Today I’ve decided to create this because I would like to receive some opinions about what readers and other authors see as mistakes or something that they do not like or even annoys them in a story. You are welcome to mention things you like in stories too. Just everything that comes into your mind. Please, do not mention story titles and authors as m idea is to help each other not critisize. thank you in advance!
I often see these mistakes in stories by new authors:
Not using layers in the script, so background characters walk in front of the main “cast”. Or kissing animations going wrong because the MC and LI are on the same layer.
Using @ instead of & This often causes glitches, where overlays and characters are popping up randomly when a new scene is introduced.
spot direction has gone wrong . I see this so often, where some characters are insanely large or tiny. I’m not talking about the taller LI compared to the MC, but rather when you use a background and the character is taller than the door sort of thing.
Things I like: I see more and more new authors really caring about the cinematic feel of the story. Where the authors are paying a lot of attention to detail and uses overlays to really portray how that scene would be if it was a movie.
Woo, here we go. I’m a bit of a critical person, so this might get a bit nit picky. I don’t mean to offend anyone by the way, as some of those things are just personal opinions. Things I don’t like, that either annoy me or make me give up on a story:
- Author intros: when the author themselves decides to show up in the beginning of the story, in a black screen or something, and tells me it’s their first story or the entire backstory of the MC. It’s even worse when they start fighting with their main character. I get it, it’s supposed to be funny, but it never truly is and it just puts me off the story. I want to read a story and get to know the characters, not listen to ramblings that add nothing. Just feels like there’s little planning.
- Very obvious/frequent grammar mistakes: like, hey I get it. English is hard and it’s not my first language either, but if you’re making grammar mistakes and can’t write basic sentences that make me understand what it is the characters are saying, I won’t keep reading because I’ll be lost. A good tip for this would be to find a beta reader/proof reader to make sure you’re all good. We all make mistakes sometimes but it’s important to watch out!
- Attempt at sexual assault as a plot device: okay, you want to make the LI a knight in shining armor for the MC, but why does it have to be over something like that? And why does she have to be a damsel in distress? And also why is it ALWAYS that same damn Episode alley background? Maybe MCs should just stay away from that place, lol. Which leads me to…
- Weak MCs: please, for the love of God, stop making female MCs bland and always crying or needing the help of men. I know women like that exist, and it’s okay, but it’s very annoying to not even be given the chance to react and have to wait for the LI to swoop in and save her. Where are my strong female leads at???
- Bad directing/no spot directing/characters popping up after the background: I made a lot of those mistakes when I first started coding, but there are plenty of tutorials to help. Also, please no “stands screen center/right/whatever”, it’s so weird! Good directing with zooms and overlays is always exciting to see and it makes me want to stay and read more.
- Glorifying abuse/making LI abusive: I’m not gonna mention a specific type of story, but I think we all know what I’m talking about. Please stop glorifying criminals and murderers, that’s creepy and just plain bad. I once had a LI full on put the MC in the hospital and still, he was a LI. Just noooooo.
- Choices that don’t matter: I personally only read stories with choices that matter and point system, however some people are okay without choices and that’s the writer’s decision. But please don’t put a choice for me to do something, then when I choose actually not let me do it. It’s annoying and makes me feel like an idiot, lol. If you don’t want choices just don’t put them.
- Random pregnancy twist: maybe I hate this one so much because when I’m reading with FULL CC, I feel like the MC is me. And I definitely don’t want kids, so when a writer pushes on me a pregnancy storyline halfway through a story and makes it all about that, I hate it. If it’s for the ending and the story is over, I can kind of accept it but if it’s chapter 15 out of 40, I’m out. Have those people NEVER heard of birth control? Or other choices that aren’t staying pregnant?
- First chapters that have no planning/only basic intros or useless stuff that doesn’t add to the plot: pretty self explanatory, but it’s so pointless to have your chapter start with the MC at school talking to her friends and then going home if that adds NOTHING to the plot. There has to be a reason your story is starting there, otherwise it’s just another boring day and no one wants to read that. Make me hooked by showing WHY the story started, and it’s even better if you end with a cliffhanger that makes us want more. Your first chapter is like a pilot for a TV Show, and it won’t get picked unless you make people interested.
Anyway! Sorry for this rant, lol. Here’s some stuff I like tho:
- Multiple LIs: I’m sure this isn’t that popular, but I like if a story has two LIs. I don’t like if it’s 4 and I’m dating all at once but having two is nice because I feel like I’m having a choice and not being forced onto anyone.
- Full CC: I love being able to customize the MC and the LIs, makes me feel much more invested in the story.
- Choices that matter: OMG, this is a must have for me! It’s really cool seeing the outcome of my choices and how it changes the story. After all, Episode is interactive and a game!
- Slow burn: give me that 15 chapters until they kiss shit, I’m a sucker for it. It’s always better to develop the romance well rather than having characters fall in love after 2 chapters. Nope!!!
There’s more but this is getting too long, lol. Hope it was helpful! Again, just trying to say some things I personally don’t like and hoping it might help.
I agree with these two points! Like give us a choice to fight or flight!
I’m always like, okay in real life I can’t fight a man cause I’m super weak physically, but at least let me run away or attempt to fight back. I really can’t stand the whole “savior LI” anymore…
Yes! Like even I can’t stand the “savior LI” thing. I am strong in real life that’s why I don’t like always having people to save me in a story.
Exactly!! I feel the same way, ugh
This relates to one of the mistakes that authors do in their stories. They create sassy characters and “bad girls” who ended up being weaker than other females or even men. Why is this a problem? because sometimes they talk back and defend themselves (or others) but other times they prefer to be “shy” and “not create problems”. I like unpredictable characters, but this is different.
You either create an unproblematic and quiet character or you create a strong one, it’s frustrating to see this contradiction. I don’t know if I explained myself correctly so I apologize.
My second mistake is the opposite of this… I dislike stories where they punish you for making “bad choices”. Authors should create different paths and each of them should be interesting and beneficial to the readers, the only exception for this “mistake” is if the authors give you the option to see different endings.
I get that some choices will make you lose points for obvious reasons, that’s not the problem. But I’ve seen some authors giving stupid choices that make you lose points so you buy them at the end of each chapter.
It’s boring to read a story where you can’t enjoy it because you are too afraid of messing the end or ruining relationships.
I like to say something on the opsite of this, a strong woman, does not mean a mean bit*ch there insult people, are rude and hit evryone. I often see people say they have a strong female, and then she act like this. we want a strong woman who can stand up for herself, not one who is abusive,
Oh yes! Definitely true. A strong female MC to me is someone confident and not afraid to stand up for herself who doesn’t need to rely on a guy to save her. Being plain rude (and sometimes bitchy to other women for NO REASON) isn’t empowering, it’s just bad writing.
Oh I understand, and you’re right! I don’t like that either. Of course confident people can be shy at times or not be able to stand up for themselves sometimes, but if you’re always going back and forth it feels like bad writing and you don’t know what kind of character you want to write.
I get that tbh, in my story I put big choices with gains but I made sure that neither is bad, just changes how the MC behaves but there’s no lost there. As for point systems, I agree that some choices are ridiculous with the points. As much as I love them, they should be a bit more clear about what’s a good option if you want points with that character or end up with them, etc.
Moved to Episode Fan Community since this isn’t about story ideas or reviews. Make sure to check out our Forum Tutorial for more info about creating topics, and feel free to PM me if you’ve got questions.
I’m gonna be quick, short and sweet with this
I absolutely can’t stand when the MC and the LI are getting close together and have a fully developed relationship, but when she sees another girl tryna force herself on the LI but he tries to push her away, and the MC gets all like, ‘how could you do this?’ 'I hate you… etc. Like, don’t you trust him? Don’t jump to conclusions when you don’t know the situation.
Another thing that triggers me is the fact that, the LI is obliged to forgive the MC, because she ‘didn’t mean it.’ But when it comes to her, she won’t even give him a chance to explain, like wth.
However, there are amazing stories our there!
True!! Like I saw one story where the girl was shown strong. The author also mentioned that she learned kick boxing and knows how to operate a gun. She drank champagne I guess and then she went in the alley way to breathe fresh air. And then someone pulled out a gun to shoot her and she was standing there afraid. Like author showed he strong then why the hell is she afraid? There was a lot of time before the LI could come in save her but all she did was stand there and cry! I left the story there. These kind of things makes me lose my mind. I know she drank champagne but of she was sober then why didn’tshe just attack the attacker.
That’s the thing! Some people freeze when they are under difficult situations (I’m an example of that) but that happens with EVERYTHING. Like I will freeze in an earthquake, a mass shooting, a robbery, etc. I’m not going to be super confident on a mass shooting and then cry when someone tries to rob me without any logical explanation.
I also want to add another mistake… when authors don’t make subplots for the family members and secondary characters. They aren’t ornaments, they serve a purpose to the story and I love when people actually give them lives outside of the MC/LI.
I agree with everything! Especially the first part. Some people freeze when faced with traumatic situations and that’s okay. That doesn’t make them weak at all. The main problem is using the s*xual assault as a mere plot device the further the romance between the LI and MC. It’s frustrating, especially since the last thing on someone’s mind after being assaulted is romance.
Yes, that mistake is common. Most authors portray s-xual ass-ult in the wrong way…but my question is, could they do it differently? I know that MC could run, kick the creep, etc, but that would be overused if all authors use this.
TW: S-xual ab-se.
I think that authors shouldn’t include s-xual ass-ult, at least not with our current guidelines. I’m an ab-se survivor myself and I remember reading the story about a girl who also suffered from sex-al ass-ult as a minor (in this platform, but they sadly remove it) and how she was able to find love and fight against this horrible man. It was encouraging for me to read about an MC who was able to grow despite all the things that happened to her.
But people don’t like “dark” topics because of the teens on the app. It’s different to write a story promoting horrible things related to s-x than writing from a survivor’s perspective, I don’t know if minors should read those things, but that’s another topic.
So yeah, I want to also include that one of the top mistakes is that they include dark and traumatic things but can’t elaborate on that. Let’s face it, this app is basically for teens, so we need to adapt to that. The mystery is fine, but sometimes people are too vague and it’s necessary to know little details in order to empathize with the characters and their trauma.
Note: I would like to have a version of Episode targeted at young adults, but that’s another topic. Please don’t flag me for being “off-topic”, I said all of these things in order to contextualize my point.
Tbh like the actual worst thing author could do in a story is portraying culture wrong or using bad stereotypes
When authors have a really good plot, but they really rush it, and the next episodes are just fillers until the author thinks of something new to add to the story.