Alright, I’m picky, so this is gonna be a long one. And let me preface this by saying that if a story doesn’t have these elements I’ll probably still love it, but this is my perfect story so yeah.
Alright directing. The directing doesn’t have to be amazing, it just has to blend in/go with the story seamlessly. I quite honestly don’t even really care about choices. I like the visual aspect of Episode and don’t really care for the interactive. All the background characters should look like they match the environment and shouldn’t look like they’ve just been randomized. If it’s a crowded street as well I’d like for it to be bustling with people and sounds. Unless it’s a small town there shouldn’t be too many repeat background characters.
I love when authors add lots of visual to there backgrounds! Like the directing, it should also all go together seamlessly. The overlays should match each background and shouldn’t look too out of place. If there’s a light source or window there should be extra light in the room as overlays. If there is darkness in the room it should be dark and there should actually be shadows.
So basically, I really value realism and that little extra thing can make me fall in love with a story.
Now onto the actual story part lol.
I like subtle fantasy/scifi. I love both genres almost equally but not when it’s shoved down your throat. The world should feel really real and I also don’t like it when it’s too fantasy. Like fairies floating around everywhere and mermaids and this magical sort of thing-. Because when you think of fantasy that is what pops into your head and I’m not really a fan of that sort of thing. What I am a fan of is fantasy worlds that aren’t exactly like that. Like idk if you’ve ever seen Spirited Away but I’ve always been a big fan of those types of movies! Like there aren’t fairies and such but there are talking frog men, monster things, spirits, normal people and completely made up creatures. And it was done so well too. Same goes for scifi. Which tbh I like even more subtle. I like things like Star Wars but I don’t love it. But I do find worlds with a clear element of that but small. Like maybe the MC’s husband dies and she finds out about parallel worlds and travels to one to find him. The world she goes to is different but not insanely different and she has to find out how to get him to love her again, while trying to exist in a world where she doesn’t exist.
I also really love stories where the MC is kind of exploring the world around them while dealing with their own issues. In a subtle way, like they’re not going on an adventure.
So let’s use the example of the parallel world. The MC would be exploring the subject of love and loss while navigating this strange but familiar world. She has to hide away from a lot of people and questions if she made the right decision because she doesn’t know how to get back now. All the while being constantly heartbroken watching her husband with a life without her. But also being happy/relieved that he’s alive again.
Oh and clearly romance has to be involved lol
Characters: Characters have to have some sort of flaw/conflict going on. So for the parallel worlds example (lol love that I’m just writing/planning a story on the spot) the MC probably has abandonment issues and followed/found her husband when she shouldn’t have done that and left it alone. And she has to realize the consequences of her actions by seeing her husband thrive without her and also trying to figure out how to live in this world.
For the LI, I usually like him (saying him because I usually play with a guy and a girl cuz I prefer for me personally but obviously this could be done with a girl and girl, guy and guy… etc) to have again some sort of conflict with MC. Nothing too major. But I like them having that back and forth and that dance. Until they slowly realize that they like each other and have chemistry. As for him idk completely. I think I like it when he’s a little bit cocky. I like it when he does something wrong and apologizes. Or maybe they’ve had a kind of argument (not like intense argument, just something little) and he constantly has her on his mind without the narrator having to say it or him realizing it. He just brings her up in conversation a lot or she does that with him and they both don’t realize it and the narrator never directly tells us (the readers) either so we slowly realize it ourselves.
For the MC: I don’t like it when she seems to have it all figured out. Knows how to talk to people/etc and has friends and all that sort of stuff. Just because that hasn’t been realistic to my life so I would personally want a story about a girl who has to have a hard time finding friends and has to spend time figuring out friendships.
I also love stories that are set in older/medieval time periods. It doesn’t have to be accurate, either!
I’d also love any story that dealt with themes like anxiety accurately.
It can be long or short but has to have enough conflict to keep me interested. But not too much conflict lol. I don’t want to be like angry reading it. I had to stop reading a story one time because of that and the story was really long and I didn’t want to suffer through it so I decided to just not read it.
I’d like to see empowered women. Not a woman with an attitude or one who’s “better” (although, there’s nothing wrong with that) one where it’s more subtle. Like maybe she’s a nervous person and deals with depression or anxiety and that in itself shows her strength. I’m honestly just sick of reading these stories where there are these side characters that try to “steal” the LI and they’re constantly shamed when the MC isn’t.
Show more, tell less. Or have at least a good balance of both. I would like to know a lot about MC’s family her life, why certain things are happening, who’s who and where everything is happening/how it is happening and all that detail without you having to directly tell me through narration. It should be shown slowly throughout the story so often that readers who had questions before get them answered as they keep reading.
I also think there should be an element of subtle mystery to it all. But not the type of mystery where it’s the whole genre. Like for my parallel worlds example, the MC doesn’t completely know about the world she’s in and why she’s there. How can a normal person just switch worlds like that? And what are the rules to it? Etc…
I like humor but I’d prefer it without than with. It can just be overdone in my opinion.
That’s all I can think of rn but I probably have tons more XD.