DISCUSSION : Stories that NEVER leave the trending


You ever noticed that the same stories, never leave the trending? I know why, but do you?

(Might be easier if you think of a single story)

  1. What originally made that story hit the top 50?
  2. Is there a common theme with the top 50 (of any genre) stories?
    2a. Any common choices? Style? Narration?
  3. Should these stories stay up in the top 50 forever and ever?
    3a. How could one get them to leave the top 50?
  4. Are most of the top trending stories the same author?
  5. Cover wise, is there a trend?
  6. Episode length wise, is there a trend?
  7. Does ‘Art’ or ‘Edits’ help? Is this fair?

I started this topic, because I analyse everything and I notice trends and patterns that most people may not see. I am going to make sure that no flames start in this topic, as I did ask some questions which are hopefully going to bring up discussions.

My other Discussions
Stories with Male Protagonists
Stories within the Comedy Genre
Stories with Cliche Plots
Stories and the Fanmail that comes with them
Stories that NEVER leave the trending
Stories with Multiple Endings

DISCUSSION : Stories with Cliche Plots
DISCUSSION : Stories with Male Protagonists
DISCUSSION : Stories and the Fan Mail that comes with them
DISCUSSION : Stories with Multiple Endings
DISCUSSION : Stories within the Comedy Genre
DISCUSSION : Stories that NEVER leave the trending (2)
2018 Forums Awards - Fifth Edition: Voting
DISCUSSION : Stories with Cliche Plots (2)
  1. I find the the main way that stories enter the trending is by winning a contest, or being featured on a shelf.
  2. Most, if not all, include some hetero romance, and you play as a girl.
    2a. Focusing on the Romance / Drama section most stories have a MC that went from 0 people liking her (that she knew) into 2+.
  3. I am torn on this, as getting up into the trending and staying there is difficult and they deserve their chance to ‘enjoy’ the spike. However, in the case of the trilogies (again referencing the Drama/Romance sections) all three are never going to leave the top 50, and it’s like :confused:. I just hope eventually they will go down in trending eventually.
    3a. By supporting and showing less known stories through User Shelves, episode can change the stories listed in the trending.
  4. In the Comedy Section, Kayla S. has most of her stories in the trending, in most of the other shelves it’s more repeated authors, but more of them.
  5. Showing Characters, doing an action.
  6. About 30 - 50 episodes before it’s finished and most episodes are about a 5 - 10 minute read.
  7. Art totally helps, and I think it’s really unfair. However, at the same time, I never got the appeal of looking at two INK people kiss, really close together.


I strongly think this is because of social media (Instagram, Twitter etc.) Most of the people I’ve interacted with said that social media increased number of readers to more than five times of what it was before.
Edits and special arts help too. Take Chain Reaction for example. The art edits are too awesome even if there are several grammar and directing errors in the storyline.
Most of the top 50 stories tend to be mostly written by authors who already have/had another one of their stories in the list. MissMj is a prime example. Others include Sarah Keiser, Alex Light etc. This is because people felt positive towards their first stories, they think the other stories of the same author would be great too. We too have the similar perceptions, right?
The length of the story doesn’t matter on much occasions. Only the storyline does. If the storyline is different from usually what we read, the story gets more reads. It might work this way: long, broad cliches (Deep Attraction) and short, crisp non-cliches(Birds of Passage)
It’s not necessary to keep the usual stories in the list. Unless an extraordinary author comes up with an extraordinary storyline, that is.

Well, then. You can brainstorm further ahead. It’s night here and my darned mind won’t work :unamused:


1. What originally made that story hit the top 50?
At this point, I almost wouldn’t say originality was a thing for most on the top 50. So many have started mimicking featured and popular stories. I think reaching the top 50 has more to do with how popular your name has become as a writer and how prevalent you are in the community.
2. Is there a common theme with the top 50 (of any genre) stories? Any common choices? Style? Narration?
For some reason love triangles and mafias are a big thing (I personally don’t care for them but). Obviously a common choice for the love triangles is choosing who you like in the last chapter. Also a lot of just how to respond choices are a commonality.
I think that INK is still the overall most popular style among both readers and writers. LIMELIGHT does not have enough clothing and just has an awkward feel with its animation.
I think a lot of the good stories minimize narration outside of normal dialogue. Meaning that they are showing you everything through what the characters say and do.
3. Should these stories stay up in the top 50 forever and ever? How could one get them to leave the top 50?
Like if they are good, they deserve credit. All authors work hard on their story, popular or not. The only way I guess would be not to read or promote that story while reading and promoting another.
Maybe what would be nice is another shelf that kind of shuffled around stories not based on popularity. This way lesser known stories could get noticed, as most people don’t scroll past the first 100 stories on the shelf therefore keeping the popular ones at the top.
4. Are most of the top trending stories the same author?
I would definitely argue that most trending stories are by the same author. Once an author gets a big following, it is easy to keep trending because of their followers will read their new stories no matter what.
5. Cover wise, is there a trend?
Lots of people do the covers where you just put the character on a background and add a title. I am seeing a bit of a move towards the more artsy computer drawings.
6. Episode length wise, is there a trend?
Chapter wise, they are all either really short or really long. I think most stories end at 3, 10, or 30 chapters with some reaching to 60. In a lot of cases any more than 60 is too long and drawn out. At this point you are just trying to stretch your story making it lose its integrity.
7. Does ‘Art’ or ‘Edits’ help? Is this fair?
I don’t think that art and edits in the story help it 99% of the time. I feel the majority really started popping up after The Enchantress was featured. I personally don’t care for the art scenes because to me they add very little value to the story. I think for the author they are more trouble than they are worth. You are going through all this trouble to pay a lot of times to have someone make you this picture that is only going to be on the screen for like 30 seconds. I personally would rather you keep screen moving then have a stand still photo you are directing over (it reminds me to much of spotlight). I’m not saying never to use it, but I don’t think every or every other chapter needs it. Save art scenes for special moments in the story.
Now the question, is it fair. Basically it is fair in the sense that anyone can go out and ask or pay someone to make art for them.
This was not meant to be an attack on or against anyone who makes or uses art scenes. I know you all work very hard on them and that is appreciated.

You mentioned you like analytics and trends. I currently have a survey going around that I plan to analyze and share the results with other authors once there is a good amount of data collected. What's Your Opinion? - 1st Report (3/23)


I guess Social Media helps, but personally I have never seen an increase because of instagram. I haven’t actually seen Birds of Passage in the top 50 before but then again, I haven’t looked. What do you think caused those ‘big’ named authors to have a top ‘50’ story in the first place?


I found that pretty much all featured and top listed stuff as either,

  1. Been made by EPISODE themselves,
  2. The story/author has won something.
  3. It’s ‘diverse’.
    And many other things that are just out there.



Yep! Already did the survey he he he

I remember someone recommended the story shuffle idea before, but the argument against it was what stories would be shuffled in and episode wants to show stories that are good, as if your first impression of a story in the app is full of spelling errors / direction errors you are more likely to leave the app. How would you suggest they make the ‘shuffle’ button work? (like pull up 5 stories or 10 or a survey to find stories for you, etc)?


I find that Episode puts their stories in their own section, but they might put them in the trending user stories as well. What do you mean by diverse? (culturally, genre, characters, etc?)


Well, anything that EPISODE deems to be ‘diverse’, for example, let’s say that you have a decent story, it’s enough to get people interested. But to make it even better, by EPISODE’s standards, you just have to put in a black person or make an LGBTQ+ person! Wow! Your story is a 1000x better than it was before! You won a contest that you didn’t even sign up for : D
See what I mean?


Iceberg theory basically…
Only a small part of an iceberg is seen on top of the water, but underneath the water there is a huge clump of ice no one ever sees.
Same on the app, same stories on the trending section, and new stories stuffed really deep into the app where barely anyone ever sees them.


The top 50 does tend to shake up a bit. Any story that’s on a weekly shelf (including contest winners) has a good chance of getting into the top 50, but you do tend to notice that once the shelf is over, a lot of those stories will drop back down a bit. When I think about stories that NEVER leave the trending I think of Chain Reaction, The Teacher (Mette’s version), My Episode Lover etc. The interesting thing with those is that they’re all actually complete and have been for a while. You tend to notice that once a story is complete, it will gain a lot of reads at first then start to drop. But those stories have all stuck around the top (they’re not the only ones).
If a story isn’t complete, it has a better chance of staying at the top providing that the author provides continuous updates.

1. What originally made that story hit the top 50?
It could be a number of things. Being on a shelf is a massive advantage.
Having a decent amount of episodes and getting “lucky”. By that I mean: Let’s say a story has fifteen episodes. If a few people binge it at the same time it will quickly climb the ranks. The higher it goes, the more people that will see it and the more likely it will climb. Does anyone remember the story “The Nerd Makeover”? It was a mobile-created story that pretty much came out of nowhere from an unknown author and made it to the top 10 trending pretty quickly.
Other factors: The title and the topic. A lot of the trending stories do have similar themes.

2. Is there a common theme with the top 50 (of any genre) stories?
Gang stories dominate nearly every genre lol. In the overall trending section, nearly every story includes either a gang leader, bad boy or popular boy, nerd makeover, pregnancy or teacher. Most, if not all, of the top 50 are from the romance or drama sections.
2a. Any common choices? Style? Narration?
Usually just romance choices (who to be with). More and more Limelight stories seem to be creeping into the top recently but at the moment, I think INK is still the most common style.

3. Should these stories stay up in the top 50 forever and ever?
Well, you can’t really control what people like to read so yes. If people still continue to read these stories and keep them in the top, then they deserve to be there.

4. Are most of the top trending stories the same author?
You do tend to see the same authors up there frequently and often with more than one story.

5. Cover wise, is there a trend?
Covers of popular stories seem to have either nicely edited characters (rather than just the basic characters on a background) or even artistically drawn ones.

6. Episode length wise, is there a trend?
30-50 episodes that are roughly 10 minutes.

7. Does ‘Art’ or ‘Edits’ help? Is this fair?
I don’t really think they help to be honest. I personally don’t care if a story has artwork and whether it does or not wouldn’t impact my decision to read the story. Using special art scenes is “fair”. Sure, not everyone can afford to pay for an artist but that’s life :woman_shrugging: If you can’t afford it, it’s not like you need it to make your own story great.


How do you suggest those stories under the ice berg get noticed?


I noticed the increase of Limelight as well, and I’m guessing by mid - june july about 50% of the trending will be Limelight.

I also think of those same stories that never leave the trending. Besides the choosing your love interest at the end, do you think there is another common theme between those three?


Besides the choosing your love interest at the end, do you think there is another common theme between those three?

A hot male love interest that, for whatever reason, the MC can’t be with easily ahaha.


I guess the forums help out a lot, people do read for reads and stuff like that.
recently i was scrolling through the drama section of episode and found a really amazing story. There are any great stories trapped under the sea.


Once you’re in the top 50, it is very easy to stay there. I mean, they’re the ones you’re the most likely to see when you’re on the app, after all!


Would you say there is a common theme with the top 50 stories?


I’d definitely say that there is a massive emphasis on romance - often this romance is actually pretty toxic or unhealthy, but portrayed in a romantic, glorified way.

Other than that, I’ve seen stories covering all sorts of themes getting into the top 50. I was in it for fantasy for a while with a completely different story idea - until I didn’t update for a few months. I think that a lot of the people in the top 50 know what appeals in terms of a story, a cover and a synopsis and use this to their advantage. They seem dedicated to updating frequently and giving the reader enough information to be satisfied.


Closing due to one month of inactivity :slight_smile: