My story, The Rain Does Not Smother was recently deleted, I was given no reason except it wasn't to the standards. I would like to know what I can do to make it meet those standards.
We were a very religious community. We valued our beliefs above all else. We lived in tents with a fire in the middle to keep warm. We killed animals to make our clothes, our tools, religious and secular. We would do a ritual on the full moon of every night. It was a time to come together as a community. We prayed to the gods above, we marked unions (what you would call marriages), and we thanked those that came before and those who would come later. All of us are born with gifts. It was different than magic, it was something ingrained inside us since we were born. My father was a Healer, my mother a Protector. They birthed a monster. They gave me the name of Rain in hopes I could smother my condition, and gain a more "useful" power. I could control the shadows around me. At first, it was only a flicker, a small sign of what was to come. Then I learned how to manifest them to become more solid. I could interact with objects around the house. They were afraid I was cursed, but they never said anything. They just ignored it. They prayed night and day that it would be gone. Then, I managed to turn my gift into a weapon. I could make knives, scythes, whatever I wanted.
It was the night before our harvest moon ritual. I was lying down on my hide on one side of our tent. I was having trouble sleeping. I was too excited for the next day. We always had a great feast to thank our Gaia for a great harvest. We would eat, drink, and play around in the snow.
"You'll be burned," a buttery voice said. I looked around but found nothing but the remains of our fire. The voice repeated it multiple times. More and more kept coming until I couldn't take it. My shadows acted on their own, covering me in their warm embrace. They never stopped. At least, until the voice said something that soothed me.
"The rain does not smother, but you are a dark phoenix," it said, then I fell into a deep sleep. I awoke to a commotion outside our flap. There were strange people on tall animals. They were burning our tents, ransacking our food, destroying our altars. They said things like "heathens" and "heretics". They spoke our language, but it did not have our warmth. It felt cold, like they swallowed ice.
"You will learn our ways, you will forsake our gods if you wish to live," said a tall man on a silver horse. "If you do not, you will be burned for your ways. We will be back in a week." He left with the rest of his men.
I was not allowed to hear what the chiefs were saying to each other. I did not get close, because I was afraid that what the voices said was coming true. Unfortunately, it did. A week came, and they delivered on their promise. They brought bundles upon bundles of wood. I made peace with the gods while I watched as they erected the pyres. The chiefs stepped up and spoke to the man on the silver horse. The next thing I knew I was being dragged toward the pyre.
"Traitors! All of you are traitors! Where is your pride?! Where is your love!?" I screamed, but it fell onto deaf ears. I said one final curse. "I swear to you, I will come back and smother you all. I will make you choke on this same ash." Then they lit the pyre. Everything went black, but only for a second. I woke up in a strange world. It had stone on the earth and animals tied up to small rooms with wheels. (What you would call a "carriage") A man came up to me and spoke with the same iciness in his voice. My shadows latched onto his mouth, and I stood there with a smile as I smothered him.
While there weren't a lot of mechanical issues, the plot was told very passively, felt more like a character introduction rather than a story, and ended anticlimactically. I would suggest using the writer's workshop if you plan on appealing this story.
For clarification when I say the story was told passively, lines like: "I awoke to a commotion outside our flap. There were strange people on tall animals. They were burning our tents, ransacking our food, destroying our altars. They said things like "heathens" and "heretics"" This is the rising action to the climax and it's told without effective description to convey the horror of the situation. Given the lack of impact it has on the protagonist, it ends up coming off as bland to the audience. If their village being burned/attacked doesn't stir something in them, why should the audience get invested?
Also, a lot of your story is just telling the audience rather than showing them: "We were a very religious community. We valued our beliefs above all else. We lived in tents with a fire in the middle to keep warm. We killed animals to make our clothes, our tools, religious and secular. We would do a ritual on the full moon of every night." It comes off as a lot of unnecessary exposition if it's not worked into the story more organically: "I could interact with objects around the house. They were afraid I was cursed, but they never said anything. They just ignored it. They prayed night and day that it would be gone."
Due to the passive/lack of interesting focus that would engage audiences, this felt more like a character introduction rather than an actual story. It comes off like you're rushing through this character's background to reach the conclusion and there really isn't much beyond it other than giving Rain's abilities and backstory. It gives it a rather generic feel as OC stories tend to adhere to the same plot points without really feeling original or giving the reader something to latch on to.
Additionally the story ends pretty anticlimactically and almost feels like you just jumped to the end of the story. "Then they lit the pyre. Everything went black, but only for a second. I woke up in a strange world. It had stone on the earth and animals tied up to small rooms with wheels."
All in all, this needs quite a lot of revision and work as currently it comes off like an OC introduction story without effective description to engage the audience, that has a lackluster ending, and feels rushed towards the end.