Thorough Feedback and Tips

Hi, @clarkies!

Thank you very much for creating this thread, this is very kind of you! Constructive criticism is exactly what I am looking for!

And I must say you are posting SOME REVIEWS! I would definitely love to get one of those, please. :joy::joy::joy:

If you are interested in reading a story with several mini-games and where CHOICES REALLY MATTER then, please, give my story a try. This is my first story ever but I have put a lot of effort in it and would highly appreciate any feedback! I promise, the story will keep you hooked :blush:

My story details:

Name of story: H & V: Fate
Author: Alex Af
Genre: Thriller
Episodes: 4 (completed)
Summary of story: Young ambitious journalist hunting down a powerful tycoon who has made a fortune based on lies. But who really is a villain here? Choices matter.
Link to story:

Saving Anna
I already like the first line and the background. It grabbed my attention immediately.
I noticed you had a little glitch maybe may the pan slower by having
@cut to zone 1
@pause for a beat
@pan to zone 3 in 4
@pan to zone 1 in 4
@pause for a beat
and then have dialogue. This will help with the pacing also make give the chance for the reader to take everything in a bit more instead of just one to the next to the next to the next ect.
I would have
sound phone_ring
@pause for .8
then have Anna talk
this way you give Anna a believable reaction time to her phone ringing
sometimes if you want a really fast reaction time @pause for .4 also works. I typically go with @pause for .8 though if I just want a normal reaction time.
I would suggest including a character customization. Here’s a link to some character customization templates as well as others.
Your character Alma is acting like a stereotype. Change this. Stereotypes aren’t creative, interesting nor are they what capable writers do. Also It seems as Anna isn’t denying her for any real reason other than being a bit headstrong. Maybe you can try making this scene funny by 1. not having her be a stereotype and 2. Maybe have her say a bit more about herself that makes her not seem like a good roommate. And do this without it relating to stereotypes.
This story is honestly racist and I am not going to continue this review.

Hi! I’d really appreciate a review, if you had enough free time. If you could, I’d like if you focused on the directing. BTW, I’m in the middle of revamping most of the story, and I’ve improved episodes 1-7ish, so some of the episodes in the middle won’t complete sense. :slight_smile:

Title: Gang Affiliated
Genre: Romance
Description: Teenage girl Jupiter is suddenly forced into the gang life, followed by drama, trauma, and sexy gang leaders.
Story Link:

Hi! I love your coverart!! It looks really good! It draws my attention immediately.
OOOOOH I like the music with the fading in visuals. Good job!
Lol I like the part with the author in the beginning, it’s really funny!
I would maybe not have music in the background of that scene but just sound instead so it isn’t too dramatic of a mood change when the story starts or I would have the music fade out by having
volume music 0 6 or something
At the beginning of your story I would absolutely include a warning for the mention of rape and abuse. You want your story to be respectful to people who have actually experienced these things. To do this warning people before they read so they don’t experience panic attacks, flashbacks etc would be good.
I would add in a @pause for a beat before you zoom in on her and have her say “where am I?”
Also I wouldn’t have her ask “where am I?” and then have the dialogue where she says she didn’t care. Maybe instead of the dialogue have her search and @pause for 2 then fade to black then have the INT. BLACK - DAY with the narration dialogue.
Also I think maybe having her be a bit unsure of her being okay would be a bit more realistic as well as add mystery and make the reader wonder about her more. Having her think “I knew I’d be okay” kinda alludes to what I’ve mentioned in another review which is what I call “Author insight” It takes out of immersion of the story because we know what the author is going to do because you told us through the mc in a way that provides information that a typical person in that situation would not likely come to that conclusion. She was just kidnapped and has been tortured for a long time. She has finally escaped and has been running to the point of exhaustion. Her anxiety is likely really high and being abused and controlled that long will make someone believe the person who is hurting them is more capable than what they are. This type of fear is why a lot of victims end up staying because they think it is hopeless. So instead of her thinking “I know I will be okay” because she managed to get away maybe have her sill be scared but she’s too exhausted to keep going even if she wanted to. I think including that instead would be really impactful.
Your directing and spot placement is amazing honestly.
For when her and bff laugh I would have maybe her friend laugh then @pause for .4 and then have MC laugh that way it’s not synchronized, unless of course you want it to be synchronized on purpose! That also works too if you’re trying to show how intuned they are with one another. I really like their friendship. They had a brief interaction but it’s super cute!!!
She says “um” when talking to Archie is the a “wait let me think” um or an “ummm why are you talking to me?” um? If it’s the former I would have her maybe do like a think action
Also I would include a gain if the reader chooses that he’s sketchy
You can include between the dialogue of the choice like gain sketchy
and then when Archie is on the phone you can have
if (sketchy) {
Yeah, I think she might have been a bit suspicious.
This is no good. do better next time. Archie
} else {
No, I don’t think she suspected a thing.

Also the story is still in the begging so if you want you could have something like

@ YOUNG ARCHIE -2 for each choice that is suspicious of him and then have
if (YOUNG ARCIE < -2) {
dialogue about her being suspicious here
I put a space after young so it wouldn’t tag the user on the forum.
The scream lines up really good with the mouth good job!!
There’s a bag over her head maybe she doesn’t know it was a van. Instead you could have her describe what she feels since she has to be going off of that.
So far I really like the first chapter!!! I definitly plan on reading more.
Also make sure you include an @zoom reset after to be continued that way the part when the author comes in isn’t super zoomed in

I couldn’t see the large cover art because I couldn’t find it when searching for it but the small cover art is really good! Nice editing! :smile:
All of your backgrounds look really good!! Did you find them yourself?
For the dialogue in the beginning and also in general try not the repeat the content words. It makes the dialogue seem repetitive. So for example instead of having the word race twice maybe have beat or thump or stutter etc. replace one of the races. Like have “There’s nothing like the shock of adrenaline that danger brings. It makes me heart pound like nothing else.”
I would break up the dialogue a bit more before the phone vibrates. It’ll help with the pacing because otherwise it seems like she’s mentioning all this heavy stuff and just kinda rushing through it like doesn’t matter. Breaking up the dialogue makes the reader focus on each peace of individual information by itself. Therefore giving the information more weight.
For the text part the I’m here is just a bit out of screen on my view. If it’s an overlay I would try moving it down a bit more if it’s not then it’s not too bad I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I can still at least make it out.
Also I would include a character customization. Here is a link to some templates as well as other resources.
Btw the texting scene looks so good!!! Good job!!
I would honestly choose a different dark skin tone for Derek, some of the darker skin tones have a really weird grey undertone to them. Chestnut, Rosewood, Sable and Umber don’t have these weird grey undertones. Dark, Mocha and Walnut do. I would use Dark, Mocha or Walnut for like a vampire. If Derek is supposed to be a vampire then I’d say leave it. Though if he is supposed to be black I would give him a natural black hairstyle like cornrow bun, shaved sides, short fade, long braids, natural curls, ect.
You have You let a stranger take you a picture. I’d have “You let a stranger take your picture?” instead
Is the girl in the background in the line supposed to be black? If not then I would make her black. Cultural appropriation is honestly gross and a lot of readers don’t like it. Usually when I see it in stories I stop reading because I 99% find more racist stuff later :confused:
Your characters walk over each other in the scene to the nightclub a way to avoid this is by having something like
&YOU walks to spot 1.280 210 0 in 4
@VIOLET walks to spot 1.280 260 0 in 6 THEN VIOLET faces left
or something along those line. I’d to preview it myself but generally messing around with the time it takes the characters to walk to a spot helps with that.
I find nathan making the quote makes with his hands when saying exciting life a bit redundant. She was joking when she called her life exciting so for him to further point it out as a means of sarcasm doesn’t make sense when she already believes the same as he does about her life not being exciting. Usually when people do the finger quote thing they are making fun of something that the other person believes. But she already doesn’t believe her life is exciting. Also generally I found what he said here to be a bit too on the nose. Meaning that it kind of spoon feeds the reader what is going to happen. It makes it too obvious. Also it’s as if you the author are just saying this rather than believable dialogue that someone might say. Unless Nathan is trying to obviously imply he is talking about himself and is therefore really full of himself. Also if Nathan is supposed to be a love interest I would suggest a character customization for him too. It will help with immersion for a reader to be able to make character that they themselves find to be attractive looking.
Also I tapped a bit fast when reading but I think Nathan said “Of course you give.” I think you should change this to “Of course you are.”
The creep!!! you do a really good job of building suspense when he follows her home. Good job!
I really like this story so far!! Good job!

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In the beginning a walk to describe your story would be anachronic! :blush: My story is a bit anachronic too since it is in a different world! :grin:
Yay character customization!!! As a poc this is really important to me. Stories that include this automatically get bonus points in my book.
Though I would suggest maybe another format like the ones here that way you can have family members in zone 3 who also change according to how the character looks. Other templates also include more hair styles which are nice if you have natural hair like me!
I like the backgrounds!! I would maybe have the pans to zone 3 be a bit slower though so the reader can have more time to take it in. It is the first time they are seeing this world so make sure you give them a moment to look at it! A way you can do this is having @pan to zone 3 in 6
6 being the number of seconds
I would include some background sounds of nature and stuff. Like sounds of water running for the waterfall and sounds of people talking in scene with the street. You can do this by having going to sound underneath the story preview and then you can listen to and choose your own sound there. You can include in your script by having for example
sound phone_vibrate
and if you want a sound to repeat over and over you can have
music phone_vibrate
and you can have sounds and music playing at the same time though you cannot have more than one sound at once or more than music at once. If you try to place another one it will just replace the sound or music that is already playing.
I would also have @cut to zone 2 a the part outside the castle. And I would have it pause for a bit longer. Like maybe have @pause for 4
then include a fade out like
@transition fade out black in 3
I will put a space after the @ sign so it doesn’t tag the user but do not include the space in your actual script
I would also have the king and Queen stand a bit closer to one another they are married. You could have
@ MALIA spot 1.280 120 0
@ EDWARD spot 1.280 180 0
the first number (in this case 1.280) is the height of the character you can play around with this to make characters taller or shorter than others. the second number is how far into the screen they are 0 being left and 300 being right. 160 is the middle. The last number (in this case 0) is how high a character is. Also remember for these numbers you can also have characters be in the negative as well. - character heights will make the characters appear upside down. You can play with what this looks like by going on mobile clicking create and then directing helper and then press spot helper and dragging you character around screen as well as making them bigger and smaller by pinching in or pinching out and then copying what it says in the bottom left of the screen. You can also do this on your computer previewer as well. And instead use your mouse to move the character around. There is also filter, zoom and overlay helper as well once you click director helper.
Also if you want to include a fade in but don’t want the to randomly pop up after the fade in you can use the & instead of at so it all happens at once
for example
&MALIA spot 1.280 120 0
&EDWARD spot 1.280 180 0
@transition fade in black in 3
Make sure you have “talk_” in front of every piece of dialogue otherwise characters mouths won’t move when they are speaking.
So try not to have

   MALIA (talk_excited)
I met the farmer the other day.
I've decided to help her rebuild her farm.

instead have:

  MALIA (talk_excited)
I met the farmer the other day.
  MALIA (talk_suggest)
I've decided to help her rebuild her farm.

Also with the scene with the baby I would have King Edward face right after she holds the baby
also a trick I do have characters look down is I zoom in on their face and have them talk_read_phone_loop with the phone out of screen but this way you can have them talk while looking down and then when you @zoom reset have them go to idle or whatever action you want them to do.
She dropped the baby!! :joy: the take two part was really funny, good job!
You don’t have edward hold the baby until he says stay safe have the command for him holding the baby right before you have him start the baby holding action. Also I would have her start the baby holding action with the baby right after your remove the baby from him and then have him do the talk_arms_crossed action
How does Elvira know the baby’s name? Is she magic and used her magic to figure this out? If so I would have Edward react and be like “How do you already know her name?” and then have her respond with how she figured it out. Also I wouldn’t have Elvira use the exact same wording as the king when referring to his wife and child. It’s not something he is likely to have said often for people to know he says that seeing as his daughter was just born. Maybe have Elvira call them something else. Unless she establishes that she used magic to listen to the conversation and if that is the case maybe put quotation marks around it like “two precious angels” Also I would have to zoom be a bit higher, reading it on mobile their faces are out of screen.
There’s an overlay for a baby crib you can use and overlays are bit harder to do than other stuff but you can use directing helper to help with that there are also some really good threads on how to use overlays. This one helped me here.
Have Malia change layers before she runs. Also the witch is magical I think having her take the baby another way would be more exciting.
Overall: I’d include some music and sounds to immerse the reader a bit more. I’d also have the baby get kidnapped by the made another way. Like maybe she tells Malia the king is in danger and that he needs her. Then you have Malia struggle with whether she will go or not and then have the maid say she’ll watch the baby or something? Or you could have Elvira use her powers to take the baby away. I liked this story, though the plot reminded me of Maleficent. Try to find ways to differentiate your plot and your characters from that one. Show us more of the characters thoughts, their uncertainties, their overall goals. I think this will help. Also if the king and queen are supposed to be MC’s parents you can have then be customized off screen. Look at one of my earlier reviews for an example of how I did this with my story. Good luck writing! :grin:

I really like your cover art!
I don’t like that I can’t customize the skin tone of my character. I usually stop reading when I can’t customize a character to at least be poc. Being poc myself and not growing up with a lot of representation let alone good representation, making characters that look like myself are important to me.
Your overlays are really good! Though is MC supposed to be in the first scene in the servant room?
She didn’t show up in mine.
You may have to change her placement so she is higher in scene if she’s supposed to be laying down on the bed or something.
Instead of “crash” a person with just one word have “destroy” a person with just one word! :blush:
Also so far your english is amazing!!! You did a really good job of writing this!!
With run_cry it doesn’t look so characters freeze while walking off screen. Find having them walk to a spot that is 20 less than their current spot in .3 is good for making it look like a loop. This is what I have in my own story
@CHARACTER walks to spot 1.240 71 0 in .3 AND CASSANDRA does it while run_cry
@CHARACTER walks to spot 1.240 51 0 in .3 AND CASSANDRA does it while run_cry
@CHARACTER walks to spot 1.240 31 0 in .3 AND CASSANDRA does it while run_cry
@CHARACTER walks to spot 1.240 11 0 in .3 AND CASSANDRA does it while run_cry
@CHARACTER walks to spot 1.240 -11 0 in .3 AND CASSANDRA does it while run_cry
@CHARACTER walks to spot 1.240 -39 0 in .3 AND CASSANDRA does it while run_cry
@CHARACTER walks to spot 1.240 -49 0 in .3 AND CASSANDRA does it while run_cry
@CHARACTER walks to spot 1.240 -69 0 in .3 AND CASSANDRA does it while run_cry
@CHARACTER walks to spot 1.240 -90 0 in .33 AND CASSANDRA does it while run_cry

I put at character so it wouldn’t tag Cassandra on the forum

Generally I would break up the dialogue a bit more. This will help with the pacing of the story. It will also help with immersion as well. so for example have
Such an ending is scary to watch,
But I know that in real life I am the master of my own fate.
And my decisions and choices will inevitably get me where I want.

Also make sure to include the word “an” I put it in bold.
I really like your point system and how you can have your character become bad or good!! It makes me want to replay the eps and try out other options. This is really cool! I haven’t seen any other stories that do this yet.
I would have at least a pause for a beat when MC goes off screen and changes clothes so she isn’t changing so instantly
Brian Fox looks like Derek from Adrenaline, was this on purpose? :sweat_smile:
I would change all the names of the shows from being in all caps to just having the first letter of each name capitalized. That’s usually how proper names are written in English.
The last “Or…” :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy: omgggg
Instead of fraudster you can put fraud and that will have the same meaning but if you want to put fraudster as a word that MC is making up to describe him you can keep that too! It also works!
you should have “quite a lot of research” instead of “quite a research”
I really like the part with the clock!!! Good job!
I noticed some minor glitches when starting the scenes there’s a way to fix this. I’m not sure what the exact problem you may have in your scenes but I’m guessing it may be the overlays?
You can have & in front of the overlay commands instead of @ and it will make everything happen instantly! :smile:
I chose the nice option for dealing with Branna in the cafe but when I see her fox she is still mean to me as if I had chosen mean reply? Is this on purpose or a coding error? If it’s an error I would suggest having a gain for each choice and then having an if statement.
So for example
“Be nice” {
I’m sorry about the wait ma’am
gain nice_to_branna
“Be mean” {
You and your hair dye can wait 2 seconds.
gain mean_to_branna
then have
if (nice_to_branna) {
I guess you can go.
} else {
Just like how you didn’t have time for me at the cafe this morning?

I like mini-game where Branna s dancing!

This story is really interesting! I would just work on the things I mentioned above as well as adding in character customization.

1 Like

Hey I’m not reviewing the second ep but just reading it bc I’m nosey :eyes: lol but! You should have him say “After all you get paid good money for what I want” I’d have that instead of what you have now. But generally paid should come before very

Also “he’s mistaken me for the wrong person”. If you want generally you can inbox me your dialogue if you want me to look over your script and stuff. I’d be happy to work with you as an editor so long as you give me credit

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Also ppl in the US usually say in the US instead of USA

I like your covers! They look really nice!
I would include some som sound at least at the part when she is getting ready for school. Also I would put n the option for a character customization.
I would have MC maybe walk to the table or something and tinker_rear_loop then eat the cupcake.
I would make MC a bit smaller when she is outside the house, she is about as tall as the door. The bus part with the overlay is really good!
I notices Nolan kinda pops up when the scene is fading in. Make sure to have &NOLAN spot .766 190 103 or whatever your spot placement is, I just made that up lol
but make sure you have that and that it’s before the transition fade in
But having all these people in one scene is really hard to code but it makes the scene look realistic! Good job!!
When you zoom in on Nolan the filter isn’t there I would maybe not clear the filter and just zoom in on Nolan in 0 after you have the zoom in on Carter though include a @pause for a beat after you are done with the dialogue introducing Carter before you zoom in on Nolan that way it won’t be too abrupt. And then maybe another @pause for a beat after the zoom.
I would have Carter walk back to his place in a certain amount of time after he is slapped.
like @CARTER walks to spot .692 220 190 in 3
In the next scene Carter is small ad behind Nolan maybe have him closer to the right side of the screen and have the first person who walks into screen walk behind to the spot over where he is. I would also have the second person moved to layer 1 offscreen then walk from a spot offscreen to onscreen. You can do that by having something like
@CHARACTER spot .991 -90 80
@CHARACTER walks to spot .991 75 80 in 4

Though generally for this scene I wouldn’t have the background characters. The desks and tables are really big which leads to believe it is closer to screen than the placement of the characters is telling me. So it just ends up looking like the desks and chairs are super super hug or that the characters are abnormally zoomed out instead of just in the background. For this scene I would have MC and Nolan be larger than you would typically make them and then have everyone else in the background be a normal size and just walking in the background to their seat.
Also something I learned is that layers can be tricky!
In order to do layers so it actually does what you want you have to move all of characters layers no just one characters layer.
For example you have the third girl come on scene (the one with the mohawk like hair) when she is off screen you have to have this
@GIRL3 moves to layer 1
@CARTER moves to layer 3
@NOLAN moves to layer 4
@JUPITER moves to layer 5

and if you want one of them change layers you have to type all of that over again with everyone at the new layers you want them to be at
When he grabs her hand and you zoom in I would make sure Jupiter is at layer 5 (the layer closest to screen) with Carter at layer 4
And then I would also change her spot so she’s a bit higher and more towards the right when Carter grabs her wrist. Spots change instantly so you don’t have to worry about seeing the character glitching if you have the spot change right after or before the zoom.
Her face after he said he wanted her was priceless lol. Good use of zooms in order to have her do the flirt fingersnap before the camera shows her! Lol
I would generally have Jupiter and Carter be a bit lower in their seats. You can do this by having
@CARTER spot 1.280 280 -50
@JUPITER spot 1.280 30 -50

or at whatever spot works best, you can use Directing helper on the preview on your computer or on the app in order to make figure out the exact placement you’d like! :grin:
Make sure you copy the spot carter was in before when you cut back to them and Carter screams.
Um why is that teacher kissing him??? He’s actually a kid??? Like that’s straight up a depiction of pedohphilia no matter if carter initiates it or not. It is always the adults responsibility to reject the advances of a child. Always!
Sorry but I will not be continuing this review.

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Thanks so much for the review! I will fix the errors you listed and put your suggestions to serious consideration! :slight_smile:

Hey also I’m reading p 2, not doing a review of it, just reading but is Shawn not black? If he’s supposed to be white but with a tan I would make his skin lighter…
But having a black main character would be nice!! Maybe you should make his mom black?
And just generally I would look more into the reactions of someone who has typically been abused. The way it’s written right now the abuse seems to kind of be glossed over. Also I hope Archie isn’t a love interest he is an abuser as well. Someone who has been kidnapped and held hostage is not in a position to be able to consent to one of their captors. Being in a situation like that creates stockholm syndrome. And he’s not nice just for abusing her less than her brothers do. He still aided in her kidnapping and still didn’t tell anyone where she was for years. He is just as much as an abuser and manipulator as his older brothers are.
Please keep in mind your audience are a lot of young people. As writers we are responsible for the messages me put out there and things we teach people.

Dear @clarkies,

Thank you SO MUCH for this absolutely AMAZING review!

You are also the second person to like my cover art :wink: As I see now — this style is definitely not in demand :cry:

As for customisation: I don’t know if you have read past episode 1 but the reason as to why the customisation is limited is the story concept. The MC is supposed to have “angelic looks”, that’s why she has very pale skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. Brian later calls her Ice Queen hinting that she is not the delicate flower she pretends to be. I completely understand your urge for self-expression and I totally support it but in this case I made a hard decision to sacrifice customisation for the plot’s sake.

Yes, Brian is totally inspired by Derek :wink: I was so upset Derek wasn’t a love interest that I decided to create one for myself :joy::joy::joy:

I put & with overlays and I tries a bazillion of other things but they are still not 100% perfect. So if you could have a look at the script and give me some advice that would be absolutely amazing.

I have also proofread the story like a 100 times but there are still typos and small annoying mistakes which I shouldn’t have made. Grrrr. I would de absolutely delighted to work with you as an editor with all the credits, of course. I just wonder if you would have time for that at all as I imagine how loaded you must be.



But you’re saying that poc don’t look angelic? Only people with features associated with whiteness are angelic? :confused:

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No, not at all, but the nickname the girl gets is “Ice Queen”, so the MC is supposed to have “cold looks”. Also, “angelic” is usually associated with the white colour and pastel colours, so here is where it comes from. But I agree with you, there may be many other interpretations. As I said, it was a hard decision, so if it does, actually, make others feel uncomfortable, I would like to apologise and thank you for highlighting this. :blue_heart::blue_heart::blue_heart:

Thank you so much for this! I really needed help with the music etc and this helped me a lot! Thank youuu!! :heart:

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I would love to get some feedback on my first story!

Author Name: Mariana Fidalgo
Story Title: My Semester Abroad
Genre: Drama
Description: Mia Travis is starting the adventure of her life when she gets accepted as an exchange student in Germany. Love, drama, sorrow and friendship. How is your heart going to take it?
Instagram: mariana_fidalgo
Episodes: 4 (more coming)


Hi Clarkies,
I would really appreciate feedback on my first story. Honest and constructive criticism is something I really need in order to grow as a writer. Here are the details of my story:
Title: H & V: Lie to me
Author: Alexandra Mar
Genre: Mystery/Drama with romantic subplots
Description: After only serving 3 years of a 25 to life sentence, Aiden Suarez is mysteriously released. But wait, what’s that? Oh right, “Aiden Suarez” no longer exists.

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Hi, this is my first story and I hope you guys could give it a read!
Author: feck.b
Instagram: feck.bx (feck.b is my old account and I have no access to it.)
Category: action/adventure
Description: She runs in tears, bumping into a “school friend” stabbing someone. Forced to join in a British gang,What Will Haunt Her Now?

1 Like