Thorough Feedback and Tips


#1

Hi! I am a writer and I also love to edit as well. I have experience editing and love the process of it.
Comment your story filling out this format:
Title:
Genre:
Description:
Story Link:
Especially want comments on: (directing, do my characters feel real?, plot line, ect.)

If you want to thank me please click on my profile and check out my story Zartrensa! :smile:


Story: Zartrensa: Hearts of War
Author: Clarkie
Genre: Drama
Description: Zartrensa is a country in Carosa that has been at war for 100 years. Will the marriage of Princess Cassandra save her country? What secrets will she learn?
CC/Choices Matter/LGBT
also check out my insta
I have tips there for writing and will have overlays coming soon! I also am starting to do edits.

Btw I will not be doing reviews of stories in the original format I’m really sorry. I am a very visual person and it just makes me very physically uncomfortable to look at the original art format for too long. It kind of freaks me out and evokes the equivalent feeling someone scratching their nails down a chalkboard whilst chewing with their mouth open and stabbing a rusty nail into the bottom of my foot. It’s just a lot and I am not equip to review these stories.

I’ll be getting back to reviews once I’m done with classes, feel free to post your stories down below in a meantime!


#2

Title: Some Sort of Drama
Genre: Comedy Romance Drama
Description: A young woman in her mid 20s competing with a former friend to win the affections of a guy they both like.
Story Link:http://episodeinteractive.com/s/5885906988957696
Especially want comments on: I know most readers are teenagers, but I want it to appeal not just to them but to those in my age group as well. Do you think it will reach the 20 something crowd? How do like the plot so far? Should I change some of the dialogue?


#3

Hey so, so far I don’t like Kelly, she’s a caricature of a black woman and I know it’s meant to be humorous but like making fun of AAE and people who speak a grammatical form of English (i.e. it has patterns that are predictable and follow systematic logic) doesn’t really make sense to me. Also she just does it so bad it’s not even accurate AAE hence the caricature comment I made. Caricatures usually only promote harmful inaccurate negative perceptions which makes me not fond of her as a character. You could totally have a character use AAE without the joke being the fact that they use AAE and therefore should not be taken seriously.
Like I can tell this story was really made for a strong hatred of black people. Like the whole mindset of the “ghetto” stereotype is honestly just not good. The other characters see themselves as being better than Kelly (who speaks inaccurate AAE, as someone who studies linguistics I just didn’t at all like this.) The other characters of course who speak more closely to the eurocentric written standard are seen as better and smarter than Kelly.
It’s just really not creative to play off of negative stereotypes and I honestly can’t bring myself to finish the first episode sorry.


#4

Hi! I’d appreciate constructive criticism.
Title: Illegal Alien
Genre: Fantasy
Description: Stella befriends a stranger who stops her from committing suicide. Follow her life as she uncovers secrets of the mystery man and her own mortality.
Story Link: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/6005998233452544
Especially want comments on: The main character suffers from depression (I have experienced it as well) however it may not be a developed attribute of the character yet, but I will attempt to work that into later chapters. Thanks in advance!


#5

I really like your story so far! So far I’d just suggest to break up the dialogue a bit. I think it will make the words pace a bit better. For example instead of having

       NARRATOR (STELLA)
   To make things worse, I will never know if extraterrestrial life exists out there. Not in my lifetime. That's all I want.

you could have it so the reader taps after each sentence. by pressing the enter key after each sentence. That way also you won’t have to have NARRATOR (STELLA) repeated several times in a row if you’re trying to avoid that.
Ex.

       NARRATOR (STELLA)
   To make things worse, I will never know if extraterrestrial life exists out there. 
   Not in my lifetime. 
   That's all I want.

I find breaking up dialogue like this gives the words more impact. It makes them stand alone so the reader is only focused on this one part. It helps with supporting mood too. But of course this is just a suggestion!

Also your directing and camera control is really good!

I was a little confused at the part when she says "at least this is the one thing I have control over."
what exactly is she referencing? Control over Luna Heights or control over watching the sky or control that no one will come from the sky?

Also for when the guy enters the scene I would have the label you have it go back to for the customization main menu be after the music music_whichever so that way the song won’t start over every time you go back to the main menu. I would also change the @zoom on when you click customize hair so that way you can see the hairstyle a bit better.
Also good job on camera angle switching after the 2nd customization!!! That’s a trick I have yet to attempt myself so good on you for trying things out it looks really good!

I would suggest maybe “Yet there is no one you can say that you’ve ever truly felt a bond with.” instead of “Yet no one you can say you have a bond with” or whatever you choose but I think including “there is” after yet would sound a bit better

I would maybe have stella pause for a couple of beats before it switches to the scene of the house exterior that way it gives the reader a second to see that she’s being like “oh I have an idea!”

Also maybe this is just a personal preference but I would go with the other female scream.
Also I feel like Eric agrees a bit too easily to let her unlock the observator. Like if he does it because it makes Stella happy I would have a @zoom on to her face and have her like idle_sad or something and then a zoom on his face to show him maybe thinking about it like idle_awkward or something and then for extra convincing maybe then Abraham could mention them needing more money and him saying he could help. Also I’d like a line of Abraham saying something along the lines of “Stella has been telling me you guys haven’t made any discoveries lately…” or "Judging by how small your team is/ that you need assistance from a 17 year old… etc so I’m not so surprised that he’s come to the conclusion that they desperately need funding.
Also I love the joke of Eric thinking he’s a Russian spy lol. Also I think I’d like it more if Abraham said him and Stella were beginning to bond, she’s a shy person and it makes more sense to me that even though she may have strong feelings for him right away that she’s still somewhat cautious and their bond is beginning to form.
Also is Eric her dad? (I hope not I made him cute and he looks nothing like her whoops lol)
Also Eric says she’s 16 during his argument with Abraham when earlier he says she’s 17.
Also again I would suggest breaking up the dialogue on the “Abraham’s leaving?” part
for the ext. the following morning scene I would probably put like @pan to zone 3 in 4 or something. I just think a slower pan would be nice to allow the reader to take in the scenery a bit more.
I love her school outfit! I know it can be hard to put together outfits on here, all of the outfits you have look really cool.
I would have @ABRAHAM walks to spot x.xxx xxx x in 3 before he says “Yes and Stella ate already…” so he walks to spot slower unless you want to have him rush up
Also for that dialogue I like it all together it makes it seem as though he asking the questions fast. I see him as a kind of energetic asking questions fast kinda guy

I like the phone switching scene, it translates well without you even having to say he’s passing the phone to her, good job!
For the scene where she is getting picked up you can have @VANCE spot x.xxx xxx x in zone 2 right after you have camera go to zone 3 that way he doesn’t pop up when the camera pans to zone 2 because he’ll already have been there
Also I really like your music choices and where you have the music come in! It did a really good job at creating mood, I loved it!!

Overall: Your plot and characters are really interesting! I can’t wait to learn more about them! This story seems really cute and fun, can’t wait to read more! :slight_smile:


#6

Also, as far Stella’s depression I think it’s okay that it may not be completely portrayed right away. Depression is a complex thing to depict, so it can take more than an introductory episode before like you really have it portrayed the way you want it. And that’s okay! But if it is really bothering you for the first episode then maybe you can kind of have her lightly reference some of the things that have lead to the point she she’s at now. Like without it spoiling too much. You could also maybe include a scene of her waking up in the morning and having some of those depressed morning thoughts™
It’s also said that she deals with loneliness and that is what’s apart of her depression. Does she feel like a caged bird? Does she feel like everyone has left her behind? Does she feel like she just doesn’t relate to anyone? What’s the root of her not being able to make that bond with humans? And what does the alien have that allows her to make this bond so effortlessly?


#8

Thank you so much for the prompt and detailed feedback! I agree with a lot of the points (breaking down dialogue as opposed to a large chunk of text, adding a beat, zooming on the face…) And I swear I fixed the two instances where it says Stella is 16 then 17. I guess I didn’t after all lol. When you are customizing Eric it actually says that he is your adoptive father so it doesn’t even matter how he looks haha. Thanks again!


#9

Hi! I would appreciate it if you check out my new story! I just published it :slight_smile:

Title: Delirium
Genre: Romance/Dystopian
Description: In this world, love is forbidden. The management controls your life, career and whom you marry. What happens if you start to break the rules?
Story Link: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/6599453037690880

(Accidentally replied this to another comment hehe)


#10

Hey for anyone reading this thread! I want you to know that the character I mention in my review does get more development and after a good conversation with @Dmfan91 about like stereotypes and stuff (which they do NOT plan to perpetuate through their work and actually want to disprove). I am going to go back and continue a review of their story so pleased don’t get discouraged to check out this story based on my first reply!


#11

You can press enter to break up dialogue but sometimes it’s better to have a completely different line written so that way you can have a more talking commands and it keeps your character’s mouth moving as the reader taps and reads, even if it’s the same talking command a couple of times in a row (I wouldn’t have the same talking command more than 3 times)

for example in of having
LARA (talk_happy_smile)
This story was inspired by Delerium my favorite book.
Of course though, this story won’t be exactly the same as the book.

have this:

             LARA (talk_happy_smile)
    This story was inspired by Delerium my favorite book.
             LARA (talk_happy_smile)
   Of course though, this story won't be exactly the same as the book.

that way her mouth won’t stop moving as the reader is still imagining her talking.

Also your character customization brings you to this whole other page I’ve only seen that a couple other times before and it was with limelight how’d you do this with ink?? :open_mouth: kudos to you!

Also not a necessary change just me offering info if you care to change it but when you have “” and the sentence ends you put the period inside the quotation mark, not outside for example:
Then he whispered, “I like pineapples.”
(period goes inside)
But!! Also, as someone who studies linguistics I know that written language was only created to reflect how we speak to give context so such a rule is really arbitrary. So long as you communicate ideas in a way that other fluent speakers understand (whether they pretend to or not bc let’s be real we all know that one jerk). You can do as you please! It’s not as if it’s an expository essay where you’d probably want to do the written standard. But enough of my rant back to the review!! lol

Is Jane supposed to be black? I see she has the dreadlock updo. I would advise against cultural appropriation it’s 2018…

But otherwise …the story you have is good so far. I’m interested in the plot and what exactly landed her in this situation of no feelings.

Again I would have Jack during his speech to her have another talking command so that his mouth is still moving while he is explaining how they added genetic material to her also you can always have a character (talk_neutral)
Also! I major in psychology and the Amygdala and frontal lobe also have a big role in emotions and emotional regulation so if want you can include that as well when the doctor talks about her brain functioning.

Also, if sounds don’t bother you I would suggest adding music or sounds such as heals clicking on the floor when Eliza walks etc. or whatever sounds you think would be good.
But you can add music by having for example:
music musice_daytimejazz

Ialos I would break up the dialogue when talking about the different Classes, I wouldn’t put Class C and Class B together. I’d also change to wording a bit and would instead have something like
NARRATOR
Class B is where the middle class lives.
Class C is where the poorest are forced to live.

Breaking up dialogue like this gives the words more impact. It makes the reader literally have to stop and focus on each piece of information separately.

Also I’d have [spoiler]
NARRATOR
I understand that you may think, “Why do they allow two people of the same gender to be together?”
“They can fall in love too.”

Also instead of saying that not allowed to be with “other” (it’s best to use other and not opposite as there are multiple genders and no true “opposites.”) gender is for story purposes. You could say that they seperate society by gender with the exception of family in order to maintain the teachings of gender roles. Or something along those lines since it may be about forcing people into their “niches” or “pre-determined roles” if that’s what you’re going for.
[/spoiler]
I’m assuming Richard is her dad? you can make him look like her by either giving the reader the option to customize him or like for my story I have the family stand screen center in zone 3 at the beginning of the scene and have their skin tone and whatever features I want change as well when the reader chooses a certain choice. Though! you’re customization screen is different than what I usually code so I’m not sure how that would work. You may just want to give the reader the option to customize their family as well. But yeah I’d highly suggest doing that because when I look at him all I think of is this

for the car scene I would change

@CHARACTERMAIN faces right
@CHARACTERMAIN spot x.xxx xx -xx
@RICHARD spot x.xxx xxx -xx

if you need a more detailed example as to what the numbers can be you can also go to create, click on your story directing help and then spot helper and change between characters and move them around and then copy the position it says at the bottom left. You can also use this to change how tall the characters are too.

I don’t know if this was on purpose or not but I liked how the Dad didn’t even bother to hug his daughter goodbye. It really emphasizes how in the world, lack of expression of attachment is idealized

Overall: I really like your story so far! I’m interested to see where it goes and I really like the world building.


#12

OMG Of course I stop reading right before Jamel says Kelly is hot for being ghetto loool
Btw! The cover for your story is really pretty and eye-catching did you make it yourself?

[spoiler] Dang Kelly went it for the kill… it really be ya own [/spoilers]
The bit about them just going for the free food was funny nc honestly me. I really like Nik he seems funny, though I hope later on we get the chance to customize him.

If you need help on how to let your reader customize the character here’s a template: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18S_ulQnYFpUNDUYI-H2ehsbw89ZHoXGn9gpl9XIOIU0/edit

Overall: I like the way this episode turned out. I definitely want to read more and I’m interested in the characters. I thought the directing was really good. Though in the initial scene I was a bit confused as to why all of those people where there. I would suggest maybe using another background like the int. of a bar or maybe if you want to keep it outside
EXT. CITY PICINC AREA OL - DAY
EXT. SPANISH TOWNSQUARE 4 - DAY
EXT. SCULPTURE PARK - DAY

After talking to you and getting more of an idea of where you plan to take your character development I have to say I really like your story! It’s funny, has main poc characters and is generally playful and has nice natural flowing dialogue, can’t wait to read more! :smile:


#13

Title: The Most Powerful Scream

Genre: Drama/Comedy

Description: Tally is a mute trying to find her voice again. She suddenly gains the attention of the whole school when she starts speaking again and befriends Alexander Crawford.

Story Link: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/4730912379633664

Especially want comments on: Do you like the characters and development?


#14

Title: Ravenwolf Lane
Genre: Romance
Description: Olive Owens is a normal girl until Leon Ravenwolf moves to town. His presence unlocks her path to destiny along with secrets about herself and her family.
Story Link: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/4611799802839040
Especially want comments on: This is my first time writing a animated story or using coding. I only have one chapter I just finished tonight but I just want to see if it’s interesting to anyone at all. Most stories I read on Episode suck me in or make me want to read more. Since it’s my own story I’m biased and would like an outside perspective. Thank you @clarkies!


#15

Hey! I’ve just spent weeks revamping all the chapters After getting the hang of the coding and I would love any feedback you could give xx

Story Title : The Art of The Deal

Author : GraceX
Style : Ink
Episodes : 10 ongoing

Genre: Action/Comedy/ Romance

Link:http://episodeinteractive.com/s/4622710791208960

Story: Isobel lives a secret life but is captured by Dark Chaos, a gang with a twist. Fighting for the greater good! But have there lives crossed before?


#17

Thank you! I appreciate it! I will definitely keep those tips in mind! :heart:


#18

Nice thread! Here’s my story, thank you in advance!

Title: Demon God

Genre: Fantasy

Description: He starved himself for three hundred years in order to abide by a woman’s promise. Everyone in Devildom is waiting for him to die.

Story Link: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/4678673313693696

Especially want comments on: How do you feel when reading it?


#19

Oh Wow, thank You! Sorry about just now reading your review, I’ve been busy. But I have been thinking about doing some customization for him in the future once I finally finish the story. Thank you so much!! :blush::blush:

And I did make the cover myself, however I used the picture of the girl from an app called doodle face and fixed up the cover using Picsart.


#20

I really like your introduction! It’s definitely attention grabbing and immerses me right away. Good job!

I was kinda confused that Vera was supposed to be talking when you had
NARRATOR (VERA)
You’d have better luck talking to a wall.
I think it would be better to have the speechbubble to be a normal talking one and to have it the tail at top right
(btw still adding more to review, accidentally prematurely posted this so I’m editing this post and adding more)
I like the @pause for a beats that you have in the dialogue. It gives it a realistic flow and adds emphasis when needed.

I’m laughing so hard at Vera’s face when she thinks “stoopid is, stoopid duz.” lol

The Notepad part is so cool!! Iike how you have it up on screen and the dialogue in Narrator format on the paper as the characters pass the notebook. Very creative!!

“Dude that’s deep shit”
“BRUUUHHH”
I’m literally dead.
This story is honestly so funny. I love it.

I really like how respectful Tally’s sisters are of her feelings.
And this is just a suggestion one that only reflects a personal point of view but I think you should try out “I’m so sorry…” instead of just “I’m sorry…” I think it could add a bit more weight to her voice but it’s also fine the way it is! For Irina the dark either of the skintones Chestnut or Sable would be better than the one you have. Just being black myself, I’ve also found Mocha and the skin tone Dark to have like weird grey undertones that kinda makes the person look dead? Like it’s not super noticeable or anything but it’s just something I’ve always noticed about those two skin tones. I think Chestnut and Sable which are more richer and vibrant colors with gold/red undertones look more realistic and pleasing to the eye than what I’m assuming is the skin tone “Dark” you have for her? Like people are that shade in real life but! Not with that grey undertone. I really wish episode would tweak it a little lol.

Terrance… my initial thought is that he seems kind of like a stereotype. I really hope he’s not just going to end up being comic relief and a character that constantly risks himself for others without the same happening in return for him. Meanwhile he may end up to have no goals of his own but somehow continuously coming to the rescue when he stays at most a side character, hardly involved in the main plot.
Because I’ve seen that a lot and it is trope role. And as writers we can do better! :smile:
Also. About the “Queen” and then the “You mean King” line. I fine that as something with underlying transphobic message. Like whether Terrance is meant to be trans or not. Or whether you are aware of the message it sends. You have trans readers. Trans people exist. And the whole “oh you don’t mean that gender. Actually you mean this gender” just makes me cringe internally.
As writers we may not always intend for certain messages but it is important that we are aware and take into account how work can be interpreted and how it may align with and/or validate certain mindsets, even without us doing it on purpose.

Also assuming Terrance is gay I’m loling at the fact that all the queer people so far have dyed hair bc tbh same. My bi ass is itching to dye again as we speak.

Holy cheese! :joy:

You directing is really good but I would suggest having your characters walk a but slower by having something like
@TALLY spot 1.280 250 0
@TALLY walks to spot 1.280 -50 0 in 3
or something like that. But the key part is having the “in x(seconds)” and just previewing it and playing around until you have a pace you like. Unless the characters are meant to look like they’re rushing off.
Instead of characters being at 0 you can have the characters be at - so that way they’re lower and it looks like they’re sitting in the chair
for example
@TALLY spot 1.280 80 -30
*someone instead of some one (But also as student of linguistics, English is shit, the written standard is classist non-sense and writing is only meant to reflect how you speak not be standard for it, so do you!)
I don’t think you should make fun of sluts, women’s sexuality shouldn’t be demonized. But if it’s cheating you mean then I think you should say that instead.

ITALLYAN :weary::joy::joy:

I really liked the first episode! Tally is funny, interesting and her family is really cool. Can’t wait to read more!


#21

I’d have
NARRATOR
I didn’t know it at the time
But bauce of Ravenwolf Lane
I discovered who I was supposed to be.

(or instead of the last line I added you could have destiny or what you have now) But! My main point is that I think you should break ubp the dialogue a bit to give each part more impact. It makes it so the reader only focuses on and takes in each piece of information at a time, therefore making it stand out more in their mind! :grin:

Lmao!!! I’m so glad we get to customize him because when you said gorgeous and then showed this old wrinkly guy my soul momentarily left my body

Your female character customization has such a nice neat template! It’s organized so that you can see the face the whole time, I like that! Though I would suggest maybe having an option like you do at the end of the dressing game. It’d be something like
label avatar_end
@zoom reset
NARRATOR
Are you sure this is the look for you?
choice
"Yes, I look perfect!"{
@OLIVE exits right
goto story_start_0
} “No, I have to change something.”{
goto avatar_0
}

avatar_0 would be the label right before the start of the customization
story_start would be the label right after the customization is done

I find that sometimes the dialogue is a bit on the nose, meaning that it’s kind of dialogue that explains in a way that it unimmerses the reader and is kind of what you’d expect someone to say if someone was explaining something to you. Whereas generally reading should be more voyeuristic. The reader is peaking in and watching someone’s life as it is. Not watching someone explain their life. So to avoid this for example instead of having

“She’s the most popular and mean girl in school. By lunch time everyone will know about it.” try dialogue that’s a bit more natural given the situation, yet still informs the reader. Like I’d have this instead: “Great Stacie saw that. My reputation will be over before the lunch bell rings. What’s left of it anyway.” You don’t have to use that verbatim but the point is that with those 3 sentences I’m able to inform the reader that:

  1. This isn’t a nice girl
  2. She’s going to gossip about me
  3. She’s known for gossiping
  4. She’s popular enough for most of, if not, the whole school finding out
  5. The main character isn’t that popular but still cares about what little reputation they do have

And I’m able to give all that information to readers with about the same amount of original lines and I can do so in a way that’s more natural of a thought you’d expect to have someone hear, meanwhile I’m also giving character information in a way that allows the reader to understand rather than be told.

I hope I explained that well! It can be hard thing to get at times and to catch when reading your own work.
By the way your character placement in scene and directing is really good! It all looks natural and flows well. That can be really hard to do, so good job!
Though I would have Olive and Erin a bit closer for the hug they’re kind of far apart
I’d have

OLIVE (talk_happy_smile)
I can’t wait to be done with this place.
instead of the “Well I’m excited to be finished with high school” for two reasons. The one you currently have doesn’t have her mouth moving as she speaks because the action isn’t one of the talk_ ones. Also I find the current “I’m excited to be finished with high school!” again to be a bit on the nose. It kind of tells the reader what she feels instead of having the reader understand how she feels
same with the next few pieces of dialogue I find them a bit on the nose and spoon feedy of information. Sometimes as writers we can’t give all the information we want right away, simply because it’d be more natural for the progression of the story to have information slowly revealed.
I’d have @OLIVE spot 1.280 50 -10 or something along those lines to have her lower in the seat so that it looks like she’s sitting. In order to find out what looks best you can go on mobile and go to create and then play your story, go to navigation then choose this scene. Then you press director help and press spot helper and you can zoom the character in and out as well as move them around and then in the bottom left corner it will tell you what to type into the code. And then also don’t forget to do it for Erin too! :blush: Also by messing around with the zooming characters in and out (i.e. changing it from 1.280 to a higher or lower number) you can mess around with height and make some characters taller or shorter than other ones! :smile:
Also I think it would be best to have Olive appear shocked and then cut to the mystery boy and then cut back to her have her think (That’s the guy from my dream.) I think that way you can show the reader what she sees so we’re clued in and not confused when she suddenly claims he’s there.
I’d insert a @pause for a beat after Tom says “Aw man” I was laughing btw when he said that because same lmao

I think your characters are cute and I do want to what will end up happening, however I think adding in a bit more suspense as well as the main character having a bit more skepticism as to her situation. Like instead of "Oh that’s him that’s boy from my dream! " when she first sees him, you could have her just be like “What the hell?? Am I seeing things.” The reader already knows it’s the guy from the dream. Having an “Am I really seeing what I think I’m seeing” kind of thing from the start rather than at the end sets up a realistic skepticism rather than acceptance and reiteration of something the reader is already aware of (that it’s the boy from the dream).
Also! I’m not sure as far as where the plot will end up but I thought this was going to be a werewolf story and a lot of people that click on it will probably be expecting the same thing. So if it is going to develop into that I would include a couple of hints here and there like maybe when she’s getting ready for school in the morning she hears a wolf howell from outside and she’s like “Those wolves are always so annoying” or something like that. Just something that gives a little hint to the reader that it will be a werewolf story if that’s where you’re planning to go with it.
That concludes my notes! I hope this didn’t come off as harsh. I really do hope you continue writing this and when you make updates let me know so I can check it out again! :blush:


#22

Thank you so much for the feedback! And actually, I should change the King/Queen comment because Terrance is going to transition into a girl XD I’m not transphobic or anything. I should’ve changed that a while ago. Thank you for pointing that out. And I will definitely change Irina’s skin tone. Terrence isn’t a stereotype, I wanted to include diversity in my story especially because my MC is white. I don’t see too many trans people in stories, so I’d figure having a character who transitions would be nice. Well not nice, but refreshing and inclusive. But thank you so much!