wow, that’s the best advice/review someone has written about one of my stories. First, I want to say thank you! I wasn’t expecting someone to actually read my story and give me advice. I really appreciate the fact that you wrote all those things about my story. I’ll follow your advice! Again, thank you! :smile: and welcome to the forum!

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Amazing thread here:

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Great, thank you!

From my experience, getting involved in the community, being active on forums, helping out people who have directing questions, etc, will all help you build up your reader base


Thank you!

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