Any advice for a new episode writer?

Hello everybody!
I have recently joined the community and there are so many nice and talented people here!

That’s why I would really love some advice from you.

I am currently writing the first episode on my first story ever. But I became I little bit worried about how I might be doing some beginners mistakes… So I was just wondering if there are things that you should do/not do in your first story/episode, and I am sure that this might be useful for other new authors as well. :blush:

  • How should you not start a story?
  • What are the things that often turn readers away?
  • What are the typically newbie mistakes?
  • What should your story always contain?
  • Any other advice for a newbie.

Thank you beforehand!

  • How should you not start a story?

Start it as you want! But don’t do characters introductions and episodes with customization only!

  • What are the things that often turn readers away?

Here’s the post when you can read about what people mostly hate :smiley:
Things in stories that make you NOT want to finish

  • What are the typically newbie mistakes?

People just want to publish as fast as possible, which is a mistake, instead of spending time on the story, learning the coding, checking the grammar, just publishing short episodes with many errors and later wondering why no one wants to read their stories.

  • What should your story always contain?

People may say choices (but for me it’s not a must) for sure good grammar and at least basic directing without errors.

  • Any other advice for a newbie.

Take your time and learn everything :slight_smile: if you not sure - ask, we are here to help :slight_smile: make sure your episodes are like you want them to be before publishing.


Thank you so much! This was really helpfull. :blush:
I am happy to say that I don’t think I have made any of those mistakes yet., but I’ll be sure to take my time before I publish.

I fill definitely be checking out the link!

1 Like

* How should you not start a story?

This one is pretty subjective. I don’t think there are incorrect or correct ways to start, just what people might like and dislike. Personally speaking I don’t like when the author introduces each character right away, unless it has some sort of a reason behind it. I also don’t like when it starts with a dream because it’s the first scene and I want to get a brief idea of the storyline or the main character, not read through something irrelevant thinking it’s an actual scene, only to find out later that it is indeed irrelevant.

* What are the things that often turn readers away?

I have two that will definitely bother me. One of them is too many mistakes. I’m not a native speaker either and I don’t mean bad English affects me. But if an author makes too many typos and it seems like they didn’t even read it over before publishing, then it gets to me. Second one is lines that come off as… forced. Or fake. Like things a character that age wouldn’t say, unless it’s part of that particular character’s personality.

* What are the typically newbie mistakes?

A clear mistake I did was publishing before the story was ready to be published. The script had many errors. My transitions sucked. And that went on for 10 chapters because once I started writing thinking I’ll learn at some point, I didn’t stop to figure out the technical details. I reread my story a few days ago and I can’t believe people kept reading it, the directing was terrible due to my lack of coding knowledge.

* What should your story always contain?

In my opinion? There’s nothing your story should contain.

* Any other advice for a newbie.

Don’t get caught up in numbers. That just kills the fun of writing.

1 Like

Thnak you very much for your reply!
Definetly some very good points there. I am not a native english speaker either, so I’ll have to make sure that I don’t have too many mistakes. Maybe even get some help.
I will also make sure not to rush anything, but rather enjoy the time writing and making it good, and something I am proud of first.
You are so nice taking the time to write this! I really appriciate the help. :blush:

1 Like

I’m quite new too! I’m currently writing my first story which will have its first three episodes ready in a few days.
My best tip for you is to not rush things. At first, I really really wanted to just have my story published as soon as possible, but after reading stories where the author might’ve been a little too quick with directing it, I’ve learned how important it is to just take your time.
I’ve been watching a lot of tutorials on youtube (I can definitely recommend Joseph Evans’ tutorials for basic directing, they help you learn a lot in no time!) and also just by reading other stories I’ve gotten many ideas and tips for my story.

As a reader, one thing I really appreciate in a story is correct grammar. I think many authors are not native English speakers (myself included) so I do often notice a few mistakes - if there aren’t many, it doesn’t bother me but if I continuously see misspelled grammar, it might cause me to not read on with a story. If you’re not entirely sure on your English grammar, I believe there are plenty of people here on the Episode Community that would love to help!

Also, I am a HUGE fan of stories that have great use of overlays but I understand it’s hard to master the overlays and so I often don’t expect people to use them that much - but if you feel comfortable trying something a little more advanced than basic directing, I think it would definitely be good for your story in the end! :slight_smile:


Yey! Another newbie :hearts:

Oooh! What’s the name of your story? I would love to read it when it comes out!
Yes, Joseph is basically how I learned episode coding! He makes everything so easy to understand.
It’s really good to hear all of you say that it’s important to take your time on the story, since I allready feel a bit thorn between my impatience and my perfectionst tendencies sometimes, haha.

Oh yes! I am such a sucker for overlays as well! That’s why I spend 90% of my writing-time coding overlays. Sometimes, when they’re not working, I feel like it’s all a waste of time, but it’s really nice to hear that someone appriciate them as much as I do.

Hey if you (or someone else) would like to see a short part of the work I’ve been doing on my first episode and give me some feedback, I would be so grateful! I guess I’m a bit scared to go into bad habits when it comes to writing here, so it’s better to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Pm me if you’re willing, and whatever I could do for you in return. :grin:

My story will be called Unrevealed and I am so happy to hear that you’d like to read it when it comes out! I will definitely be checking yours out too, it sounds like you’re working very hard on it and so I’m sure it’ll be great! :smiley:

I’ll pm you once I’ve finished my first three chapters, I’ll be happy to help you out x

1 Like
  • How should you not start a story?

A mistake I made (a lot) was telling too much. I’ve seen stories with… at least a quarter of a normal episode that was just telling their past on a black screen. When I’m wrote the first chapter of Gray Skies (one of my stories), I had Sky tell her past through a nightmare.

  • What are the things that often turn readers away?

Well, bad grammar and directing mistakes often turns me away a lot. Sometimes I read stories and I think, “The heck? It doesn’t even look like they read over their script!”

  • What are the typically newbie mistakes?

There are a lot of typical newbie mistakes. Telling too much, not fixing mistakes in stories (in The Player, one of the guys kissed a wall… dafuq?), bad story flow, accidentally(?) breaking the guidelines… Yeah, the list goes on.

  • What should your story always contain?

A lot of authors would say choices, but I’m not sure about that. There are a lot of successful stories out there that DON’T include choices. Take a look at the books!

But, make sure your story ALWAYS has flow. I’ve read stories that seem rushed and some that seem drawn out. The story shouldn’t force readers to skip ahead because it’s embarrassing, cringe-worthy, et cetera.

  • Any other advice for a newbie.

If you need help, ask for it! Don’t let your questions go unanswered; this is what this forum is for! :heart:

1 Like

Here are some tips I have for beginner writers:

  1. Don’t rush on publishing, I rushed and had some mistakes and had to update a few times.
  2. Write something you find interesting and whatever you feel like writing. If you write something you have no interest in, you won’t want to continue writing it.
  3. If you have a friend or someone that can beta read the story before hand. Do it. Getting a second pair of eyes can be very beneficial because you often times don’t catch mistakes that you make.
  4. Make sure you know how to code well when you start. Watch Joseph Evans. Look up things on the forums. Read the guides in the portal.
  5. Me personally, I think it’s best to naturally introduce your character in the story. So don’t have each character introduce themselves at the beginning. Or have the narrator or MC introduce each character one by one. Just do it naturally.
  6. If you don’t have a good grasp on English, I suggest getting a beta reader for every episode or using grammarly.
  7. Reread each episode multiple times on your phone before publishing. Be sure your sentences and directing are correct.
  8. Make sure your description and covers look good. That’s the first thing readers see.
  9. When you publish share you story on the forums. There are many people who love to support small authors. That’s actually how I got my start.
  10. Honestly don’t worry about reads. In all honesty I didn’t think anyone would really read my story and now I have been featured and have over 20k+ reads which is really good for a new, smaller author. So, your story will get there one day, it just takes time.

Also, show don’t tell.