DISCUSSION : Stories with Multiple Endings


#1

(original post was 1/15/18 on the old forums)

I’m not asking for help, or guidance.

I want to join in a conversation that talks about stories with ‘Multiple Endings’. I’m not asking what stories have them. Here are some base questions to start, but anything related to the topic work.

  1. Why do you think authors started adding multiple endings.
  2. Do you think authors will scam readers into thinking they are getting different endings?
  3. Are there ‘sad’ endings?
  4. Is ending the story with person A instead of person B count as ‘multiple endings’.
    4A. NARR : Who do you want to be with MC? Person A / Person B
  5. Should stories in which the choices matter in the FINAL episode count as multiple endings?
  6. What is considered multiple endings?
  7. Should an Author give the reader a chance to re - do their choices to get the ‘happy’ ending?
  8. Is there different kinds of ‘Multiple Endings’?

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


#2
  1. I believe Authors started adding Multiple Endings to increase viewers as the app is based around choices, and choices that matter make a huge difference.
  2. I believe this happens from time to time, I never had this happen to me personally, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone did. I’ve never replayed a story to get a different ending, but who knows. Someone might.
  3. Of course there are sad endings.
  4. No, of course not. That is unfair. Multiple endings should be different, in which the story makes you want to replay again. It’s multiple endings for a reason.
  5. I would say no. I’ve done this before, but I didn’t count it as multiple endings because obviously your choices didn’t matter until the last episode, so saying ‘multiple endings’ refers to your choices mattering. Your choices didn’t matter till the last episode.
  6. Multiple endings are finales of an episode story in which there are at least two different endings a reader reads.
  7. Depends on how long the story is, the story and the ‘happy’ ending compared to the ‘unhappy’ ending.
  8. No

#3

I’ll explain you how I write my story. I don’t know how others do.

Choices are branching the story like tree branches.
For example I first give a choice to choose from 3 options. 2 options later merge into one, third one stays separate. Later then I again branch created 2 branches and I get from them 6 new branches - I call them story variations.
My branches sometimes merge and sometimes divide again. When they’re divided, story gets different then. At the end this will lead to several different outcomes.

In chapter 6 of my story The choice she made there are 34 different story variations. Next chapter is already written long time ago, but my head hurt when reading them while checking. I’m waiting for some free time, to really check it and finally publish.

In a pic which I’m attaching here, I’m trying to show you how story branching goes and how we get different outcomes.

I hope I’m understandable. :heart:


#4

What made you choose to add multiple endings to your stories?


#5

Me? Because I’m being stupid :rofl: I like challenges and my story (which I mentioned) is my challenge. :smiley: I also write it in Limelight and I find limelight coding much harder than ink.

But that’s enough challenges for me. From now on I’d rather write simple stories with not too much branching. Yeah, that’s possible too if choices are available.


#6

I think multiple endings are when it is possible for two readers to read something different, so I think a different love interest would be multiple endings. I do prefer that the ending is chosen based on earlier choices/which ‘fits’ you better and not one choice to choose the one you want.
I haven’t written more than a few times the start of a first episode but I know I prefer to write a lot of meaningful choices. I like to code (that is also how I started to write episode) and I never had many problems with it, I see it a bit like a puzzle and just try to see what happens and looks best.
I don’t like if authors let you re-choose to get a different ending or you made a wrong choice. I do like if they make an extra episode with all the endings and you can play them (maybe even big choices of how you could’ve gotten that ending) or you can just reread the whole story.
If choices from the last episode create different endings I think it does count.


#7

I actually have two published stories that have very different endings, so hopefully my input will be useful. Here are my thoughts on it:

  1. Why make different endings? I have always loved games and stories that my choices actually made an impact- it’s what draws me to this type of platform. I was actually very surprised when I first saw that it was encouraged to do “illusion of choice”… until I dug into code, and understood why. It can get really complicated, really fast. I’ll add more to “9” below.
  2. Do you think authors will scam readers? This depends heavily on each definition of “different ending”. I would say most authors who claim different endings wouldn’t do it maliciously- but their idea of ‘different’ vs your own may be…er… different, lol.
  3. Are there sad endings? In my stories, yes. However, some people prefer tragic endings, so that may actually be the ending they want. Again, opinion of individual readers which is the ‘best’ ending.
  4. Is the ending with person A vs person B a ‘multiple ending’? I usually say there are ‘levels’ to how many endings my story has because of this. I would say yes, technically, that is a different ending. It requires quite a bit of code just to do that much. Answering as an author- the levels are 1. Who lives and dies. 2. Who you end up with. 3. Overall impact of your accumulative choices. The branching gets quite extensive, though, and I don’t actually recommend it unless you keep it to only one or two ‘love interests’.
  5. Should choices in just the final episode count? Eh… torn on this. Depends on the choice I suppose, and what happens after. If the story misleads you to believing that the end is an earned result over the chapters and the final choice is a wipe of everything (don’t get me started on Mass Effect 3…), that may upset people. However if you allow people to make choices without consequence through the story and it is a “final choice!” moment… then maybe?
  6. What is considered multiple endings? I kinda answered this above. The basics in my opinion is “who do I date, if anyone?”. The complex is actually changing who lives and dies, and/or where you end up.
  7. Should an author give the reader a chance to redo? Depends. …But I may not be the person to ask this one, as in my stories I have real “game overs”, lol. A note on this- Only five replays are possible per ‘story’ on Episode. Keep this in mind if you decide to branch your story- not all endings may be able to even be seen on one device. I have an exact copy of some of Eyes of Rain for exactly this reason, by request of readers. * Even my ‘game over’ just adds a flag and continues the story, so that if someone does get one they actually can keep reading, but their ending is cemented and their choices cease to matter as much. This is because of the limited replays- I don’t want to screw anyone into not being able to read it at all if they make too many mistakes.
  8. Different kinds of multiple endings? I answered above, basically.
  9. Do you recommend writing multiple endings? Not if you are new to Episode. And I don’t recommend complex branching unless you are really sure you are very comfortable with code. The reason why, from experience:

In Duemadiri it has four MCs to choose from. From there, each has roughly six potential romance choices. On top of that, there are four factions (and one hidden one) that have to be kept up. On top of that, there are some characters who can live or die by the end. On top of that there are multiple end game rolls.

It might sound really fun, but the branching got so complex I had to split the book into four individual books, and the transfer code is thousands of lines of if/then/elif. The best way to understand is to look back above at that tree picture. Every slight difference, to make it truly different, requires its own writing and its own scenes in some cases. It is very, very easy to write yourself out of the limit of code in the actual portal. Instead of writing one book with one layer of scenes you soon find yourself writing four… then eight… then sixteen… then… you get the idea.

Just… be sure what you are getting into. My recommendation overall is to limit it to one or two love interests with one or two endings. You’d be surprised how much code even that much requires :slight_smile:


#8

What if when reading a story, you added a ‘bad’ ending, would you let your readers re-read to see the good one?


#9

I agree with the tip to not jump directly into ’ I wanna give my readers multiple endings! ’ because as you mentioned, it gets messy fast. I am happy you brought up the reply limit, as with my story people are pissed because they can’t reply it more than 5 times. Do you think they should increase that ‘5’ limit, or shrink it and why?


#10

If there are less then 5 endings you can reread the whole story or you can add another episode with all the endings where they can play them all.


#11

I personally always have one ending with slight variations, but completely different ending I won’t do. This is because I don’t want to cheat people out of the ending they ‘want’ but couldn’t get due to choices and other factors. I get the replay option and for those authors who want to do multiple ending, that is a good option for the reader but for me as a person, I like stories with completely different endings but there are very few stories that I end up replaying but in general, I think it varies on authors. Authors have different visions and ideas, they are allowed to show those endings in their way.


#12
  1. To make the story more interactive. I think it’s really good to make a story interactive to multiple endings, but at the same time the author shouldn’t force it. So if the author already has an ending set and they want to change that so that it can be interactive I suggest to go with the one ending route.

  2. Not all authors do. Some authors just indicate that if you chose wiser you could’ve changed the outcome, not the ending. Some authors sadly scam in that, yeah. They’d mention (MULTIPLE ENDINGS) but there’s literally only one. Either their branching is messed up or they lied.

  3. Of course. The best diversity that could make a great plot twist is the variety of endings out there. Not all stories have a happy ending, and not all have a sad one. Some even in between. I personally love the relief of a happy ending, but also adore the twist of a sad ending.

  4. It’s the cheap way of adding endings. In my opinion, no. As the ending didn’t change in any way but who you’re with, it’s not considered a different ending. It can work sometimes, though. For example, MC gets the job and grows, but ends up with brad. The other choice leads to the MC STILL getting the job and STILL growing, but ends up with chad instead. That’s no difference and isn’t considered different in terms of endings. On the other hand, MC gets the job and grows when she ends up with brad, but fails and crashes into a disaster when she ends up with chad. That’s considered a different ending.

  5. Yeah, they do count as multiple endings if the ending is different, but it’s honestly pathetic if you cram all the choices that matter in the last episode. They should be spread out across all the chapters so that the reads can feel more included and indulged from the beginning. Yeah, not all authors can branch but if you’re going to at least try, there’s always a million tutorials out there for people to learn.

  6. When the ending is different. As I mentioned above with the brad and chad examples. Another example: One ending makes the MC save the world, while the other makes the MC destroy the world. That’s considered a different ending as your choices made difference on the ending outcome.

  7. Absolutely NOT. The best experience is for the readers to go with their original choices as that is what they thought was right with their first instinct. If you’re going to make choices that impact the story then add a chance to re-make the choices, your endings don’t matter anymore and the story is just in vain.

  8. It depends, honestly. I’ve explained it with the brad and chad situation. Number 4 and 6.

  9. If that’s what you planned from the start, do it. But only do it if you know how to. If not, stick with one ending.


#13

The max of five replays is likely sufficient for the majority of stories on the app, so probably won’t change anytime soon. It may also have to do with storage on their end- millions of stories x unlimited plays is quite a lot of data.

One option could be to allow added ‘lines’ of replay but for a significant gem cost. That may be a good way of meeting halfway for people who really, really love a specific story yet allowing Episode to keep the data down.


#14

I haven’t thought about multiple endings from this perspective before, thank you for sharing.

You bring up a great point, ‘cheating’ out of the ending they want. Like what if I was reading a story, did a few bad choices, and didn’t get the ending I was hoping for, I would be so disappointed and feel, well cheated as you said.

What requirements are there for you to replay a story? (like length, plot, author, curiosity?)


#15

I really like that idea, because if wanted to read a story more than five time, heck I’d be willing to pay for that extra replay.


#16

oh brad and chad. . . ahahah that example made me laugh, mainly because it’s true but also because of the names.

What would be your biggest advice to new people who want to try multiple endings (let’s say they never ever written a story before, and they are still in the planning stages)


#17

My advice would be to use branching templates because they help. Looking at tutorials always help too. If that’s all too overwhelming for them, they can go for the classic “your last choice decides”. But my biggest one of all would be to look at tutorials and try doing it yourself with trial and error. You should first know the basics of coding to even start the story, so once you do that, just read a BUNCH of tutorials on how to branch, and try making one yourself. In my opinion, trial and error is the best thing someone new at coding could do. Not only is it educational for you, it also helps you discover even more possibilities upon learning the basics. That’s the best way to ever learn any kind of coding.


#19

For me if I’m invested in a story and I know that the two endings don’t contradict each other but you end up with different people based on different decisions, I’d replay. My curiosity wins a lot of the time to be honest. I also have stories where I click a choice and then I’m like that was an idiot move, I do tend to replay then.

For me it doesn’t bother who the author is, the story/plot line is my driving force.


#20
  1. I think authors added multiple endings to get more reads. Since the whole app’s message is “your choices matter”… yeah. I know my first story had about 3 choices in 4 chapters, beside customization. That story did not do well.

  2. Yeah, probably. But sooner or later they’d get exposed. Let’s take an example that Story X has shot to #1 in Comedy and everyone’s talking about it. I can imagine this dialogue occurring:
    A: Which ending did you get in Story X?
    B: My character became a famous comedian although my choices should have led to becoming a therapist.
    A: Same, but I should have became a lawyer.
    B: Wait a minute, I’m going to talk to C.
    __
    B: C, which ending did you get in Story X?
    C: I became a comedian. But I should have became a teacher.
    B: Okay, I think the author of Story X is scamming us because you, me and A all got the wrong endings, and they were the same.

  3. Of course! Maybe not in every story (eg. comedy) but there are definitely stories with sad endings.

  4. Definitely! Again this would only be in some stories (eg. not mine, because I can not write romance!).
    4a) If I was writing it, I would not do this but instead, the reader would have to accumulate points
    throughout the story to be with their chosen person.

  5. I think the final choice could affect the result but not define it. If you get what I mean.

  6. I would consider multiple endings as your choices from the previous chapters coming together.

  7. I would support this however rather than “re-doing” I would give them a choice like “You’ve ended up with David due to your choices, would you like to read the other endings?”. That would be good for romantic stories. However my upcoming story wouldn’t have this because of an event which happens at the end. Of course it is the author’s choice whether they include this or not, and I wouldn’t stop liking them because they didn’t let me do this. Also, some authors get a bit annoyed and tell their readers to re-read their story if they want to experience different endings, I find that incredibly rude and selfish, it’s not going to hurt you to add a bit of extra coding and what if the reader has only got a small amount of passes?

  8. Definitely, if you mean like “moods”. There are sad endings (eg. your parents pass away), romantic (eg. you spend the rest of your life with another character), happy (the story’s issue is resolved)… I could list types of endings for a lot longer but I’m not going to :joy:


#21

1.Why do you think authors started adding multiple endings.
It’s an age old staple of “Choose Your Own Adventure” novels. Did you ever read the Goosebumps series? It’s kinda like that. You could die prematurely, get good endings, bad endings… it’ definitely not Episode specific!

  1. Do you think authors will scam readers into thinking they are getting different endings?
    I’ve never experienced it personally, but with thousands of stories on Episode, I presume it happens.

  2. Are there ‘sad’ endings?
    Sure, same way there are regular novels with sad endings, I would like to think that in an Episode story that has a sad and happy ending, your choices throughout the whole novel decided it though, and not like, a few choices in the last episode.

  3. Is ending the story with person A instead of person B count as ‘multiple endings’.
    In a word, yes. But I do feel a little disappointed when literally the ONLY difference is the person you’re with. Like, to the point that both love interests even have the same dialogue.
    Now, if you end up with one and the two of you get married, settle down and start a family, while with the other you decide to travel the world and have adventures, then yeah, that’s multiple endings.

  4. Should stories in which the choices matter in the FINAL episode count as multiple endings?
    Yeah, like I said above, if your endings are crazy different, then it’s still multiple endings and definitely not false advertising. If the author said at the very start of the story, “Your choices matter!” then that’d be a different story.

  5. What is considered multiple endings?
    I think it depends on the person reading/writing… but for me, any story in which the last episode (or two) have different events that happen depending on your choices, I’d consider to have multiple endings.

  6. Should an Author give the reader a chance to re-do their choices to get the ‘happy’ ending?
    If the story is a 50 episode epic in which all the episodes have exactly the same content no matter your choices and then the only choices that matter happen in the last episode? Then I think it’s better for authors to add an extra chapter so readers can see the other endings.

If the story has meaningful choices throughout that unlock different scenes and reactions, and your choices throughout the whole story decide the endings? The gamer in me says no. The people who got the happy ending spent a whole story earning that ending by making careful choices. And the different scenes and content should keep the story fresh enough to replay.

  1. Is there different kinds of ‘Multiple Endings’?
    I’m not sure exactly what you mean, but yes, I think so?
    In my current story, I plan to have a mix and match of multiple endings depending on various scores the readers have accumulated and choices they’ve made throughout the story.
    There’s your Hollywood score, which in the end will decide the success (i.e, the ending you get) regarding your movie and career, and then there’s relationship points with the love interests that will decide the ending you get with them.
    Person A could get the best ending for their career, but a so-so ending with love interest #1.
    Person B could get a mediocre ending for their career, but the best ending with love interest #2.
    Person C could see the same best ending as Person A for their career, but end up without a love interest.

Then there’s the classic way of doing multiple endings where you either get ending, A or B or C.

Then like other people said, you can have different kinds of multiple endings, as in:
Ending up with different love interests.
Having a different career.
Getting a happy or sad/good or bad ending.
And so much more probably. It’s endless, just like in real life. :slight_smile: