The Lady in White
An honest... and long review of the story "The Lady in White" (Apologies if it's too long):
Read the story now
"The Lady in White" is a short story done by the all lovely Snoogums Boogums (the author's name, well... at least here on Inkitt). I want to start off with some of the nice things I find enjoyable about the story:
First, I enjoyed how short this is. It's easy and can be read in one sitting, and I think people would like these kind of stories where they don't have to waste hours and hours of time just by reading alone. I also appreciate the author's writing style. It's not complicated and it's clear nonetheless. The font that was used is somewhat interesting, and I was quite surprised by it. I was astonished about how the author can manipulate and utilize a different font than the usual default font Inkitt offers (which is Georgia), so, good job with that... or maybe my phone and laptop is broken, I don't know. I have nothing to say more about their writing style!
Let's move on to the plot and some of the downsides of the story:
The plot was not as great as I thought it would be. Though, I was a little shocked after reading the whole story, but in the end, it was not as impactful, and the only reaction I could give is a little "oh" and nothing more. It disappointed me because I thought there's something more to the story. The pacing is not as good too because it felt a little rushed along with the switching of point of views from one character to another which I find confusing, especially at the last chapter because I had no idea who was talking from there, and I have to analyze who was talking there before moving on. The story has some potential though, but I guess the problem here is that the author didn't give the plot much thought. So, I'd like the author to give consideration to the following suggestions:
- For a short story, try and think of a plot that can somehow amuse the readers; a plot that is interesting and can give out more impact. A plot twist perhaps is a good example of this. I can see that the story is trying to execute that kind of technique, but it was too generic and uninteresting. Maybe you could try something more intriguing like, for example, when the family is driving to go for an outing, maybe they'd find themselves driving to the girl in white in the middle of the road by accident, and so, maybe they cussed her out, saying that she should watch where she's going. Then after, you could give hints or foreshadowing about the girl in white, leading up to the resolution where the family will find out the truth about her, and that, the girl is looking for revenge because of the things that the family did wrong to her. Maybe the books that were mentioned has some sort of symbolism and connection with the girl in white. Isn't that more interesting? This is just an example, so, it's not really a "great" plot, but you get the point. Be creative when writing a plot for a story, but you have to think through it properly for a much interesting and enjoyable read! Even if it's a short story, if you want to have a generic and simple plot, try and write an interesting take that people don't know of yet. So, get wild and be flexible when constructing plots! That's the fun part about writing! With practice and experience, you can execute impactful stories, even if they're short!
- I can see the story is full of switching with the point of views of each character, but I suggest the author should start out sticking to one point of view for now because "head hopping" (the term used for switching POV's from one character to another or more) can be hard to do if it was not done properly. Execution of this is difficult, especially if you want to write the POV's of many characters at once, because we have consider the readers point of view as well. Will they understand the story clearly? Will they find it enjoyable to read? Will they find it annoying every time I switch POV's in a chapter? Etc. I appreciate the author for doing this kind of technique in this story, but it was too rigid, so, I suggest to stick to one POV only for now. Maybe write a story only in Narrator's POV, it's common for most stories after all. If the author really wants to write stories with the "head hopping" thing, then practice is all I can suggest. Try and experiment with it and analyze if some things are good and some things are bad. It's the author's decision after all!
Lastly, the grammar is average, meaning that there are some mistakes here and there, but that's okay. We're not perfect, so, it could be improved with time. The only thing that's bothering me is the punctuations. It's over the place sometimes, especially in the dialogues, like for example, in chapter 4, it goes something like:
"Dad are we there yet?" Van asked (Should have comma= "Dad, are we there yet?" Van asked.)
"No baby, not yet" I replied. (Should have a comma at the end of the dialogue= "No baby, not yet," I replied)
"John, she's asking us not to go furthermore." Said Corin. (Should be a comma at the end of the dialogue= "John, she's asking us not to go furthermore," said Corin.)
Those are just examples, but the only suggestion here really is that the author should do further research about the usage of punctuations when writing fiction. I'm not an expert at punctuations for fiction writing because there are some professional guidelines, so, I recommend to do some research here and there for improvement, especially for dialogue tags! Double check the draft if needed!
Speaking of dialogue tags, (a dialogue tag is like a tag at the end of dialogues, lol, for example "she said", "John replied", "I suggested", etc.), I suggest that the author should balance the usage of it when writing dialogues. I just noticed that the dialogues in the story are full of "she said", "he said", "I said", and whatever at the end of every dialogue, so, here's a tip for the author: In a story, when a conversation is clear enough for the readers, don't use any dialogue tag unless if there are some gestures you'd like to point out or if it's unclear as to who's talking.
Below is an example that is not ideal to write:
After dinner, I happened to find my friend doing something in the living room. I don't know what he's doing, but he seemed suspicious. Out of curiosity, I walked toward him and tapped his shoulder afterward.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"N-nothing," he said while his body was shaking.
"What do you mean nothing? You look suspicious," I said.
"I'm telling the truth!" he shouted.
"You're lying! I just saw you doing something earlier," I replied.
"So? It's none of your business!" he yelled and pushed me away.
"Boys, what's happening?" my mom interrupted.
Like I mentioned, if it's already clear as to who is talking, ditch the dialogue tags unless if you want to clear something out or want to portray their body gestures (but don't overdo the body gestures too much and focus on the story. Only use them if it's necessary or important.):
After dinner, I happened to found my friend doing something in the living room. I don't know what he's doing, but he seemed suspicious. Out of curiosity, I walked toward him and tapped his shoulder afterward.
"What are you doing?" I asked and raised an eyebrow.
"N-nothing," he replied in panic. His body was shaking a little.
"What do you mean nothing? You look suspicious."
"I'm telling the truth!"
"You're lying! I just saw you doing something earlier."
"So? It's none of your business!" He pushed me away.
"Boys, what's happening?" my mom interrupted.
I don't know if this is helpful or if the author will care about the review because it's too long, but I'm hoping that somehow, they will take this with a grain of salt. I love the author's writing and I appreciate their hard work and dedication in writing because writing in general is difficult as hell. Not many people wishes to write stories, so, I wish the author the best of the best to give themselves a pat on the back for sharing their stories to the public and for a job well done! I'm rooting for them! :D