Feedback on first chapter of visual novel

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frylander
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Feedback on first chapter of visual novel

#1 Post by frylander » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:34 pm

Hi there,

I've been wanting to share my stories for a while now. I've been trying different mediums, I even studied cinema and all, and recently got into drawing.

Problem is, I'm not really an expert on any of those subjects, so I would like to get some feedback before making more chapters of my story, so if I have to change something on my way of writing, I can do it now and not re-write it later.

So, what I would llike from you guys is mostly, to read my little intro and first chapter, and tell me if my writing gets in the way of the storytelling (ie: you get disctracted by errors, by the way I phrase the texts, etc) or if it is even good to begin with. Second I would like to know if the story and the way it's presented hooks you in and lets you wanting to know more. And third, if this were already a full work, would you keep reading after this first chapter?

Note: the character marked as "__" is a label for narration. Also some things like sound effect texts will be added later so there might be some missing.

Thank you so much for your time, I know it is something precious and I appreciate it.

That said, here's the intro:

Code: Select all

Man:(How many years have passed? 30? Maybe more.)
Man:(A life dedicated to revenge, coming to an end.)
Man:(In front of me in this dark night, the monster I swore to kill just walks in the rain.)
Man:(Unforgivable. The people she killed can't enjoy a walk in the rain anymore, so neither should she.)
Man:(One way or another, this ends tonight. If I die at the hands of the monster that killed my parents, at least I will join them in heaven with pride.)
Man:(One way or another, a soul will be claimed. This is my chance.)
__:The man sprints along the stone street covered by the dark of the night, his boots splashing water puddles as he cuts through the rain.
__:The hat protects his eyes from the rain, allowing him to focus on his target.
__:His long, wet trenchcoat waves behind him, dragging him back but not slowing him down. 
__:On his hands, sharp silver daggers reflecting the moonlight aim directly at the monster.
__:A little girl standing in the middle of the street slowly turning around.
Little girl:"Who's this?"
__:Barely moving, the girl dodges the dagger directed to her heart.
Man:"I'll kill you! You fucking bitch!"
__:The other dagger flies towards her face, but she grafecully dodges it without any effort.
Little girl:"Nonsense."
__:The girl's face remains calm as she grabs the man by the wrist and pulls, dislocating his shoulder.
Man:"Aaagh! You fucker! I'm going to make you pay!"
__:The man shouts as one dagger drops to the mud. His dislocated shoulder leaves his whole arm unusable.
Man:(What is this? I've spent years killing monsters, but I can't even hit her!)
__:His face is filled with hatred and pain. Tears mix with the rain below his chin.
Little girl:"You better stop, or you will suffer."
__:Her soft voice resonates with the rain. No one else is in the streets, only their silhouettes are seen outside.
Man:"I won't stop until I kill you!"
__:They dance on the moonlight, the man trying to cut through her while she dodges every single hit.
Man:(That's right, I can't stop, not now that I'm so close. I'd rather die than give up.)
Little girl:"Alright, that's enough."
__:She disappears from his sight. In an instant she is standing on his back, grabbing his other arm.
__:Pulling, the shoulder snaps with a loud crack.
Man:"AAAAAH! Fucking hell!"
__:His knees give in and he kneels on a puddle of water and mud. The little girl hops down from his back and stares at him.
__:Her pale skin covered by her dark hair stands out as they stay face to face.
Little girl:"It's over. Or do you plan to bite me?"
Man:(Is this what it has come to? All these years preparing myself for this moment, for it to end like this?)
Man:(Then, so be it!)
__:He remains quiet, clenching his teeth before recovering his anger with a loud howling scream.
Man:"AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"
__:His face lifts followed by the rest of his body. Charging his blow, he curves his back and launches himself forward, smashing his forehead against hers.
__:*SLAM*
__:She doesn't move a bit, stopping his head with hers.
Man:(Hitting her felt like hitting a wall. It's no use.)
__:Their foreheads still pressing, they stare into each other's eyes for a while .
__:Her eyes, a deep blue. His, a vivid green.
Man:"Even if it's the last thing I do, I will kill you."
Little girl:"You must hate me a lot to go through so much trouble."
__:Gently, she grabs him by his throat and lifts him as far as her small arms allow her.
Man:(This is fine. When I started this life, I already knew it could only end two different ways.)
Little girl:"Sadly, I don't remember who you are."
__:She tosses him aside effortlessly, crashing him through some wooden barrels. 
Man:(I can die in peace. I gave my best. If it ends like this, it just means I wasn't strong enough to kill a true monster.)
Man:(Wait for me, Mom, Dad. I'm coming. I made you wait quite a bit, but finally I will be going with you.)
__:Now covered from the rain by the porch of a building, the man's body remains flat on the ground with his eyes closed.
__:She slowly walks towards him, stepping between the wooden planks from the broken barrels.
__:Seeing his state, she closes her eyes and sighs. Then, she notices something on the floor.
Little girl:"A book...?"
__:Next to his head, a seemingly old book with no cover gets the girls attention. She grabs it and with curious eyes, opens it.
Little girl:"This book... it can't be..."
And here is the first chapter:

Code: Select all

Bob:(Today Mom gave me a book to practice my writing.)
Bob:(Since we don't have much money, I can't go to school like the other kids. Instead, they teach me everything they can themselves.)
Bob:(A few days ago, this girl started coming at night, and now she is learning with me.)
__:A shadow creeps outside the window of an old farmhouse.
Bob:"...Are you hungry? Do you want to come in and eat something?" 
__:A little girl gets startled by the sudden voice on her back.
Bob:"I saw you peek inside, you must be cold and hungry, right?"
__:The girl, surprised by the boy, turns around to face him.
__:He is smiling, even when his body is filled with bruises. 
Little girl:"..."
Bob:"Don't worry, come in! My parents always wanted to have a daughter, so I bet they won't mind sharing some dinner with you!"

Bob:(She was all alone. The wind was cold and the night dark, I couldn't leave her like that.)
Bob:"Mom, I found this girl outside, I think she is hungry... do you mind if she has dinner with us?"
__:The little girl slowly follows Bob inside, looking around the building like a curious cat.
__:Her cold, dirty blue dress doesn't fit with the warm colors in the house.
Bob:"Come, I will present my parents to you, they are very nice! My dad is a hunter, so we live from what he hunts in the forest."
Mom:"What's that? A girl?"
__:A middle aged woman walks in the hallway, her cheap clothes covered by food stains.
Mom:"Oh my, what is this, did you make a new friend on the way home, Bob?"
Mom:"And what happened to you? Did those kids beat you again?"
Bob:"It's nothing! If I hadn't fight with them I wouldn't have come late and I wouldn't have meet her! Can she have dinner with us? Pretty please?"
__:The girl stays in place like a statue, just switching her eyes between them.
Mom:"Come on in then! Don't be shy! It's great to hear Bob made a new friend. Since he doesn't go to school, all the other kids are very mean to him."
Mom:"But you seem very nice."
__:The little girl looks down, silent.
Mom:"Well, don't worry. Dad should be home soon so we can have some dinner together, I will make extra for you, honey."
Mom:"But first lets get those wounds healed, Bob."


Bob:(She didn't talk much at first. I even thought she was mute for a while.)
__:Sitting in a round table, Bob's  mom places warm food on the plates of both kids and adults.
__:Hot steam fills the room as they begin to eat. Except for the girl.
Dad:"Aren't you gonna eat? You don't have to worry, it's free!"
__:The girl stares at the plate for a while, holding a knife and a fork on each hand.
__:Finally she decides, cutting through the meat and taking a bite.
__:*Bleeergh!*
__:She covers her mouth with both hands. On the floor a pool of puke forms, covering the slice of meat she had eaten.
Bob:"A-Are you okay? Was it too hot or something?"
Mom:"Oh dear! Are you alright, honey?"
__:Her hands shaking, she gets up from the table and runs towards the hallway, leaving the house.
Bob:"Hey, wait! Where are you going?!"
Dad:"Well well, it seems somebody doesn't like your recipe, hehe."
Mom:"Or maybe that meat was rotten... Jesus, poor girl. She was so embarrassed."


Bob:(She never told, but I know she doesn't have a family.)
Bob:"Ah, creepy girl, you came again!"
__:A cheerful Bob smiles at the girl, that always remains serious.
__:She is creeping at the inside of the house from the side of a tree.
Bob:"What are you doing, are you spying on us or something? Come on in, don't be shy!"
__:She doesn't move from the tree, almost hugging it with her hands.
Bob:"...You don't have a family, do you? I've seen other kids roaming around like you. Though you are the only one I've seen twice."
__:She hugs tigther the tree, looking down.
Bob:"Well, you don't have to come if you don't want, but you are always welcome, okay? You can think of us as your family. Just don't be sad!"
__:He runs towards the main door, looking back and almost tripping on his feet.
Bob:"And sorry about the food of the other day! It was terrible, wasn't it?! Hahaha!"


Bob:(Everynight, she would come to our house, and just stand around, doing nothing. Only watching. Like a doll.)
__:*Knock knock!*
__:The main door opens, and at the other side, a silent girl looks back with doubtful eyes.
Mom:"Oh! Bob, it's your friend!"
__:Loud steps shake the dust from the floor as Bob runs to the main entrance.
Bob:"Ooooh, creepy girl! Want to come in? We can play with my toys or something, what do you say?"
__:She nods, looking down. For a second, her mouth widens, forming a gentle smile.
Bob:"Great!"
__:The girl is taken by surprise as Bob grabs her hands in a frenzy and drags her inside, all the way upstairs to his room.
__:A bit blushed, the girl stands in the middle of his room.
Bob:"Oh, now that I think about it, I never really presented myself properly! I'm Bob, nice to meet you, let's be friends, alright?"


Bob:(I think she is cute. She's very shy and quiet, but I like her. She seems very kind and gentle.)
Bob:(Her name is...)
Little girl:"...Lisa"
Bob:"OOHHH..!!"
__:Lisa looks at him, confused.
Lisa:"W-What...?"
Bob:"You can talk! I thought you were mute. You have a cute voice, and a cool name!"
__:Smiling, he grabs her by her shoulders and hugs her tight, making her blush deeply.
Lisa:"W-What are you doing..?"
Bob:"Let's be friends forever, okay?"
__:Lisa is held in his arms, her eyes opening up a bit from the proposal.
Lisa:"...Okay."


Bob:(We've been friends for so long now, that I can't imagine spending a night without her.)
Lisa:"Are you sure? That book is yours, I don't want you to waste it on me."
__:Bob holds two books on his hands. Both are the same, green without any kind of text or drawings on the cover, completely blank.
Bob:"I told you, we are learning together, so you need a book to practice too!"
Lisa:"Fine, thanks."
__:Her soft voice makes Bob smile proud.
Bob:"See? They are the same, isn't that cool?"
Lisa:"...Yes."
__:She smiles.


Bob:(I don't know where she lives during the day, but at night she would be always with me.)
Bob:*Yaaawn*
Lisa:"...Are you tired?"
Bob:"No! I'm fine."
__:Sitting on his bed,  both of them are resting on each other's shoulders.
Lisa:"I'm sorry, I always come so late at night, I don't let you sleep."
Bob:"It's fine, I told you! It's a nice excuse to stay up late! Sleeping is for the weak, anyways."
Lisa:"I should go, you need to rest."
__:She tries to stand, but something drags her back to the bed.
Lisa:"...?"
__:A sleepy Bob rests his head on her shoulder, anchoring his arms around hers.
Lisa:"*sigh* I guess I can stay for a little longer."
Bob:(Usually I fall asleep by her side, and when I wake up she's gone. I always think to myself: 'Was it a dream?')


Bob:(Thanks to her, I don't even care anymore about the kids picking on me.)
Lisa:"What happened?"
__:Full of bruises, Bob smiles at her like it's nothing.
Bob:"Just a little fight with some kids, don't worry. I'm fine."
Lisa:"Why did you fight?"
Bob:"I guess... they don't like that I don't have to go to school everyday like them, haha! Poor idiots!"
__:Lisa's hand slowly reaches for one of the bruises on his face. Her worried look surprises Bob.
Lisa:"Do those kids cause you trouble? Who are them?"
__:Flattered, he smiles and lets out a loud laugh.
Bob:"Hahahaha! You don't have to worry, for real! I can beat them anyday. I'm a man, so It's only right, I have to stand my ground!"
Bob:(I haven't seen those kids for a long time now that I think of it. Probably just didn't cross them on the street.)


Lisa:"Your dad is a hunter, so he kills animals to survive, right...?"
__:Sitting outside on the grass, they look way up to the full moon.
Bob:"Huh...? Yeay, why?"
Lisa:"Do you want to be a hunter too, when you grow up?"
__:Bob smiles cheerful and shakes his head no.
Bob:"No. I went with him to hunt some times but, I just can't stand killing animals. So instead I will be a farmer, like my mom! I will be the animal's friend, not their hunter!"
__:She looks down, a gentle smile shines on her face.
Lisa:"I see. That's... cute."
__:Bob blushes, getting caught offguard.
Bob:"What about you? What do you want to do when you grow up?"
Lisa:"I...?"
__:She stares at the moon again, thoughtful.
Lisa:"When I grow up... I want to be by your side."


Bob:(She's way smarter than me, but she helps me so I don't fall behind.)
Lisa:"It's Lisa, with a single 's'"
Bob:"Huh...? H-Hey, what are you doing, don't read my diary!"
__:Blushing, Bob closes his book after Lisa took a peek at it.
__:She smiles gently, while Bob recovers from the surprise.
Bob:"I'll... I'll correct it later, thanks."
Lisa:"You're welcome."
Bob:"Can I... Can I read your diary? To check for mistakes, too..."
Lisa:"Absolutely not."
__:Lisa hugs her book tight on her chest, squeezing it.
Bob:"Heh, that's what I thought."



Bob:(She is very reserved, she doesn't even want to eat with us, probably because she doesn't want to be a bother.)
Mom:"Are you sure you don't want something to eat? We may not have a lot of money, but we can afford to feed you, so you don't have to worry!"
Lisa:"It's alright, I already ate before coming here, so I'm full."
Bob:(So she stares at us having dinner while her stomach growls.)
Bob:(Still, she doesn't seem sad. She seems to enjoy it, even if it's just being with us.)



Bob:(My mom and dad like her, too. Since I don't have any friends, they are glad that she's around so much. And so am I.)
Mom:"You can stay for the day too if you want, you know? You don't have to only come at night, you're not a bother."
Dad:"Haha, yeah. And since Bob doesn't go to school, you two could play together or practice writing with mom. He's so bored."
Mom:"All day long he talks about you, you know?"
__:Blushing, Bob steps between Lisa and his parents.
Bob:"Tssh! That's enough, mom!"
__:Behind him, he thought he heard an angel laugh.
Lisa:"Hahaha!"
__:Shocked, Bob turns around to see a laughing Lisa.
Lisa:"It's fine. Sorry but I can only come at night, I have things to do during the day."
__:Happy, Bob joins her in her laugh, smiling.

Bob:(They got so used to her, that she became almost like a daughter for my parents.)
Mom:"Are you sure you have to go? It's still dark outside! And there have been so many murders lately... I don't feel good letting you go like that."
Dad:"I feel the same way, why don't I go with you? Wherever you go, I bet it's not that far."
Lisa:"Thanks for caring so much about me, but you don't need to worry. The sun's about to rise, so it will be day in no time. I'll be fine."
__:Standing in front of her, a worried Bob stares at her eyes before hugging her.
Bob:"Just... be careful, alright? I want to see you tonight again."
__:Lisa smiles, hugging him back.
Lisa:"I'll be here as always."

Bob:(I don't know where she came from or where she is going, but I know one thing. I want to make her happy.)
Bob:"Here, I made you this!"
Lisa:"What? For me...?"
__:Hanging from Bob's hands, a somewhat disjointed brown teddybear looks at Lisa with black, shiny marble eyes.
Bob:"My mom taught me how to do it, and only during the day so it would be a surprise! Did you have any idea? Did you?"
__:Lisa slowly reaches for the teddybear and hugs it, smiling while she enjoys its touch.
Lisa:"No, I had no idea. Thank you so much."




Bob:(She is weird, not like any other girls I have seen, but I think that makes her special.)
Lisa:"You're bleeding."
__:Bob lifts his red finger while rubbing his hair with his other hand.
Bob:"This? Don't worry, I cut myself while making your teddybear. It's not deep but it won't stop bleeding, I'll ask my mom to heal it."
__:Gently, she grabs him by his bleeding finger and sticks it in her mouth, licking it.
__:Bob stares at her, blushed and shocked.
Bob:"W-What are you doing?"
Lisa:"I'm licking it. Do you think it's...disgusting...?"
Bob:"W-What? N-No, no! It's just... Umh... It's fine, don't worry!"


Bob:(She's not the kind of person that smiles a lot, but every now and then a kind expression would pop on her face.)
Lisa:"I brought you this..."
__:Her arms lift, presenting a golden pocket watch that shines in the dim light.
Bob:"Woah, that's for us?"
Mom:"Oh my, it wasn't necessary! It looks so expensive, where did you get it?"
Lisa:"I...I found it in the floor on the street, so I... uh.. took it..."
__:Bob joins his hand with hers, grabbing the watch from Lisa.
__:She blushes, looking to the side.
Bob:"I'm sorry Lisa, but we can't accept this gift."
__:Lisa's gentle smile fades, confused.
Lisa:"W-What...? Why not...?"
__:Bob smiles, pressing a button on the watch and opening it. Inside, there's a photo of an old man with his two daughters.
Bob:"See? This is Harry's watch, he's some old man from the city. He comes from time to time to vissit, he is very kind."
Bob:"He probably dropped it by accident, so we will return it to him. Sorry, Lisa."
Lisa:"Oh, I see..."
__:Her head lowers as her long hair almost covers her whole face.


Bob:(Today, she said it was going to be our last night together.)
Bob:"What? Why? Why can't you come again?"
__:An altered Bob asks, both of them standing in the open field outside.
Lisa:"I... have to go, and I will never come back. I'm sorry. It was nice being with you, thank you so much, for real."
__:She leans in and gives Bob a small kiss on his chin.
__:His eyes open as tears start forming in them, going down his face.
__:Before he can grab her, she turns around and starts running away.
Bob:"W-Wait! You can stay here, with us! We can be a family, please!!!"
Bob:"LISA!!!!"

Bob:(For days now, there hasn't been a sign of her. The nights never seemed so long and quiet to me as now.)
__:Sitting on his room at night, Bob peeks out the window looking at the forest around his farmhouse.
__:From time to time, he would get quick glances of silhouettes moving between the trees.
Bob:"L-Lisa?!"
__:A deer comes out from the bushes, only to go back to the forest.
Bob:"No, it's not... Will I ever see her again...? This is not fair..."

__:And like that, Bob kept waiting for her, until one night...
Mom:"Bob, it's Lisa!"
__:Bob's laying on his bed upstairs while hugging his book. He gets up at the call of his mom, the word that resonates the most it's, of course...
Bob:"Lisa?"
__:In a hurry, he starts running downstairs, still holding his diary.
__:*THUMP*
Dad:"What's that, Lisa came back? That's-"
__:*SLASH*
__:*THUMP*
__:Bob runs to the hallway, his naked feet sliding on the wet floor and making him fall.
__:Confused by the landing, he rubs his head before focusing again on the red pool below him.
Bob:"W-What's this...?"
__:Next to him, the bleeding corpses of his mom and dad are laying down.
__:Standing in the middle of the hallway, a blue dress is stained with red.
__:Fingernails as sharp and pointy as blades.
__:Bat-like wings coming out the back.
__:An innocent face twisted with fangs and demonic eyes.
__:Pale skin turned crimson.
Bob:"L-Lisa?!"
__:She remains quiet, her face completely red by the blood. Her stare with those black eyes scares him.
__:Lisa takes a step forward, her foot leaving a red footprint on the wooden floor.
Lisa:"Your dad was a hunter, Bob."
__:Terrified, Bob crawls back until his body hits a wall.
Bob:"W-What are you saying, what did you do? WHY DID YOU DO IT?!"
__:Lisa closes her eyes.
Lisa:"I'm sorry that I never told you, but... I am a hunter, too. I'm a vampire."
Bob:"A vampire? What do you mean!?"
Lisa:"He hunted animals, I hunt people. That's just how it is. I'm sorry."
__:Stepping closer, she grabs him by the throat and easily lifts him in the air until his feet can't reach the ground.
Bob:"N-No, please Lisa! I beg you!"
__:He struggles, kicking with his legs and trying to free himself from her grip, but the air won't reach his brain.
__:Soon enough, his eyes close and the struggle stops. 
__:Now, only silence and darkness.


__:But it isn't over.
__:Birds, people, even the sun. He can feel all of that.
__:What got lost shines once again, the bright in his eyes as they slowly open.
__:He sees the roof of his hallway. Funny enough, he had never looked at it before.
__:His parents are laying by his side, completely still.
__:Lisa is nowhere to be found, there's only a few bloody footprints that lead outside.
__:His eyes are open wide as he sits on the stained floor, quiet.
__:In front of him was all his life, now gone. At one side, was the one book he was going to fill with that life. His diary.
__:With teary eyes, he grabs the book and opens it, placing it between his legs.
__:Page after page, bloody fingerprints are left in the paper as he keeps reading each one of them.
__:Not even half way through the book, there only remains blank pages.
__:A whole life yet to live, but for what.
__:With anger overcoming Bob's soul, he starts ripping off blank pages, tossing them aside.
Bob:"AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!"
__:A scream of pain and sadness that reaches no one.
__:That's right, he was alone now. No shoulder to cry on, no one to help him.
__:He was on his own.
Bob:"W-What am I gonna do now, mom, dad...?"
__:His soft voice trembles and breaks from crying.
__:Remaining still for a moment, he cleans his tears with the back of his arm.
__:All that pain and sorrow that he felt. All those years that he lived and had yet to be lived.
__:Everything he was and could have been. Everything.
__:It was all written in a single, lonely page.
__:On that one diary that no one would ever see.
__:Not with ink, but with blood.
__:And it read like this.
Bob:(My parents are dead. I'm all alone now. I thought I was alone before, since I had no friends.)
Bob:(But I was so wrong, I had my parents. They loved me, and I loved them.)
Bob:(Now I know what loneliness means. Now I know what real pain means.)
Bob:(I WILL MAKE SURE TO SHOW HER THE MEANING OF THOSE WORDS.)
__:...

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Zelan
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Re: Feedback on first chapter of visual novel

#2 Post by Zelan » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:06 pm

First, a couple grammatical corrections from the prologue:

grafecully --> gracefully
Watch how you use on and in. They're tough prepositions and easy to mix up between languages. In this case, you would use "dance in the moonlight," not "on the moonlight."
Last line: "girls attention" should be "girl's attention."

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to look through the entirety of chapter one for errors but there are definitely quite a few.

Check your use of the past tense again. You stay in present tense most of the time, which is fine, but some of the parts where you use past tense are a little wonky. For example: "If I hadn't fight with them I wouldn't have come late and I wouldn't have meet her!" 'Fight' should be 'fought' and 'meet' should be 'met'.

Some parts come across as stiff and unnatural, because you're using the dialogue to give awkward exposition about the characters. It's better to let that information come naturally; in fact, you can even leave it out sometimes. It's not always necessary to say everything about your characters. The beginning is especially awkward - the way Bob explains his own situation is awkward, since most people don't really think that way, if that makes sense. I'm going to try to break down my meaning for you.

"Bob:(Today Mom gave me a book to practice my writing.)
Bob:(Since we don't have much money, I can't go to school like the other kids. Instead, they teach me everything they can themselves.)"

Here is the information that I'm getting from these two sentences:
-Bob is homeschooled.
-Bob's family doesn't have a lot of money. This is part of the reason that he is homeschooled.
-Right now, his parents are teaching him to write.

These things can be shown through character interactions, and through descriptions. For example, you describe Bob's mother's clothes as being cheap and stained. That's GREAT. Readers can use that information to realize "these people probably don't have a lot of money." Because you have it shown there, you don't need to write it as part of Bob's thoughts. Similarly, you can use short scenes to show the other things. A short scene where his parents give him the book and his first reading lesson can introduce points one and three. A scene with some kids bullying him for being so poor that he can't afford school can show point two.

Obviously, you can't write an entire scene for every fact that you introduce. This is where you have to balance hints towards each fact with more direct references, or even decide to cut some exposition out entirely if it's unnecessary.

I like how you characterized the parents. They had their own voices even though they're only minor characters. The mom is clearly a motherly character - she cares a lot for Bob and Lisa - and the dad seemed like a cheerful sort of guy who found everything funny.

I had some trouble taking this story seriously because of the name "Bob." It's just... such a normie name, especially for a fantasy story. I think part of the reason is because it's so often used as a placeholder name.

The part at the end about the book that symbolized the future that had been taken away from him was super poignant and powerful. I liked it a lot, you should be proud of that scene.

Overall, I would say that the story definitely has potential. The grammar errors are noticeable, but they don't stop my from comprehending the story, which is the most important part. There are some parts that feel awkward and robotic, though, where the characters don't think or speak naturally. I think that if you made a VN like this, the writing would be of decent quality and there would definitely be people who enjoyed it, but to take your writing to the next level you probably want a proofreader/editor on board with you.

frylander
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Re: Feedback on first chapter of visual novel

#3 Post by frylander » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:29 am

Zelan wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:06 pm
First, a couple grammatical corrections from the prologue:

grafecully --> gracefully
Watch how you use on and in. They're tough prepositions and easy to mix up between languages. In this case, you would use "dance in the moonlight," not "on the moonlight."
Last line: "girls attention" should be "girl's attention."

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to look through the entirety of chapter one for errors but there are definitely quite a few.

Check your use of the past tense again. You stay in present tense most of the time, which is fine, but some of the parts where you use past tense are a little wonky. For example: "If I hadn't fight with them I wouldn't have come late and I wouldn't have meet her!" 'Fight' should be 'fought' and 'meet' should be 'met'.

Some parts come across as stiff and unnatural, because you're using the dialogue to give awkward exposition about the characters. It's better to let that information come naturally; in fact, you can even leave it out sometimes. It's not always necessary to say everything about your characters. The beginning is especially awkward - the way Bob explains his own situation is awkward, since most people don't really think that way, if that makes sense. I'm going to try to break down my meaning for you.

"Bob:(Today Mom gave me a book to practice my writing.)
Bob:(Since we don't have much money, I can't go to school like the other kids. Instead, they teach me everything they can themselves.)"

Here is the information that I'm getting from these two sentences:
-Bob is homeschooled.
-Bob's family doesn't have a lot of money. This is part of the reason that he is homeschooled.
-Right now, his parents are teaching him to write.

These things can be shown through character interactions, and through descriptions. For example, you describe Bob's mother's clothes as being cheap and stained. That's GREAT. Readers can use that information to realize "these people probably don't have a lot of money." Because you have it shown there, you don't need to write it as part of Bob's thoughts. Similarly, you can use short scenes to show the other things. A short scene where his parents give him the book and his first reading lesson can introduce points one and three. A scene with some kids bullying him for being so poor that he can't afford school can show point two.

Obviously, you can't write an entire scene for every fact that you introduce. This is where you have to balance hints towards each fact with more direct references, or even decide to cut some exposition out entirely if it's unnecessary.

I like how you characterized the parents. They had their own voices even though they're only minor characters. The mom is clearly a motherly character - she cares a lot for Bob and Lisa - and the dad seemed like a cheerful sort of guy who found everything funny.

I had some trouble taking this story seriously because of the name "Bob." It's just... such a normie name, especially for a fantasy story. I think part of the reason is because it's so often used as a placeholder name.

The part at the end about the book that symbolized the future that had been taken away from him was super poignant and powerful. I liked it a lot, you should be proud of that scene.

Overall, I would say that the story definitely has potential. The grammar errors are noticeable, but they don't stop my from comprehending the story, which is the most important part. There are some parts that feel awkward and robotic, though, where the characters don't think or speak naturally. I think that if you made a VN like this, the writing would be of decent quality and there would definitely be people who enjoyed it, but to take your writing to the next level you probably want a proofreader/editor on board with you.
Thank you very much for the feedback, really helpful!

My god, did I really write grafecully? I must have been really tired that day, lol.

Don't worry about not being able to mark all the mistakes, I know there probably are many and that's not what I expected when I posted this.

And yes, past tense sometimes is tricky for me when I don't know how the verb should be in past/future forms. Still thats something that I think I could easily fix with some online search and being a bit more careful to not mix present with past like I did there.

About the unnatural characters giving exposition, I totally agree with you. That's my movie script writer part shining right there, since in movies you will usually go straight to the point and usually will have convinient characters that give information about the plot or the world.

Ironically, one of my favorite games ever is Half Life 2, which is totally the opposite of this where you discover the world over time and without anyone spitting random info at you. Maybe I could have a better glance at this by trying to mymic their game, meaning that if I think something I wrote wouldn't fit in the Half Life 2 game, it's probably not good. Overall I need to show more and tell less, give less forced exposition, noted! That's something I can do myself if I put my mind to it.

Hopefully if I remove that exposition, it will stop my characters from being robotic as you stated?

As for Bob's name... that has some sort of explanation. The story went through a few different drafts, and at first it was a bit less dark. His name, Bob, was simple and normal as to make him look more approachable, more believable per say, and I even had moments in the story that the subject would pop out, having characters saying stuff like "Bob, what a name for a vampire hunter, must make your enemies shiver in fear" or stuff like that. But with this draft I might want a more serious, unique name. Would something like "Drake" fit better? or something along those lines maybe?

I'm glad you liked the ending, that's one of the few parts that I really tried to go all poetic with metaphors and what not. I wasn't sure how it turned out so im glad its good, I can try to write more like that from now on knowing it works.

So to summarize, I have to remove that forced exposition from my characters so they dont look forced and unnatural, check my grammar (well this one is obvious), show more and tell less instead, and consider changing Bob's name for something more serious sounding. Got it!

Taking your advice, I will post in this forum on the request thread and ask for some good soul to help me with my grammar mostly to proofread my chapters, because i will probably slip more when writing so much in English. The rest of the issues I believe I could handle them myself pretty well. Worst case scenario if I dont get anyone to proofread and fix the mistakes, I can just get the readers to point them out and fix them in patches after the game is released. Not the ideal but it could work too.

Again, very kind of you to help me with this, I hope you feel better knowing you did something good today. Have a nice day!

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Re: Feedback on first chapter of visual novel

#4 Post by Zelan » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:26 am

Yup, that about sums up my advice. c: I'm glad it was helpful to you, I wrote it pretty late at night and I wasn't sure if half of it made sense, haha.

The name thing IS very subjective, like I said, so you don't really HAVE to change it, but I think a name like Drake (as you suggested) would fit the overall story better. If you still want to use that idea of people poking fun at the protagonist's name, you could look up more 'exotic' sounding names that mean something like 'gentle.'

Thanks, I hope you have a nice day as well. c:

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Re: Feedback on first chapter of visual novel

#5 Post by frylander » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:00 pm

Zelan wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:26 am
Yup, that about sums up my advice. c: I'm glad it was helpful to you, I wrote it pretty late at night and I wasn't sure if half of it made sense, haha.

The name thing IS very subjective, like I said, so you don't really HAVE to change it, but I think a name like Drake (as you suggested) would fit the overall story better. If you still want to use that idea of people poking fun at the protagonist's name, you could look up more 'exotic' sounding names that mean something like 'gentle.'

Thanks, I hope you have a nice day as well. c:
Alright then! Thinking a bit about it I think that the best workflow for me now is to write the whole story, and then ask for revision here. While I wait for someone to revision my work and do the needed changes, I can get on the sprites, backgrounds and everything else. That way I won't have anyone just staying around waiting for me to finish a chapter. This way I can avoid making unnecesary sprites/backgrounds/CGI in case something changes in the story mid-production for some reason and that piece of art no longer makes it into the game. This also helps to keep the writing/art consistent if I make it in a single go rather than switching between writing and doing art.

Welp! If no one else has anything to say on my writing, that's more or less what I'll do, if someone has something different to say or wants to reinforce what he already said, be free to do so, I'm always open to feedback!

EDIT: By the way, in the first chapter, is it clear that Bob's "thoughts" are supposed to be written lines in the diary? Or did you read them as regular thoughts? I wasn't sure on how to emulate written quotes.

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Re: Feedback on first chapter of visual novel

#6 Post by frylander » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:34 pm

So I made a new draft of my intro and first chapter with the feedback I got. Posting it in here so people can see the differences better and can use this info for themselves. I think it's pretty interesting seeing the evolution of something.

What I changed:

-Removed awkard and forced exposition from characters dialogues.
-Removed internal thoughts completely as they were mostly a way of exposition.
-Focused on showing the story instead of giving convinient exposition on it, causing an increase of around 200 lines on the chapter because of the new scenes.
-Polished more the beggining of chapter one to give it more impact and make it more interesting.
-Made it clear when you are reading quoted text from diary with single quotation marks.
-Fixed some grammar mistakes.

I believe that's about it, I think with this way of writing I improved the first chapter and the intro. And I'm confident I could write the rest of the story this way, though it will still have grammar errors since it's easy for mistakes to slip by, specially for a non-native english speaker.

Feel free to give feedback on this latest draft and hope it's helpful for someone else when comparing the two to see the differences!

Here is the new Intro:

Code: Select all

__:The full moon peeks through the clouds into some street in England.
__:A man stands in the rain, still and silent.
__:In the middle of the stone street, he stares at a silhouette on the far end of the road.
__:It's small, getting even smaller as it slowly moves through the foggy weather.
__:The man sprints forwards, his boots splashing water puddles as he cuts through the rain.
__:The hat protects his eyes, allowing him to focus on his target.
__:His long, wet trenchcoat waves behind him, dragging him back but not slowing him down. 
__:On his hands, sharp silver daggers reflecting the moonlight aim directly at the shadow.
__:The silhouette turns around to face him.
__:It's a little girl.
Little girl:"Who's this?"
__:Barely moving, the girl dodges the dagger directed to her heart.
Man:"I'll kill you! You fucking bitch!"
__:The other dagger flies towards her face, but she gracefully dodges it without any effort.
Little girl:"Nonsense."
__:The girl's face remains calm as she grabs the man by the wrist and pulls, dislocating his shoulder.
Man:"Aaagh! You fucker! I'm going to make you pay!"
__:The man shouts as one dagger drops to the mud. His dislocated shoulder leaves his whole arm unusable.
__:His face is filled with hatred and pain. Tears mix with the rain below his chin.
Little girl:"You better stop, or you will suffer."
__:Her soft voice resonates with the rain. No one else is in the streets, only them are seen outside.
Man:"I won't stop until I kill you!"
__:They dance in the moonlight, the man trying to cut through her while she dodges every single hit.
Little girl:"Alright, that's enough."
__:She disappears from his sight. In an instant she is standing on his back, grabbing his other arm.
__:Pulling, the shoulder snaps with a loud crack.
Man:"AAAAAH! Fucking hell!"
__:His knees give in and he kneels on a puddle of water and mud. The little girl hops down from his back and stares at him.
__:Her pale skin covered by her dark hair stands out as they stay face to face.
Little girl:"It's over. Or do you plan to bite me?"
__:He remains quiet, clenching his teeth before recovering his anger with a loud howling scream.
Man:"AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"
__:His face lifts followed by the rest of his body. Charging his blow, he curves his back and launches himself forward, smashing his forehead against hers.
__:*SLAM*
__:She doesn't move a bit, stopping his head with hers.
__:Their foreheads still pressing, they stare into each other's eyes for a while .
__:Her eyes, a deep blue. His, a vivid green.
Man:"Even if it's the last thing I do, I will kill you."
Little girl:"You must hate me a lot to go through so much trouble."
__:Gently, she grabs him by his throat and lifts him as far as her small arms allow her.
Little girl:"Sadly, I don't remember who you are."
__:She tosses him aside effortlessly, crashing him through some wooden barrels. 
__:Now covered from the rain by the porch of a building, the man's body remains flat on the ground with his eyes closed.
__:She slowly walks towards him, stepping between the wooden planks from the broken barrels.
__:Seeing his state, she closes her eyes and sighs. Then, she notices something on the floor.
Little girl:"A book...?"
__:Next to his head a seemingly old, green book with a blank cover gets the girl's attention. She grabs it and with curious eyes, opens it.
Little girl:"This book... it can't be..."
And here is the new chapter 1:

Code: Select all


Mom:"Here, have this, Drake."
__:The woman lends a book with a blank, green cover.
__:Her dirty clothes filled with food stains don't stop her from smiling.
Drake:"A book? What's it about?"
__:A curious young boy asks, reaching for the gift.
__:Much like his mother's, the boy's clothing is filled with dust and mud.
Mom:"Oh, you'll see, I find it quite interesting."
__:She giggles a bit as he opens it. Turning the pages, he looks confused.
Drake:"But mom, it's blank! There is nothing in here, they scammed you!"
Mom:"What? No way, what are you saying? Look!"
__:Cheerful, she points a finger on a blank page.
Mom:"See? This is a fantastic story about a great boy going through incredible adventures! And he even meets a wonderful, beautiful girl!"
__:Scratching his hair, Drake further inspects the page to the point of clenching his eyes.
Drake:"I don't see anything mom, have you gone crazy?"
Mom:"Hahahaha!"
__:The mom laughs out loud, hugging the boy with one hand while holding the book closer with the other.
Mom:"Of course not, silly. You can't see anything, because this book hasn't been written yet."
__:The kid lifts an eyebrow, intrigued.
Drake:"What does that mean? How am I gonna read a book that hasn't been written?"
Mom:"That's because, you are not supposed to read it."
__:She presses his nose with a finger and then, hands him a pen.
Mom:"You're supposed to write it. I want you to make a diary."
Drake:"What? A diary? But why? Diaries are for girls!"
__:Her mom gently taps his head with her fist, giving him a little bump.
Mom:"Not at all! And you are doing this, because from now on I'll be teaching you to write and you need to practice!"
Drake:"Whaaat? But what about maths? I like maths!"
Mom:"Yes, you do, but I already taught you everything I know on maths, so now we're writing! Got it?"
__:She smiles hugging him tight against her chest, laughing a bit.
Drake:"But why a diary though? Can't I just write anything?"
Mom:"No! A diary will help you keep focused and organized, and it's a great exercise for everyday life!"
Drake:"But I don't know what to write in a diary! How does that even work?"
Mom:"That's the best part, you are supposed to figure that out yourself! What would you want this book to be about? It's very important."
Drake:"Eeeeehhhhhh????"
__:She smiles, patting his head.
Mom:"Now why don't you go out for a while to think about it? I need to clean the house and do some chores, honey."
__:Drake sighs, lowering his head.
Drake:"Fiiiiiine."
__:...
__:Focused, Drake stares into the empty cover of the book.
__:One hand holds it while the other rests on his chin, squeezing it.
__:Around him is a big plaza, filled with more pigeons than people. And around that plaza, some car passes by from time to time.
__:The gas lamps in the street barely light the place as the sun starts going down, darkening the sky.
__:Drake sighs, sitting in a bench and opening the book on the first page, still blank.
__:After staring for a little while, he chuckles in a low voice.
Drake:"Funny. You are blank, much like my head right now. Isn't that the perfect diary already?"
__:He mutters to himself.
__:From the distance, a gang of kids about his age starts approaching him from behind. A total of 3, all of them wear fancy clothes like vests and caps.
__:Sighing, Drake closes the book. It's taken from his hands by one of the kids that's leaning down behind him.
Drake:"HEY!"
__:Drake stands up quickly as the kids go around the bench to face him.
Tough Kid:"A book? What would you want this for, farmboy?"
Fat Kid:"Yeah, what good's a book for someone who doesn't know how to read?"
Tall Kid:"I bet he stole it from our school or something, no way his family can afford it!"
__:Clenching his fist and frowning, Drake inspects all 3 of them. The tough one has the book, holding it without any care. All of them laugh at his angry face.
Drake:"It's not funny, give it back! My mom gave it to me!"
__:Drake lifts his hand towards the book, trying to get it, but the tall kid pushes Drake's forehead making him unable to reach it.
Tough Kid:"Oh, your mommy gave it to you? Is she teaching you how to read now? How cute. If only that dumb bitch knew how to read herself."
__:At those words Drake's eyes sharpen. Pushing the tall kid's hand from his face he launches a punch forward, hitting the tough kid's chin.
Drake:"DON'T TALK ABOUT MY MOM LIKE THAT!"
__:The other two kids grab Drake by the arms, restraining him while the tough one recovers from the blow.
Tough Kid:"See? You are just a wild monkey, a savage that lives in the forest. No wonder your family of retards won't ever get out of the mud."
__:Drake grunts, staring at him while struggling to break free.
Tough Kid:"Just to show you some manners and respect, I will be taking this book with me. It's on better hands now, monkey."
__:The tough kid gets closer until they are face to face. Putting on an cruel smile he stares into Drake's eyes, filled with rage.
Drake:"GIVE IT BACK!"
__:Screaming as loud as his lungs allow him, Drake leans back and propels himself forward, smashing their foreheads together.
Tough Kid:"FUCK!"
__:The hit sends the tough kid back a few steps, confused and pained. Meanwhile, Drake stomps the fat kid's foot, freeing himself from his grip.
Fat Kid:"AAAAH!! MY FOOT!"
__:With his now free arm, Drake whips the tall's kid chest over and over until he gives in and releases him.
__:Taking advantage of the confusion, Drake reaches for the book on the tough kid's hand and grabs it. He starts running away from them as fast as he can, scaring the pigeons on his way.
__:The kids start going after him as soon as they recover.
Tough Kid:"Get that asshole! Don't let him escape!"
__:Tears on his eyes, a trail of blood on his forehead and a continuous gasp for air are the only companions Drake has as he flees.
__:Going down some dark street while hugging the book tight on his chest, he runs past a little girl about his same age.
__:She looks at him even turning around to follow his path as they cross. 
__:Soon the kids pass her too, and Drake takes a turn to the left into an alley, trying to get rid of them.
Tall Kid:"He's in that alley!"
__:Barely lit by the dim light that comes from the street, the alley extends far between two tall stone buildings.
__:Reaching the dead end of the alley, Drake pants and tries to recover his breath.
__:The kids enter the alley rushing towards Drake while he protects the book on his hands, hugging it.
Tough Kid:"Give us that book, loser!"
Drake:"No!"
__:A fist flies towards Drake's face and sends him to the ground with a loud thud.
Drake:"Aaah!"
__:On the floor, the kids start beating him with kicks and punches, using Drake as a sand bag.
Tough Kid:"Let it go! Now!"
Drake:"NO!!!"
__:He embraces the book as if it were his own life, even as his body is being beaten.
__:Between screams of pain, he can be heard crying.
__:For a moment, the beating stops.
Tall Kid:"Who are you, do you want a beating too? Get out!"
Fat Kid:"Yeah, get lost!"
__:Drake remains in the floor crying with closed eyes, covering the book with his body.
Fat Kid:"Wh-What...?"
Tall Kid:"...!!"
Tough Kid:"W-What the hell is that...? R-RUN!"
__:Screaming, the kids start fleeing with loud steps that echo in the alley.
__:Their shadows flee with them, leaving only one calm, still shadow covering Drake's body.
__:Confused about what just happened, Drake slowly opens his eyes taking a look around through his tears.
__:In front of him, the little girl he crossed on the street is looking down at him.
__:Black long hair, a dress as blue as her eyes and an expression as cold as the night.
__:For a moment, they just stare into each other, until she speaks in a soft voice.
Little Girl:"Are you okay?"
__:Drake grunts, slowly getting up. The bruises and wounds on his body have quickly multiplied.
Drake:"I'm fine... thank you."
Little Girl:"That must be a good book if you took such a beating for it."
__:Barely able to stand up with his knees trembling, he looks at the book still in his hands.
Drake:"Yes, yes it is."
Drake:"What happened with those kids, where did they go?"
Little Girl:"I don't know, they just left."
__:The girl's voice remains calm and soft, almost making it hard to hear her.
Drake:"I see... Guess I should be leaving too before they come back. Thank you."
__:Drake walks past the girl, that turns around to keep her stare at him.
Little Girl:"What's it about?"
__:Drake stops, turning to face the girl.
Drake:"What?"
Little Girl:"The book. What's it about? I really like reading, and I'm curious as to what that book's about."
Little Girl:"If it looks interesting I might read it myself."
Drake:"Ah, that..."
__:He stares at the blank cover for a bit, thoughtful.
Drake:"Well, it's about a young boy going through incredible adventures, fighting very powerful villains and saving the world! ...Or something like that."
__:He chuckles.
Little Girl:"That sounds good, can I take a look?"
__:Drake seems doubtful, but finally lends her the book.
Drake:"Sure."
__:She grabs it and starts turning pages. For a second her serious expression becomes puzzled with confusion.
__:Drake starts laughing out loud, letting out small screams of pain caused by his wounds.
Drake:"HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ouch, ouch...!!"
__:The girl closes the book, looking at him.
Little Girl:"Are you making fun of me?"
__:Drake calms his laughter before answering her.
Drake:"N-No! No... It's just that, this book hasn't been written yet."
Drake:"You see, that's my diary."
Little Girl:"Oh, so that boy going through incredible adventures is supposed to be you, then?"
__:Drake smiles.
Drake:"I guess. But I don't really know what to write. I'm not good at it."
Little Girl:"Interesting. I've read lots of books, but I never thought about writing something myself."
__:Drake lifts his hand towards her, offering his palm.
Drake:"Well, sorry to disappoint with my book. I should be going now. Was nice meeting you!"
__:Smiling, he waits for her to give back his book. She keeps it in her hands, looking at his smile.
Little Girl:"Why are you smiling?"
__:Drake stops his smile, a bit confused.
Drake:"What? I don't know... I guess I'm happy."
Little Girl:"Why? Doesn't it hurt? You're wounded, and aren't you afraid those kids will come back to beat you again?"
__:Drake looks surprised from her sudden interest.
Drake:"Well, of course it hurts, but if they came back I would do the same again!"
Drake:"I'm just happy I still got this book with me."
__:She looks at the book one last time before giving it to him.
Little Girl:"I don't understand. What's so special about that book? You could just get a new one, it's just a blank book."
Little Girl:"Why take a beating for it?"
__:Drake smiles proudly.
Drake:"That's not true, my mom gifted it to me. There is no other like this one."
__:At those words, her eyes open up a bit.
Drake:"Well, you should get back home too, it's pretty late, see you!"
__:Drake starts running as fast as he can with his wounded body.
Little Girl:"Wait!"
__:Drake stops once again, sighing and looking back at her.
Drake:"What now?"
__:The girl is looking down, a bit shy.
Little Girl:"Can I... go with you?"
__:Drake smiles cheerfully.
Drake:"Sure!"
__:...
__:Walking down a small dirt road, Drake and the girl approach a farmhouse surrounded by forest in the outskirts of the city.
__:The interior is seen from the windows thanks to the candles and gas lamps lighting the house.
__:Some fields and barns surround the main building, which is the biggest of all. 
Drake:"This is it. I live here, do you like it?"
__:She slowsly nods. Her stomach growls, and she presses it with her hand, a bit ashamed.
Drake:"You must be hungry, it's been a long walk here from the city. Want to come in?"
__:She remains silent, but Drake drags her by her hand, holding his book with the other.
Drake:"Come on, don't be shy!"
__:The main door opens, a wounded Drake enters followed by the graceful little girl.

Drake:"Mom, I found this girl outside, I think she is hungry... do you mind if she has dinner with us?"
__:The little girl slowly follows Drake inside, looking around the building like a curious cat.
__:Her cold, clean blue dress doesn't fit with the warm colors in the house.
Drake:"Come, I will present my parents to you, they are very nice!"
Mom:"What's that? A girl?"
__:The mom pops out her head from the kitchen, intrigued.
Mom:"Oh my, what is this, did you make a new friend on the way home, Drake?"
Mom:"And what happened to you?"
Drake:"It's nothing. Can she have dinner with us? Pretty please?"
__:The girl stays in place like a statue, just switching her eyes between them.
__:His mom sighs closing her eyes, but ends up smiling.
Mom:"Come on in then! It's great to hear Drake made a new friend."
__:The little girl looks down, silent.
Mom:"Well, don't worry. Dad should be home soon so we can have some dinner from whatever he hunts."
Mom:"I will make extra for you, honey. But first lets get those wounds healed, Drake."
__:...
__:Sitting in a round table, Drake's  mom places warm food on the plates of both kids and adults.
__:Hot steam fills the room as they begin to eat. Except for the girl.
Dad:"Aren't you gonna eat? You don't have to worry, it's free!"
__:The girl stares at the plate for a while, holding a knife and a fork on each hand.
__:Finally she decides, cutting through the meat and taking a bite.
__:*Bleeergh!*
__:She covers her mouth with both hands. On the floor a pool of puke forms, covering the slice of meat she had eaten.
Drake:"A-Are you okay? Was it too hot or something?"
Mom:"Oh dear! Are you alright, honey?"
__:Her hands shaking, she gets up from the table and runs towards the hallway, leaving the house.
Drake:"Hey, wait! Where are you going?!"
Dad:"Well well, it seems somebody doesn't like your recipe, hehe."
Mom:"Or maybe that meat was rotten... Jesus, poor girl. She was so embarrassed."
__:...
__:Cleaning the dishes, Drake's mom rubs his hair as he leaves his plate for her to clean it.
__:Thoughtful, he walks up the stairs until he reaches a room.
__:Closing the door behind him, he sits in his chair in front of a desk with the book placed on it.
__:Only lit with a small candle in his room, Drake stares at a blank page.
__:With a sigh, Drake grabs a pen and starts writing.

__:'Today I met a really weird, creepy girl. She was very serious and quiet, but.. I liked her.'
__:'She even puked during dinner!'
__:'She left before I could talk more to her, I didn't even get her name.'
Drake:"Ah, creepy girl, you came again!"
__:A cheerful Drake smiles at the girl, that always remains serious.
__:She's peeking at the inside of the house from the side of a tree.
Drake:"What are you doing, are you spying on us or something? Come on in, don't be shy!"
__:She doesn't move from the tree, almost hugging it with her hands.
Drake:"Well, you don't have to come if you don't want to, but you're always welcome, okay?"
__:He runs towards the main door, looking back and almost tripping on his feet.
Drake:"And sorry about the food of the other day! It was terrible, wasn't it?! Hahaha!"


__:'I saw her again tonight. I wonder, what she's up to?'
__:*Knock knock!*
__:The main door opens, and at the other side, a silent girl looks back with doubtful eyes.
Mom:"Oh! Drake, it's your friend!"
__:Loud steps shake the dust from the floor as Drake runs to the main entrance.
Drake:"Ooooh, creepy girl! Want to come in?"
__:She nods, looking down. For a second, her mouth widens, forming a gentle smile.
Drake:"Great!"
__:The girl is taken by surprise as Drake grabs her hands in a frenzy and drags her inside, all the way upstairs to his room.
__:A bit blushed, the girl stands in the middle of his room.
Drake:"Oh, now that I think about it, I never really presented myself properly! I'm Drake, nice to meet you, let's be friends, alright?"


__:'I think she is cute. She seems very kind and gentle.'
__:'Today she told me her name. It's...'
Little girl:"...Lisa"
Drake:"OOHHH..!!"
__:Lisa looks at him, confused.
Lisa:"What?"
Drake:"You have a cool name!"
__:Smiling, he grabs her by her shoulders and hugs her tight, making her blush deeply.
Lisa:"What are you doing?"
Drake:"Let's be friends, okay?"
__:Lisa is held in his arms, her eyes opening up a bit from the proposal.
Lisa:"Okay."


__:'She's my first friend. I couldn't ask for a better one.'
Lisa:"Are you sure? That book is yours, I don't want you to waste it on me."
__:Drake holds two books on his hands. Both are the same, green without any kind of text or drawings on the cover, completely blank.
Drake:"We are learning together, so you need a book to practice too!"
Lisa:"But that book's from your mom, right? I can get one myself, it's okay."
Drake:"Yes, but look!"
__:Drake puts both books side to side, showing how they look equal.
Drake:"See? They are the same, isn't that cool?"
Lisa:"Yes."
__:She smiles.
Drake: "So you can have it! Right, mom?"
__:The mom looks at the couple, smiling cheerfully.
Mom:"Right!"
Lisa:"Fine, thanks."
__:Her soft voice makes Drake smile proud as she grabs her own book.



__:'Since that first day, she's been coming to our house every night'
Drake:*Yaaawn*
Lisa:"...Are you tired?"
Drake:"No! I'm fine."
__:Sitting on his bed,  both of them are resting on each other's shoulders.
Lisa:"I'm sorry, I always come so late at night, I don't let you sleep."
Drake:"It's fine, I told you! It's a nice excuse to stay up late! Sleeping is for the weak, anyways."
Lisa:"I should go, you need to rest."
__:She tries to stand, but something drags her back to the bed.
Lisa:"...?"
__:A sleepy Drake rests his head on her shoulder, anchoring his arms around hers.
__:Lisa sighs.
Lisa:"I guess I can stay for a little longer."
__:'Usually I fall asleep by her side, and when I wake up she's gone. I always think to myself... was it a dream?'



Lisa:"What happened?"
__:Full of bruises, Drake smiles at her like it's nothing.
Drake:"Just a little fight, don't worry. I'm fine."
Lisa:"Why did you fight?"
Drake:"So I could have something epic to write on my diary, of course! Haha!"
__:Lisa's hand slowly reaches for one of the bruises on his face. Her worried look surprises Drake.
Lisa:"Do those kids cause you trouble?"
__:Flattered, he smiles and lets out a loud laugh.
Drake:"Hahahaha! You don't have to worry, for real! I can beat them anyday. I'm a man, so It's only right, I have to stand my ground!"
__:'The kids that used to pick on me haven't appeared for a while. Probably just didn't cross them on the street.'


Lisa:"Your dad kills animals to survive, right...?"
__:Sitting outside on the grass, they look way up to the full moon.
Drake:"Huh...? Yeay, why?"
Lisa:"Do you want to be a hunter too, when you grow up?"
__:Drake smiles cheerful and shakes his head no.
Drake:"No. I went with him to hunt some times but, I just can't stand killing animals. So instead I will be a farmer, like my mom! I will be the animal's friend, not their hunter!"
__:She looks down, a gentle smile shines on her face.
Lisa:"I see. That's... cute."
__:Drake blushes, getting caught offguard.
Drake:"What about you? What do you want to do when you grow up?"
Lisa:"I...?"
__:She stares at the moon again, thoughtful.
Lisa:"When I grow up... I want to be by your side."
__:A gentle smile covers her face.


__:'Lisa's way smarter than me, but she helps me so I don't fall behind.'
Lisa:"It's Lisa, with a single 's'"
Drake:"Huh...? H-Hey, what are you doing, don't read my diary!"
__:Blushing, Drake closes his book after Lisa took a peek at it.
__:She smiles gently, while Drake recovers from the surprise.
Drake:"I'll... I'll correct it later, thanks."
Lisa:"You're welcome."
Drake:"Can I... Can I read your diary? To check for mistakes, too..."
Lisa:"Absolutely not."
__:Lisa hugs her book tight on her chest, squeezing it.
Drake:"Heh, that's what I thought."



__:'She is very reserved, she doesn't even want to eat with us, probably because she doesn't want to be a bother.'
Mom:"Are you sure you don't want something to eat?"
Lisa:"It's alright, I already ate before coming here, so I'm full."
__:'So she stares at us having dinner while her stomach growls.'
__:'Still, she doesn't seem sad. She seems to enjoy it, even if it's just being with us.'



__:'My mom and dad like her a lot, too.'
Mom:"You can stay for the day too if you want. "
Dad:"Haha, yeah. You two could play together or practice writing with mom. He's so bored during the day."
Mom:"All day long he talks about you, you know?"
__:Blushing, Drake steps between Lisa and his parents.
Drake:"Tssh! That's enough, mom!"
__:Behind him, he thought he heard an angel laugh.
Lisa:"Hahaha!"
__:Shocked, Drake turns around to see a laughing Lisa.
Lisa:"It's fine. Sorry but I can only come at night, I have things to do during the day."
__:Happy, Drake joins her in her laugh, smiling.

__:'They got so used to her, that she became almost like a daughter for my parents.'
Mom:"Are you sure you have to go? It's still dark outside! And there have been so many murders lately... I don't feel good letting you go like that."
Dad:"I feel the same way, why don't I go with you? Wherever you go, I bet it's not that far."
Lisa:"Thanks for caring so much about me, but you don't need to worry. The sun's about to rise, so it will be day in no time. I'll be fine."
__:Standing in front of her, a worried Drake stares at her eyes before hugging her.
Drake:"Just... be careful, alright? I want to see you tonight again."
__:Lisa smiles, hugging him back.
Lisa:"I'll be here as always."

__:'She always seems a bit sad, so I want to make her happy.'
Drake:"Here, I made you this!"
Lisa:"What? For me...?"
__:Hanging from Drake's hands, a somewhat disjointed brown teddybear looks at Lisa with black, shiny marble eyes.
Drake:"My mom taught me how to do it! Did you have any idea? Did you?"
__:Lisa slowly reaches for the teddybear and hugs it, smiling while she enjoys its touch.
Lisa:"No, I had no idea. Thank you so much."




__:'She's not like any other girls I have seen, but I think that makes her special.'
Lisa:"You're bleeding."
__:Drake lifts his red finger while rubbing his hair with his other hand.
Drake:"This? Don't worry, I cut myself while making your teddybear. It's not deep but it won't stop bleeding, I'll ask my mom to heal it."
__:Gently, she grabs him by his bleeding finger and sticks it in her mouth, licking it.
__:Drake stares at her, blushed and shocked.
Drake:"W-What are you doing?"
Lisa:"I'm licking it. Do you think it's...disgusting...?"
Drake:"W-What? N-No, no! It's just... Umh... It's fine, don't worry!"


__:'And in her own way I think she's trying to thank us, too.'
Lisa:"I brought you this..."
__:Her arms lift, presenting a golden pocket watch that shines in the dim light.
Drake:"Woah, that's for us?"
Mom:"Oh my, it wasn't necessary! It looks so expensive, where did you get it?"
Lisa:"I...I found it on the floor in the street, so I... uh.. took it..."
__:Drake joins his hand with hers, grabbing the watch from Lisa.
__:She blushes, looking to the side.
Drake:"I'm sorry Lisa, but we can't accept this gift."
__:Lisa's gentle smile fades, confused.
Lisa:"W-What...? Why not...?"
__:Drake smiles, pressing a button on the watch and opening it. Inside, there's a photo of an old man with his two daughters.
Drake:"See? This is Harry's watch, he's some old man from the city."
Drake:"He probably dropped it by accident, so we will return it to him. Sorry, Lisa."
Lisa:"Oh, I see..."
__:Her head lowers as her long hair almost covers her whole face.


__:'Today, she said it was going to be our last night together.'
Drake:"What? Why? Why can't you come again?"
__:An altered Drake asks, both of them standing in the open field outside.
Lisa:"I... have to go, and I will never come back. I'm sorry. It was nice being with you, thank you so much, for real."
__:She leans in and gives Drake a small kiss on his chin.
__:His eyes open as tears start forming in them, going down his face.
__:Before he can grab her, she turns around and starts running away.
Drake:"W-Wait! Why? Where are you going?! Wait!!!"
Drake:"LISA!!!!"

__:'There hasn't been a sign of her for days. The nights never seemed so long and quiet to me as now.'
__:Sitting on his room at night, Drake peeks out the window looking at the forest around his farmhouse.
__:From time to time, he gets quick glances of silhouettes moving between the trees.
Drake:"L-Lisa?!"
__:A deer comes out from the bushes, only to go back to the forest.
Drake:"No, it's not... Will I ever see her again...? This is not fair..."

__:And like that, Drake kept waiting for her, until one night...
Mom:"Drake, it's Lisa!"
__:Drake's laying on his bed upstairs while hugging his book. He gets up at the call of his mom, the word that resonates the most it's, of course...
Drake:"Lisa?"
__:In a hurry, he starts running downstairs, still holding his diary.
__:*THUMP*
Dad:"What's that, Lisa came back? That's-"
__:*SLASH*
__:*THUMP*
__:Drake runs to the hallway, his naked feet sliding on the wet floor and making him fall.
__:Confused by the landing, he rubs his head before focusing again on the red pool below him.
Drake:"W-What's this...?"
__:Next to him, the bleeding corpses of his mom and dad are laying down.
__:Standing in the middle of the hallway, a blue dress is stained with red.
__:Fingernails as sharp and pointy as blades.
__:Bat-like wings coming out the back.
__:An innocent face twisted with fangs and demonic eyes.
__:Pale skin turned crimson.
Drake:"L-Lisa?!"
__:She remains quiet, her face completely red by the blood. Her stare with those black eyes scares him.
__:Lisa takes a step forward, her foot leaving a red footprint on the wooden floor.
Lisa:"Your dad was a hunter, Drake."
__:Terrified, Drake crawls back until his body hits a wall.
Drake:"W-What are you saying, what did you do? WHY DID YOU DO IT?!"
__:Lisa closes her eyes.
Lisa:"I'm sorry that I never told you, but... I am a hunter, too. I'm a vampire."
Drake:"A vampire? What do you mean!?"
Lisa:"He hunted animals, I hunt people. That's just how it is. I'm sorry."
__:Stepping closer, she grabs him by the throat and easily lifts him in the air until his feet can't reach the ground.
Drake:"N-No, please Lisa! I beg you!"
__:He struggles, kicking with his legs and trying to free himself from her grip, but the air won't reach his brain.
__:Soon enough, his eyes close and the struggle stops. 
__:Now, only silence and darkness.


__:But it isn't over.
__:Birds, people, even the sun. He can feel all of that.
__:What got lost shines once again, the bright in his eyes as they slowly open.
__:He sees the roof of his hallway. 
__:His parents are laying by his side, completely still.
__:Lisa is nowhere to be found, there's only a few bloody footprints that lead outside.
__:His eyes are open wide as he sits on the stained floor, quiet.
__:In front of him was all his life, now gone. At one side, was the one book he was going to fill with that life. His diary.
__:With teary eyes, he grabs the book and opens it, placing it between his legs.
__:Page after page, bloody fingerprints are left in the paper as he keeps reading each one of them.
__:Not even half way through the book, there only remains blank pages.
__:A whole life yet to live, but for what.
__:With anger overcoming Drake's soul, he starts ripping off blank pages, tossing them aside.
Drake:"AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!"
__:A scream of pain and sadness that reaches no one.
__:That's right, he was alone now. No shoulder to cry on, no one to help him.
__:He was on his own.
Drake:"W-What am I gonna do now, mom, dad...?"
__:His soft voice trembles and breaks from crying.
__:Remaining still for a moment, he cleans his tears with the back of his arm.
__:All that pain and sorrow that he felt. All those years that he lived and had yet to be lived.
__:Everything he was and could have been. Everything.
__:It was all written in a single, lonely page.
__:On that one diary that no one would ever see.
__:Not with ink, but with blood.
__:And it read like this.
__:'My parents are dead. I'm all alone now. I thought I was alone before, since I had no friends.'
__:'But I was so wrong, I had my parents. They loved me, and I loved them.'
__:'Now I know what loneliness means. Now I know what real pain means.'
__:'I WILL MAKE SURE TO SHOW HER THE MEANING OF THOSE WORDS.'
__:...


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