Hi guys! My name is Kana and I LOVE reviewing and reading stories. Through my 4 month period of reviewing stories and giving advice to new and old story writers I want to give some advice to writers out there who are struggling or just some advice to keep in mind when coding out their story!
WHEN WRITING YOUR STORY
- Grammar is the key to success!
You have probably heard of this thing over and over again and trust me, it works. If your story has no spelling mistakes or grammar issues, readers feel that your story is much more enjoyable. Yes, the meaning is still the same if there are spelling or grammar mistakes but still you feel much more better when you have a story that is mistake free. So go through your script and make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes and people will come for your story.
- Art scenes are beautiful but too many is over-doing it!
I’m serious here! If you add too many art scenes your story doesn’t start to make sense and feels out of place. Next time, one art scene per episode is enough.
- Good choices make good stories
What’s fun about Episode is that you can choose a number a choices to continue the story, knowing you are playing a part in it. When you have good choices, your story instantly becomes interesting. Let me give you an example:
You are a scientist and you make a time machine. You find out that the machine that you have invented can bring you back in time or bring you to the future. Unfortunately your machine has only enough energy to bring you back to the past or bring you to the future. What do you choose?
Choice 1: Go back in time
Choice 2: Go to the future
I will leave you to think with what happens next…
- Umm… Are you trying to warn me or get rid of me?
Warnings are important. It’s important to tell your readers what they are dealing with if they read your story. But then if you add too many warnings, aren’t you just asking us NOT to read your story? I have seen lots of people do this. They add lots of warnings, making me read 5 whole minutes of warnings, showing panel after panel telling you to be warned. Two panels full of warnings is more than enough. In reality you just need to warn them in one panel and that is more than enough. Because once you add too many warnings readers feel frustrated that they have to read warning after warning and can’t actually read your story even if your chapter is worth the read. Please don’t do this… totally not worth the time for both the readers and you.
- Hard effort means good story!
I have known writers who try to rush through the first 3 chapters just to publish their story. Well… that’s not going to help. Your first three chapters will be chaotic, full of loop holes, extremely short and not enjoyable at all. Readers don’t want to read a story that is like that and I’m certain you yourself won’t want to read a story that has these qualities. So when planning and coding a story, don’t rush! Pour your heart and soul on it and take your time to execute your wonderful story! Because once it’s published it’s hard to edit it again and when you rush readers can see it on your chapters. So take your time, put a lot of effort in the chapters, plan them properly and most of all HAVE FUN!
- Test it out
Yes! The most IMPORTANT thing when writing and coding out a story. You have to test the story on the app. When testing it you can have a reader’s view on what your story looks like, know what mistakes you need to fix and improve. Technical problems can arise if you don’t test them out whether it be small issues like characters still talking in between other dialogues or transitions that are out of place. Sometimes these problems can be real chaotic when you use advance directing. So ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS test out your story! And remember a story that is problem free is bound to bring you readers.
- Help is everywhere
When you new to the writer’s portal it can be quite confusing when you have no idea what’s going on. And the guides…Pfft… They aren’t any help either. What I think is the best way to seek help is to go to Youtube and find tutorials there! Joseph Evans made some pretty sick tutorials and they are a LIFE SAVERS (in my opinion). Also, don’t be scared to ask for help in the forum whether it be a simple yet embarrassing coding question or a super complex one. People are out there to help you even though they are strangers.
- How long should a chapter be?
There has been debates on how long your chapter be, like the amount of lines you should code out to be called an actual chapter. Technically, you shouldn’t count by lines because branching and overlays are the majority of what your script is actually made up of and dialogues don’t take up much space. What you should be measuring is the amount of time you spend on one chapter. Usually a chapter that takes 10-20 minutes to read is what I call a chapter that is worth the time, but it changes from a persons perspective. But we can all agree on one thing, Don’t make your chapters only 5 minutes long… and please don’t tell me the majority of it are warnings.
PROMOTING YOUR STORY
Now this is the hard part… to tell the world that your story exists. Here are a few tips when you can try to promote your story.
- Nice cover means nice story
Unfortunately this is true. People judge stories on episode by their story covers, this is why writers choose to have professional artist to have their covers created despite losing some coins on the way. A majority of us in the episode community are TERRIBLE artist and commissions are something we can’t afford. What I strongly suggest is you find a fellow Episodians on this forum who can edit or make cover art for you. Most art groups on this forum are pretty good and you shouldn’t feel ashamed for asking for help. Just remember to credit these wonderful people when using their art.
- Social Media
Yes! Social Media is the ultimate tool to success! A lot of people in the Episode community connect through Instagram but there are some unfortunate ones who don’t have an Instagram account. There are tons of other apps to promote your story though. One I recommend is Amino! It’s easy to post and communicate with other fellow Episode users along with learning how to code, secret hacks like deleting stories that have been already saved , sharing art resources and backgrounds and maybe find new friends! You have to be in the Episode community though…
When using Instagram to promote your story, remember to add tons of hashtags so people who are trying to find a something similar to your story can come across it! Sneak peeks, upcoming news and other updates are great ideas to promote your story too to show that the story is still in progress and you are dedicated to finish it.
- The Episode Social Media
Believe it or not, Episode has it’s own social media on the Episode app itself. Though it’s not open to all users, including me, I have seen friends of mine have it. Just like Instagram, you follow other users and have new updated to you, whether to tell you that the story you have been eyeing on has released it’s next chapter, updates on the progress of the story, sneak peeks or new stories to try out!
- The Epy Awards
Not many know about this and I’m not even sure if it still runs. Just like the Oscar Awards, Episode has it own awards for stories, giving prizes, awards and fame! There are requirements though and your story needs to be a quality one but if you win one of the awards or your story is mentioned by them its instant fame!
Here’s the link to the website: http://www.theepyawards.com/
- Keep updating your story!
I have seen stories that stay stagnant for years and people naturally lose interest. Or even worse the author writes a story, leaves it and forgets about it, and starts a new one! That’s really annoying and loses the trust of the fellow readers who have supported your previous story. One story at a time… Or if you have two stories, show equal devotion to both of them until you complete the story. This will naturally bring in readers to read your story and the future ones that you are creating.
So that is all! I hope this topic was an interesting yet helpful for all of the promising writers out there! If you wan’t personal feedback from me myself I will be happy to! Just past the link to your story in the link below and wait.
Right now I have a lot of people waiting in line so you need to be patient.
For readers out there who have no idea what to read next, why not try the stories in the link below. Don’t worry, it’s not my story… These are stories that I have reviewed and thought that needed more love and support!
Good luck and Happy Coding!