In short, a story genuinely has me when I feel a connection.
I’m not really that warm and fuzzy, so it takes a talented author to get me to actually feel for the characters. But once I do, when I gasp at a twist or tear up in an emotional scene, the author has me under their thumb.
But that takes time. A story has to catch me in the description and in episode 1 for me to continue. A story can be a masterpiece by ep20, but that doesn’t matter if I never got past ep1.
So it has to catch me with some ep1 hooks, like:
Interesting plot. If there are 700 stories on this app like yours, chances are, I’ve already read one. I’ve gotta see something that I like and haven’t seen before.
- Just the right amount of drama and action. Episode 1 is normally pretty subdued, yes, but it can’t just be all introduction, there has to be some promise that it’ll be interesting, maybe a vague flash-forward, a flashback to the “moment it all began,” or just the beginning of what makes the story interesting.
Quality. This is vague, but you can tell when a story is well-thought out through various measures. How’s their grammar, did they get help from a proofreader? How does the dialogue flow, like a human or like a robot? Do I see Stella chillin’ in the background like she’s taken over the app? Minigames and advanced directing aren’t a necessity, but they are a relatively obvious way to flex, like “Look at me, I put work into this.” I’d just better see that work turn into a story. If I want to see a masterful program with no soul, I’d google something.
But that’s just me haha, Cece’s poll answers help you get a feel for what a pocket of the forum users feel.
Good luck and happy writing!