| Once's Review Thread | OPEN |


#1

Welcome to Once’s Review Thread!

Before requesting, please carefully read through everything below, as it is all important information. Thank you!


Rules

In order for me to take your requests, familiarize yourself with the rules beforehand.

Rules

Only Request If You Want A Review: This topic was created to assist writers in improving their content, not just for someone to earn extra reads. Detailed reviews take effort to write, and it’ll delay how quickly everyone else receives their review(s) if you do so.

Be Polite: Disrespect will result in the removal of your story from the queue.

First Come, First Serve: To be as fair as possible, the story I read first is automatically from the writer who requested first.

Be Patient: In my free time, I review stories. However, my life doesn’t revolve around it, so, if you feel like it’s been too long, check the queue first before asking me when I’ll finish yours. Reminders to complete your review is welcomed.

Acknowledge You Have Read My Review: Many people have requested one day, and disappeared the next. To ensure the success of the topic, your first chapter will always be reviewed, but until you have acknowledged reading it, I will not continue you story. All you have to do is either ‘heart’ my post, tag me, or comment, and I’ll continuing reading chapters two and three.

(If you want me to take a closer look at other chapters beyond the first three, or to elaborate, feel free to PM me.)

Keep The Topic Clean: Don’t spam on here. If you have questions or comments that could apply to (almost) everyone, post it on here. Otherwise, PM me.

One or two warnings will be given if you break these rules, but if it’s happening constantly, you’ll be deleted from the queue.


Review Rubric

My opinion and explanations for improvements will be divided into five parts.

Rubric

Title, Cover Art, and Description: First impression is important. A title should relate to your story, and be unique too. Ask for opinions, or create a poll if you need help in brainstorming a title. Search the Episode app, and make sure yours isn’t the same as countless others, as it can become confusing. For your cover, try to make them eye-catching. If you haven’t already, I recommend you request from forum cover artists, who can be found in the “Art Resources” section. A story’s description plays a key role in who clicks on your story and who doesn’t too. Look over it, and ask yourself questions such as: Would I continue the story if I read this? Is this different? Does it capture the essence of the story?

Plot: A plot is one of the core pieces to every story. Is it attention-grabbing? Are there too many holes? I’ll also predict where I believe your plot is headed.

Characters: How are they designed? Do they stay consistent? Do they have different ‘voices’?

Directing, Choices, and Music/Sound: How well do you utilize Episode’s resources? How many choices do you have, and how impactful are they? How does your use of music and/or sound set the atmosphere, therefore improving your overall content? This includes spot directing, zooms, pans, and etc. If you need help with directing, look around the forums, as there’s many people available to help.

Overall: This sums up my final impression of your story.

Keep in mind that this is my perspective only. What I think may not always be what others think too. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and ultimately, this topic is to shed some light on what you could improve on. Don’t be discouraged, be motivated to improve.

I am still learning as a reviewer, as you are learning as a writer. Honest, constructive feedback will be offered, but if you are offended by what I wrote, or want to clear something up, PM me please. I will take the blame for anything offensive I might have wrote but privately, and in a civil manner.


Requesting Reviews

Request Form

Cover Art:
Story Title:
Author:
Genre:
Story Description:
Story Style (Classic, Ink, Limelight, Spotlight):
Number of Chapters:
Episode Story Link:
Additional Information:
Any particular aspect you’d like me to look at?:

After I have accepted your request form, I will ‘heart’ your post, and add your username and story title to the queue. If I do not approve it, I will tag you, and explain why, so you can correct your format.

If you have more than one story you want me to review, or an unpublished story, request away! I can review the same story again, only after three weeks, and you have made a major change to at least one aspect of it.


Completed

:pen: “Girl of Deception” by IDONTKNOW (Chapter one)
:pen: “Publicity Problems” by Karlon Artis (Chapter one)

Queue

:pen: “H & V: From Zero to Hero” by Dr.Smile (Chapter one)
:pen: “Choose?!!!” by ya (Chapter one)
:pen: Fantastical: Silhouettes by aprilish (Chapter one)
:pen: “From This Day Fowards” by goth.gaia (Chapter one)
:pen: “Girl of Deception” by IDONTKNOW (Chapter two)
:pen: “H & V: Taming him (CC)” by UnknownSnowflake (Chapter one)
:pen: “DEMIGODDESS” by Giselle Cresent (Chapter one)
:pen: “Publicity Problems” by Karlon Artis (Chapter two)
:pen: “Blind Starlight” by Chelsea Alexis (Chapter one)
:pen: “Let the Demon Inside” by Nierido (Chapter one)
:pen: “The Night Hawk” by Jill Popsicle (Chapter one)
:pen: “For The Love Of The Gang” by Miss Mac (Chapter one)
:pen: “Sophisticated & Deceived” by Briana M. (Chapter one)


That’s all for now. I look forwards to reviewing your stories, and working with you all. ^-^


#2

Hi! I would love a review for my story!
Name: Girl of Deception
Author: IDONTKNOW
Genre: Adventure
Description: Aria Lamar has it all. She’s rich beautiful and successful. She’s also an selfish, arrogant jerk. Little does she know that’s all about to change.
INK
8 episodes
Link: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/5855942598328320


Thank you so much for you time and honesty!


#3

Cover Art:


Story Title: Publicity Problems
Author: Karlon Artis
Genre: Drama
Story Description: Samantha Xanders struggles with her fame after receiving unwanted publicity. Can she overcome the challenges of stardom?
Story Style: Limelight
Number of Chapters: 3
Episode Story Link: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/4689222272417792
Additional Information: This story was formerly a contest entry
Any particular aspect you’d like me to look at?: Plot and character development


#4

Cover Art:
H__V_From_Zero_to_Hero_YV_posterThumb_vixQqm4bZ7
Story Title: H & V: From Zero to Hero
Author: Dr.Smile
Genre: Action
Story Description: Jax is the disabled loser of Mediocreopolis high but one odd day his life is changed by a–burrito?!
Story Style (Classic, Ink, Limelight, Spotlight): Ink
Number of Chapters: 5
Episode Story Link: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/4697049362202624
Additional Information: N/A
Any particular aspect you’d like me to look at?:
My character development. How can I improve it?

Thanks in advance!


#5

HEY!!:grin:

HERE’S THE INFO!!

Story Name: DEMIGODDESS

Author Name: Giselle Crescent

Genre: Fantasy

Description: Being the daughter of Zeus isn’t easy. Add responsibilities and your mother having cancer topped on with a forbidden temptation to a boy who can rock your world , literally. CC

Small Cover:
5242e4c65aad4dc4eaa16195e5918d47b926391f_1_323x500-2

Large Cover:
78db2eb2c8938e3cb31cac097f4217fbc58fb39a_1_690x492

LINK:


#6

Cover art:


Its pending though😅
Story title : Choose?!!!
Author:@ya
Genre: adventure/ Sci-Fi
Story description:
You aren’t a superhero, nor have magical powers! Just a wrong wish of your’s , causes Fate of whole human race to be in your’s hands!!! Will you Succeed or face defeat?? (2 ends)
Story style: ink
No.of chapter : 3
Episode link:

Add info: nothing
Any ascept you like to look at? : No


#7

Hey, @Once! Thank you creating this thread! I’d love some feedback on my story. Here are my story details:

Title: Fantastical: Silhouettes
Author: aprilish
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Style: Ink
Number of Chapters: 7 (ongoing)
Blurb: Arion’s ready to risk it all to make her dreams come true. Leslie sees him every day, yet fails to recognize who he is. Watch them fall in love…without ever meeting each other.
Link: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/6116658762874880
Cover:


My Instagram: @aprilish.episode
Additional Information: N/A
Any particular aspect you’d like me to look at?: Just a little of everything would be good

Thank you so much! Looking forward to hearing your feedback! :two_hearts:


#8

Hello! :blush: Here are the details for my story.

Cover Art:


Story Title: From This Day Forward
Author: goth.gaia
Genre: Drama
Story Description: After your disastrous wedding day, you decide to start fresh: new city, new you, no drama- or so you hoped. Will you say “I do” to the chaos or leave it at the altar? CC
Story Style (Classic, Ink, Limelight, Spotlight): INK
Number of Chapters: 7 (ongoing)
Episode Story Link: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/5073385564536832
Additional Information: N/A
Any particular aspect you’d like me to look at?: I’ve been told on numerous occassions that my episodes are too long. I’ve tried editing them, but it’s hard because I don’t really know what I should be taking out, so I’d love to hear what information isn’t needed and what scenes aren’t necessary/are boring. It would help me a ton!

Thank you so much! I look forward to hearing your feedback. :two_hearts:


#9

Girl of Deception by IDON’TKNOWREAL

@IDONTKNOWREAL’s Chapter One Review


My reviews are written from my perspective only, and my opinion may not align with others’. I am not a professional, and I’m still learning as a reviewer. Ultimately, my goal is to highlight areas I loved, and suggest places for improvement. Honest, constructive feedback will be offered, but if you are offended by what I wrote, or want to clear something up, please PM me. I will take the blame for anything offensive I might have wrote but privately, and in a civil manner.


Title, Cover Art, and Description:

Your story was the only result when I searched ‘Girl of Deception’ in the Episode Interactive app, which is great, as it increases the chances of someone reading it because it’s distinct. The title itself made me wonder: Why is she the girl of deception? What happened? It was a thought-provoking title to me, and as a result, something worth reading.

For you small cover, the font and color you used for the title and the author name were readable, and very clear. You may want to decrease the font size a little because the edges of the some of the words are curved by the border of the small cover (not enough that it was unrecognizable). The background color scheme gave me a mysterious, action/adventure vibe, matching well with the black font of the words. However, I didn’t understand why there were white smudges around the character. With everything considered, the cover wasn’t eye-catching to me.

The large cover led me to the assumption that there would be romance, because of Aria winking at the two males (which I recognized from chapter one, and them being on the cover makes me believe they’ll play an important role in the story). Again, some of the words are curved by the border of the large cover. Possibly move the title down a bit?

The description is interesting enough that I would want to read the story, but it could still use some improvement because of its similarity to other descriptions. If I based the genre just off of the description, I may mistaken it for action, mystery, or romance. (Check over your spelling and punctuation mistakes too.)


Plot:

(Try to minimize author introductions, as most people tend to skim over those. If needed, you could always have Q & A’s at the end of every chapter. )

The beginning of the story moved too slowly to me, but it could be easily resolved by removing some filler dialogue. Majority of the first chapter seemed to only exist to show her horribleness, so try to incorporate those scenes into the actual storyline. Aside from the hints inserted in the introduction, I wasn’t able to tell what the plot was about, until near the end, but even then, I was confused about the direction it was heading. However, I thought the ending of chapter one was amazing, as the cliffhanger left me in suspense. Your foreshadowing was well executed, and one line in particular caught my attention because it showcased just that: “Not just because of what happened afterwards, but I regret who I was back then.” The line, “Luckily, this changed, but before we get to that, let’s see just how horrible I was.” took away some of the intrigue, so you may want to change it.


Characters:

From the beginning, Aria’s personality was obvious from what you explicitly wrote, and what I implicitly gathered from her dialogue and actions, and how other’s reacted in her presence. It was also evident in her outfit change choices, when you didn’t stick with the usual ‘Yes, I like this outfit,’ ‘No, I dislike this outfit.’ Instead, you costumized it to fit Aria’s ‘voice’ better with ‘I AM A QUEEN’ and ‘Eww.’ My suggestion is to continue doing this, and try to use ‘show, don’t tell’ more often in your story. For example, you started with “My name is Aria Lamar and I am 19 years old.” This could be slid into the story instead of being told outright, which you achieved by having her scream,“I am ARIA FREAKING LAMAR.” What you did there was more interesting to read, and was Aria’s ‘voice’ too. Although her personality was easy to pinpoint, I thought she was lacking in depth (your characters will probably be developed more as the story goes, so don’t take this to heart). In the next few chapters, I hope more details about her life and quirks will be revealed. I had questions about her biography, like: What did she do to become rich? Why is she famous at only 19? How does she maintain a steady income? Where are her parents?

After reading, I was puzzled how the other characters fit into the story. Were they going to pop up once, then disappear forever? Do they play a key role? It seemed as if they were thrown in last minute, without much consideration into their personalities and biographies. I suggest you use character profile sheets to develop them more.


Directing, Choices, and Music/Sound:

Your visuals at the beginning were remarkable. I liked how the words ‘Girl of Deception’ bounced before it settled and was swiped away, and the flickering flames too. All of the custom backgrounds and text effects were excellent. It was a touch in the story I have rarely seen, and left me eager in seeing other directing tricks you had.

Throughout the chapter, few directing mistakes stood out. You have the basic directing skills down, and I’ve seen you use more advanced ones too, like the point system. I wish you added more zooms (especially cut scenes to two characters instead of one, so readers can see how people react to Aria immediately, not afterwards), and spot directing, as it can impact the visual affect of you story dramatically.

A few scenes where I would have liked to see spot directing is after Aria says “Whatever, I’ll just work on an article,” which then you could spot direct her to a seat, and work on an article there, because it seems unnatural to stand for three hours working on an article. Another scene is after leaving the club, where you could spot direct her to wait on the sidewalk instead of the street.

There were a couple errors with the transitions and character actions. For example, after Aria left for the bar, it faded out, then jumped to the club scene again, before it finally jumped to the bar a few seconds later (if you don’t understand my wording, I’ll screenshot it for you). After the photoshoot, when it faded into her bedroom, I saw her suddenly pop up out of nowhere after the fade in, instead of before the fade in. Don’t forget to pay attention to the background characters too as if will seem out of place if you forget to continue their actions- in the club scene in particular, the brown haired male stopped moving after his dance action was complete.


Overall:

Although there were some noticeable punctuation and spelling errors, they were minor enough that it didn’t take away from the story. If you’re interested, these were a few of the spelling and punctuation errors, and their corrections:

Corrections

“Rip me”
Correction: “RIP me.”

“You’re outfit is horrible.”
Correction: “Your outfit is horrible.”

“Yes! that’s exactly what I need!”
Correction: Yes! That’s exactly what I need!"

“Did you forget your drivers license?”
Correction: Did you forget your driver’s license?"

“I was at my daughters birthday party.”
Correction: “I was at my daughter’s birthday party.”

Overall, it was an enjoyable read! Keep writing and improving the content you produce. As with every story, there’s places to polish up, but most of the errors can be discovered by checking through your story a few extra times. The changes I suggested are minor, but sometimes, it’s the small details that makes an outstanding story.


If you want me to review chapters two and three, remember to acknowledge this review, and if you choose to do so, I’m excited to see your growth. :3 If you have any other stories (unpublished or published) you’d want me to review, or the same one after three weeks and at least one major change, request ahead! If you have any questions or comments, or want me to elaborate on the review, PM me.

Thank you for requesting! ^-^


#10

I’m glad you’re interested in my reviews, @gisellec. However, some information is missing from your form, and I require most, if not all, the information to be completed. Could you include your story’s genre, style, and the number of chapters to your form?

Thank you, and I’m excited to review your story. ^-^


#11

This was very helpful! I will definitely use your feedback! Thank you for your time!!


#12

Thanks so much for this! This is really great and helpful xxx
Cover Art:


Story Title: H & V: Taming Him (CC)
Author: UnknownSnowFlake
Genre: Romance
Story Description: You just find out that you’ve been betrothed to a sexy yet callous billionaire. But there’s just one problem. You’re a vigilante, and he’s trying to kill you.
Story Style (Classic, Ink, Limelight, Spotlight): Ink
Number of Chapters: 6
Episode Story Link: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/6155554812329984
Additional Information: None
Any particular aspect you’d like me to look at?: Not really


#13

My beta’s story --> https://www.episodeinteractive.com/s/6299534716960768


#14

Welcome to my review thread, @AlessgGX! Before I’ll read your story, I need most, if not all, of the information on the request form to be completed:

Afterwards, I’ll add you to the queue, and review your story.


#15

Genre: Fantasy
Style: INK
Chapters: 3 (ongoing)
Thank you so much!! :heartbeat:


#16

Sorry to bother you, but I was wondering what you meant by:

The beginning of the story moved too slowly to me, but it could be easily resolved by removing some fuller dialogue.

Can you give me some ideas to make it more interesting in the first episode? I would love to improve my story!


#17

Don’t worry, it’s not a bother. Could you PM me your first chapter’s script, if you don’t mind? If you can’t, that’s okay, but it’ll be easier to explain and pinpoint what I mean when I can see everything laid out in written form, instead of Episode story form.


#18

Of course! Thank you!!


#19

Publicity Problems by Karlon Artis

@kahotshot’s Chapter One Review


My reviews are written from my perspective only, and my opinion may not align with others’. I am not a professional, and I’m still learning as a reviewer. Ultimately, my goal is to highlight areas I loved, and suggest places for improvement. Honest, constructive feedback will be offered, but if you are offended by what I wrote, or want to clear something up, please PM me. I will take the blame for anything offensive I might have wrote but privately, and in a civil manner.


Title, Cover Art, and Description:

You story was found easily because it was the only one titled ‘Publicity Problems.’ The alliteration makes it sound pleasant to say, and more memorable than some other titles. The title sounded like it would be a drama or comedy story.

The small cover idea was clever, but it was ‘messy,’ like you were trying to compact everything together. My eyes wandered constantly, because of all of the colors. The ‘m’ and ‘s’ in the rainbow colored ‘Problems’ blended into the background (it was a nice background, by the way). My assumption is you used blue and gray to draw over the phone’s trademarks, but it stood out because the colors were darker. Maybe scribble over it with colors more similar to it, or add something over it to conceal it better? It was difficult reading ‘Karlon Artis’, as I was distracted by the letters around it.

The large cover was creative, and reminded me of Google.

The story description was to the point, vague enough that it didn’t spoil anything, but informative enough to captured the main idea. However, I have seen descriptions similar to it.


Plot:

Before the plot actually started, I noticed the first chapter was named ‘Media Struggles’. I liked it, because it left me intrigued to find out what the struggles were, and gave me the main idea of the chapter.

However, when the story began, Samantha’s excessive narration caused me to restlessly skim through the introduction. A way you could continue hooking reader’s attention is by switching backgrounds more often; show her at karaoke events and singing competitions. It became an info-dump because of too much backstory at once. One or two narrative introductions are fine, but once you began stopping to introduce everyone, it dragged the plot, and the flow became choppy. The elevator ride with Samantha and Alice was especially slowing down the story. Try to keep it simple, sweet, and to the point.

In the beginning, my curiosity caused me to continuously ask: What was the bad publicity? What were they saying? There was so much build up that when I found what the publicity was, I was disappointed. This can be altered by either adding more seriousness to the bad publicity, or taking away some of the build up. While build up is great, if you don’t hit the standards you set your audience up for, the readers become bored.

It was a slow moving plot, and missing the drama I was expecting. The strong, compelling, emotions were absent. Every piece of information should progress the plot some way or another. Think: Do I really need this?


Characters:

This was one of the areas your story fell short. Depth was gone, and character’s backstory, personality, ‘voice’, and quirks was lacking. The main character shouldn’t be the only one who’s developing, the side characters should too. They aren’t the star of Samantha’s story, but they are the star of their own lives.

Although character introductions may tell a lot about the character, I wouldn’t encourage it every time because it should show through dialogues and actions, more often then it should be told. An example is in the beginning: “I am a singer and songwriter.” This could be shown indirectly by Samantha singing in the studio, while jotting down song lyrics. Another example is when Sarah was introduced as Samantha’s friend. By implicit details alone, it should become obvious. Episode offers many resources for ‘show, don’t tell.’

The dialogue and characters’ ‘voice’ are what confused me the most. It was too ‘neat’ to be realistic. An example of what I mean is when Samantha was asking Sarah if she wanted to join them for dinner, she texted, “Would you like to join me?” It struck me as odd, because I’ve never heard someone text so formally to their friend. “Wanna join?” is more commonly used. Most of the dialogue sounded too formal, something people would rarely say casually. Just as people respond to ‘thank you’ differently depending on who they are (you’re welcome, no problem, don’t worry, it’s fine, it’s okay, and etc.), characters should react differently too. They should have their own individual voices.

In many scenes, Samantha and the other characters were elaborating for no reason. It was as if the conversation between characters were written to info-dump for the audience to understand, not what would actually happen in real life. An example is the elevator ride between Alice and Samantha. Their dialogue made me question: If the two were such great fans of each other, wouldn’t they have already known some of the information the other was saying? Why would they repeat it?

I recommend you use character profiles. The goal is to know your characters as well as you know yourself. Read through Samantha’s biography and her personality, then step inside her shoes. What would she do? Act it out, and when you write it, keep it in mind. People watch, observe how they walk, talk, and etc. Think: Could I hear myself say that to my family? Do my friend say that to one another? Afterwards, your characters should have more depth, and sound more realistic too.


Directing, Choices, and Music/Sound:

Directing errors were scarce, and it’s obvious you’ve learned the basics already. My challenge to you is to utilize more of Episode’s resources, make your story more advanced by using additional zooms, spot directing, and etc. I do have a few suggestions on how to improve the content you already have though. The background was strangely empty throughout the story, for example: when Samantha and David are talking, aren’t there other people there, who may be walking around? Outside, when Samantha walked out of the studio, shouldn’t the reporters be seen on screen? During Samantha’s dinner with Sarah and Alice, I didn’t see food on their plate, and it would make it more realistic if there was, since they are eating out, after all.

The choices didn’t seem like they mattered in the long run, as only a few lines changed depending on what I picked. You could add more choices if you want to, but I’ve seen excellent stories without so many choices in them before too. The song lyric ‘fill in the blank’ was interesting. It would be fun if you included some mini games.

The music and sounds increased my liking of the story, and it helped me better immerse myself into the chapter.


Overall:

There weren’t any grammar, spelling, or puncuation mistakes that caught my notice. However, you occasionally forgot a word or two. Near the beginning, you wrote “That’s when I discovered.” which you may have forgotten to include ‘was’- That’s when I was discovered."In the conversation between Samantha and Alice, you wrote, “But what if affects me?” which you may have forgotten to include ‘it’- “But what if it affects me?”

Episode is more like a movie, and less like a book. You plan, you write the script, you cast the actors, you direct… and the story is brought to life. Overall, I think there’s more potential than what it’s showing now. The plot and characters are what I think needs the most revising. It’ll take some time and effort to improve on what I pointed out, but it’ll be worth it in the end.


Remember to acknowledge this review if you want chapters two and three to be reviewed. If you have any other stories (unpublished or published) you’d want me to review, or the same one after three weeks and at least one major change, request ahead! If you have any questions or comments, or want me to elaborate on the review, PM me.

Thanks for requesting! ^-^


#20

Thank you for reviewing my story.