What makes a good high school story on Episode? (Don't read if you think it's too long)

I mean as far as plot-wise (What do you want to happen before graduation?), regarding the characters, the events, and with dialogue. And before you answer, I recommend you read the following below:

What my high school story WON'T include

Any kind of bad boys
I like certain bad boys in certain stories (those that aren’t as bad as they think they are), but I’m honestly kind of tired of seeing this trope/cliché everywhere.

A weak and nerdy MC
I don’t know how or where this trend came from, but it’s also tiring to see this trope/cliché in every high school story too.

That one POC best friend that only likes to party and get boys
Am I the only one that has (probably) never seen this in any high school Epi story I read? Maybe I have, but I don’t remember. But this feels offensive to me, since I’m a black teenager that has no sense of even wanting to be around a boy. Not even a person (I’m a little shy around people). And I only loud when I talk a lot (other than that, I’m a quiet person).

A football jock as a love interest
This cliché was fun to read about in a couple of stories, but I want to include a love interest that doesn’t play football, because personally, I don’t like it or even care to know too much about it (but I can make an exception for the story Jaded Love because Lincoln is so sweet :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:).

A mean girl that is also a cheerleader with a boyfriend
I’m excluding the boyfriend (maybe at the beginning, but she won’t be a psycho girlfriend) and cheerleader part.

The main mean girl being blonde wearing all pink
There will be a blonde, but she won’t wear pink, won’t be a cheerleader, and won’t be the main mean girl with a boyfriend

The mean girl’s sidekick being there just for diversity (POC)
I’m planning on giving all of the mean girls and other characters depth (trust me, I’m trying hard not to fail at this). And again, I’m a black girl trying to be diverse as possible with my characters.

A club scene where the MC nearly gets assaulted by a creep (in the alley) and the LI comes to save her
It makes my MC look too weak enough to defend herself, it’s overused, and it just won’t fit her character if I included that. I also don’t see this being a part of my story, so…

And lastly (and most importantly)…

Unexpected pregnancy!
Need I say more?

What I will (or try to) include

A likeable MC
I’m creating a sheet that shows off character personality traits (positive and negative) and a sheet that gives a short summary about each character [including talents, age and ethnicity]. Any other sheet I should create as a little note for my story-- let me know! :blush:

Mean girls who are more than just mean girls
This one speaks for itself, 'cause I know that some people act b*tchy for a reason (well, at least a couple of them do. Some people are mean irl just because).

A possible love interest for my MC
I’m trying to learn more about how a friendship can turn into more than that, and I’m taking advice from @noyaan and @lynne.harper (she gave me advice about friends to lovers on another thread before that one got removed for confidential reasons).

3-dimensional characters
Those sheets about who the characters are (personality-wise) are sticking with me until I know about them by heart!

Drama (literally)
No, not the kind of drama where the MC gets pregnant (like I said in the first summary) or where the MC is secretly adopted. No, but you’ll find out soon (hopefully).

A mystery towards the end (hopefully)!
I really hope I can include a mystery that not even the best high school story on Episode can include. :blush:

Some character info (personality traits and ethnicity)

Note: I won’t include every personality trait to give it all away, so I’ll only give out 3. I won’t spoil their talents either.

Quillian from TDSY Episode

Quillian (pros): Smart, carefree, verbal defender (she can stand up for herself)
Quillian (cons): Non adaptive, emotional (with her anger and sadness), impulsive
Her ethnicity: African-American
Note: Quillian is the MC of my story.

Asiya from TDSY Episode

Asiya (pros): sociable, sarcastic, cautious
Asiya (cons): sneaky (too sneaky), messy, lazy
Her ethnicity: African-American
Her religion: Muslim

Coaten from TDSY Episode

Coaten (pros): skillful, humble, indifferent
Coaten (cons): vague, blunt, killjoy (sometimes)
His ethnicity: African-American

Cheree from TDSY Episode

Cheree (pros): cheerful, dramatic, active
Cheree (cons): insecure (sometimes), overdramatic, nagger
Her ethnicity: African-American

Carol from TDSY Episode
Carol (pros): resourceful, invulnerable (seemingly), attractive (to some)
Carol (cons): mean, rude, biased, obnoxious
Her ethnicity: Native American (credits to @LifeIsMyAesthetic for ethnicity help)
Note: Carol is the main mean girl of my story; not the one below.

Grace from TDSY Episode
Grace (pros): confident, (deep, deep down) sweet, romantic
Grace (cons): judgemental, spoiled brat, dumb (sorry to all blondes out there! :sob:), hypocrite
Her ethnicity: Caucasian
Note: Grace is Carol’s SIDEKICK, not the main girl. And she is a dumb blonde, but I’m only using this for more [what’s the word for it?] This is not to offend anyone. I’m just using this as a little trope.

Violet from TDSY Epsiode
Violet (pros): Quiet (unless she speaks), persistent, fearless
Violet (cons): Violent, loud, unstable
Her ethnicity: Afro-Asian-American
Note: Violet is NOT with Carol just for diversity, and she’s not technically a mean girl. But she is alongside Carol for a reason I won’t tell you. She is quiet and violent because she reminds me of two people who I also won’t tell you about.

Elodie from TDSY Episode
Elodie (pros): Tidy, tasteful (in fashion), punctual
Elodie (cons): Illogical, boy-obsessive, envious
Her ethnicity: French (credits to @molly247 for ethnicity help)
Note: Elodie is a mean girl, but does NOT run along with Carol.

Darius from TDSY Episode
Darius (pros): Honest, daring, humorous
Darius (cons): Stupid, pretentious, irresponsible, desperate
His ethnicity: Caucasian
Note: Darius is a football jock, but NOT a quarterback. Frankly, Idk what football player to make him. He is popular, after all.

Joshua from TDSY Episode
Joshua (pros): sympathetic, empathetic, sweet
Joshua (cons): Smart*ss, coward, slight pushover
His ethnicity: African-American
Note: Joshua is Quillian’s childhood best friend and who I also want to make a potential love interest.

Quillian's parents ('cause why not)

I didn’t feel that giving minor characters (not THAT minor, but still) personality traits was important, so here’s Quillian’s parents (not dead, not foster). Maybe I’ll give them traits based on how a proper parent would act.

Quillian's mom from TDSY Episode
Quillian’s mom
Ethncity: African-American

Quillian's dad from TDSY Episode
Quillian’s dad
Ethnicity: African-American

What I WON'T change for readers

The casts’ skin color or ethnicity
I like them just the way they are, thank you very much.

Quillian’s name
When this story is released, I will NOT give readers a chance to change my MC’s name, because I think it’s unique. If you don’t like that, oh well.

Some cliché moments
So far, the only cliché moment I have in my unpublished story is a party, but it won’t include everything that you’re assuming. Just some parts of a cliché party scene. Any other cliché scenes I include will have some twists or I’ll exclude some parts.

The length of my chapters
If I want to make my OWN chapters longer, I will. Not for you (no offense).

Quillian’s sexuality
Sorry LGBT+ community and supporters, but Quillian will NOT have a female LI. However, this does NOT mean ALL of my characters will be straight. Just majority of them. Don’t worry, there will be some inclusive love for you guys too! Hey, the ones I’m planning on being LGBT+ might not be the characters you expect!

Your OC
I will not say yes to any reader that wants be in my story, whether as a background character or Quillian’s neighbor, but it’s just not happening.

And that’s it! Now you can answer my question from the top of this thread. To make my question more specific:

  • At the end, I want my MC along with others to graduate high school (and I want some other stuff to happen too, based on how my story goes). What do you want to see happen in a high school story plot-wise?

  • What do you think of my effort with this story?

  • How do I show off a character’s personality without telling?

  • How do I make each event in my story worthy to read?

  • How do I make dialogue sound realistic? And since Quillian is smart, she knows some (more than) average words-- how do I make her sound smart and not like a robot?

Quick note

I saw a few threads on how to make a non-cliché high school story, but I feel that those threads are more on how to make a good story than a high school story, so that’s why I’m being specific.

Tags:@line123462 @tyratuna @Faith.episode.cats @MatchaTae @CosmicIvy @lanafrazer_episode @Melc144 @AJ_PELZER @Baleigh_episode @Creole_KareBear @Stella2003

Who else should I tag for help? :thinking: Sorry if you didn’t want to be tagged.

Anyway, please comment if you want to help and share so others can follow your advice you give me! Thanks for reading! :smile:

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Yasss!!! I’ll read it soon :star_struck:

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Everything I read thus far sounds great!!! :+1:t5: I’m definitely interested in reading :open_book: it!!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Defiantly will be reading this. As someone who is also black, I love that this story has more then 1 black character :sob:

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Thank you guys so much! Just know that it will take some time. And bump!:fist:t4:

oohh i’ll definitely read it :star_struck:

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First of all, it sounds great. Second of all,

Through dialogue and reactions to dialogue. I mean, it’s kind of a personal preference, but like in movies, when the director sometimes zooms in on the character listening, you can figure out a lot about what goes on in their head. It also tells a lot about the character speaking, because you can see what others perceive of them.

The same way you’d do it in real life. It doesn’t have to be every single phrase, but just dropped in randomly. Also, this might be personal preference, but please, please, please, don’t have everyone always talking about how smart she is all the time; I know a lot of straight A and AP students that are more than their grades and classes, and sometimes when authors make a “smart” MC, they feel the need to constantly reiterate “Oh, she wants to go to Harvard, and Yale is her safety” or “she gets 97s on every single test”. Don’t have other people worship her intelligence, unless it’s an off-hand comment – unless you really do worship smart people, in which case, go off. Also, people are normally better at some subjects and worse at others. Let her struggle with certain concepts, let her learn and grow rather than just know. For example, I aced calculus last year, but I got to Linear Algebra (a proofs based class) and I’m really struggling.

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I’ll make sure to show Quillian’s intelligence without worship. Thank you!:blush:

Honestly sound perfect. Tag me when you publish. :heart_eyes:

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I was @ but no one tagged me

Oops. I probably tagged you and accidentally deleted it when editing my post. Sorry!

I think it’s great well thought out and with the dumb blonde I’m a blonde and honestly I have dumb blonde moments.

With intelligence really depends on your MC personality using big words in sentences can come across as arrogant (talking using big words that nobody understands). I do actually know some genius know a few child ones and there speech is no different to anyone else’s, only know of one who spoke perfect English no slang words used or shortened words she was 2 years old and could read and speak perfectly.

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why is the mean girl in my story a blonde wearing all PINK LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL i didnt even realise this was so unintentional omg thats funny

But anyways sounds amazing

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Gotcha x3

Was confused for a bit

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Oh right! I forgot to mention there will be no love triangle. I like some stories with 2 love interests, but I’m sticking with 1 (once I get the whole romance concept in order)

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This sounds really stupid, but with high school stories, you have to show that the characters actually study (if they have good grades).
If you knew the amount of stories where the MC is an A-grade student and never studies, then you’d know what I mean.

Hope I don’t come off as rude.

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Just to highlight, Asiya’s culture shouldn’t be Muslim. Muslim is the term given to the people belonging in the religion of Islam. Culture and Religion are two separate things even though nowadays it seems to be blended in society but essentially it is different.

My ethnicity/race is Malay. My culture from my race or ethnicity Malay is very different from African. But my religion is Islam. I’m a Muslim.

So do take note. Thank you!!! :smiley::smiley::smiley:

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Some elements of mystery and some things that will make people laugh.
Personally I would like to see the characters’ backstories revealed in bits, and not necessarily told to the reader all at once.

You out a lot of effort in!
It will be a great story.

If a character is quiet, they probably won’t talk much and will try to keep away from the drama.
If they are an extrovert, they are able to start conversations with practically everyone and they tend to act less awkward.
If they are clumsy, maybe have them trip over when running to their friends.
If they are a bookworm, they will spend every free second reading and will always carry a book with them.
If they are rebellious, they are not afraid to speak their mind, and might come off as rude sometimes. They are extroverts of a sort as they are not shy, however they don’t always socialise well.

As long as it’s not extremely tedious/cliche and it somehow contributes to the story, it should be okay.
For mystery, you want to build up the tension and make it a bit stressful.
But you also need to balance those with more light-hearted and relatable scenes, so the reader can see themselves in the characters a bit.

Maybe she slots them into some sentences, but not using more than one ‘fancy’ word at a time, and making sure it fits the context. This way it’ll be more natural.

Hope I didn’t come off as trying to force my opinions onto you.

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Got it. Thanks!:blush:

Oh no, you explained just fine. Thanks!:smile:

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