So I’ve been contemplating writing an episode story for a while now, and I think I’ve finally settled on a topic that I’m excited to write about, but the only issue I’m having is figuring out how I can make my episode stand out from others. I would like to know what some of the likes and dislikes are of episode readers. For example Lots of choices VS not a lot of choices, the options for CC or not? These are just a few examples, but feel free to share your thoughts it would be VERY helpful and greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Personally for me, I like a good bit of choices. At least 2 or 3 non-character dressing or altering choices. Character customization is preferred to me, but not 100% necessary.
For me to stick with a story, it really has to have good directing with spotting. A story gets boring to me if its not moving.
Also grammar and spelling are also important. Using texting lingo in a story is a big pet peeve of mine. If a character is not texting, then they should not be consistently using texting lingo.
I also don’t care for most high school based stories. Most are near identical.
I rarely continue stories but this is what I usually like.
- Characters that make me smile
Characters that make me smile are entertaining and full of personality.
- An unpredictable plot
Most stories don’t have this. I’m a thinker, I think of every possible outcome. If you can surprise me I will continue reading.
- Not alot of zooms
I get it, people like zooms. But zooming in and out and left and right and up and down - is just way to much.
- A Fast Pace Story
I know readers want to dive straight into the story but slow down.
- A too slow pace story
if it takes like 6 episodes just for the plot to get started I’m out.
- Overused Beginnings
Overused being like ‘First Day of School’ or ‘Running Late for Class’ I am so leaving.
I personally don’t like choices to much, but I am a minority. I could go either way about CC. I also read too fast to pick up spelling errors / grammar errors so those aren’t a big deal to me.
Moved to Episode Fan Community as this is an Episode-specific post. Carry on!
-I think you should let people customize you’re characters, everyone has a different taste. And if they don’t want to customize the character, they can just leave them the same as it was before.
-This is more of a personal response, but I don’t like having a lot of choices. I’m a really indecisive person and it takes me so long before I choose (even though Episode is made for people to choose their endings and everything…)
-Having sounds is really entertaining too. Personally, I think with sounds, it enhances the characters emotions and it could also make it more fun for the readers.
I hope these helped you!
I have played probably played over 200 episode stories, and I have collected a list of what I think makes a good episode story.
Customization! And I don’t just mean look wise. Some stories are so in depth they have choices for sexuality and pronouns. Of course that is probably very difficult, but it’s something I love in episode stories.
A clever story line. Like something that in the end everything all fits. Like leaving clues in all the episodes for them all to be explained at the end. (Of course if your type of story uses
That kind of stuff)
Proper spelling and grammer. This one is very straight forward.
Don’t make every character look the same. Don’t make every character have the same lips, or eyes, or hair,
Because you like it. Make them look like people.
Make sure everything is planned out. Writing as you go along is very difficult and often doesn’t end in a well made story.
Diverse side characters.
A unique plot obviously.
Characters with depth and layers. Make them seem like real people. Don’t make them all react the same way when angry, happy, or stressed.
Good spelling and grammar.
Unexpected plot twists.
Clever, believable dialogues, not:
GIRL: Wanna come to my party?
GIRL: Okay, see you tonight. Bye!
Showing instead of telling. Don’t tell us what kind of personality the MC’s mom has. Let us see it through her dialogues and the way she interacts with others.
Excessive profanity, very graphic sexual references, and graphic violence. Of course, it’s important for characters to be as realistic as possible, and that includes the way they talk. But not every character has to use the f-word every five lines.
Overused plot lines
When the author doesn’t even know where they are going with the story anymore, and start resorting to bathroom jokes and introducing characters that are unrelated to the story just because they don’t know what else to write about. (I actually read a story like this and it really turned me off.)
Author’s notes that say ‘This is my first story.’
Bad directing where the characters don’t even face each other when talking, or are layered on top of each other in a scene… or when the only thing they do is just enter, talk, and exit.
As far as customization goes, I’ll read stories with and without it, so it isn’t a requirement. Same with choices.
I love cliches so nothing will bother me really I prefer to not to customise my characters (I like see them like the author sees them) I personally even don’t bother about choices. It’s nice when they there but I could read without them. I tried a few times to turn my volume up while reading but I just can’t. It’s annoying and gives me anxiety. I love stories with good directing and action in the background. Grammar/ punctuation it’s very important. I don’t like when episodes are too short or too long. I absolutely hate seeing default characters in the stories (even in the background). Story needs to have a plot and make sense. I don’t like when the author doing characters introduction. Same when you have to customise 3 or more characters ( a lot of people doing this in the first chapter and that’s it, end of episode) A lot of first time authors making a mistake and wants to publish very fast and that’s when mistakes are made. Take your time and don’t rush! Learn how to code and how to make your story the best way possible!
I like stories that have twists and LOTS of drama. I like stories that are sad and at least almost make me cry. They NEED a little bit of romance in it (or a LOT the entire story is romantic, that works too). You don’t always need an ending everyone wants (La la land for example I wanted the happy end but I didn’t get it). I hope this helps you!!!
The best advice I can give for something that’ll make viewers get attached to a story: make them care about the characters. If readers love your characters, I can guarantee they won’t put your story down.
It’s not an Episode story, but if you’ve gone to see Black Panther yet - that was the best example I’ve seen in a while of how to quickly develop characters and relationships that the viewers care about through the age old art of showing-not-telling.
My biggest pet peeves:
Underdeveloped characters and relationships.
Rushed story events.
I hate the flow of almost all of Episode’s official stories. I’m not sure what it is about them, but the pace always feels really rushed and unnatural. It feels like characters are all introduced too quickly without any development, so you have no time to get to know them on an intimate level. Everyone always get over big events really fast, like:
- Big life changing event happens
MC: omg, I can’t believe it! /faints
MC: /wakes up
MC: Okay, I have totally adjusted to this news now, what next.
I find it impossible to become invested in any of the official stories on Episode for these reasons.
- Plot linearity: I won’t continue the story if I feel like everything was told in the first chapter, but if nothing happens for 2-3 episodes, I won’t continue either
- Well written characters: I like to see what is unique in them and how their personalities differ from each other. That goes for the supporting characters as well: I want to remember them even if they don’t show up in every chapter, instead of asking myself: who the hell is this?
- Good grammar: I won’t put this to the dislike section, since I’m not a native speaker, but I apprieciate if I see the effort at least…
- Pointless choices: choices can be fun, but I don’t want to choose between chicken risotto and Caesar salad. On Episode you can eat pizza and cupcakes. That’s it!
- Meaningless slot-filling dialogues with parents or best friends where it’s obvious you only want to make the chapter longer
- Too much narration: please don’t make me stare at some background for 5 minutes, I would like to see what’s happening
- Too much zoom: so time wasting and annoying
omg I can’t believe people actually do that😨
I don’t particularly see anything wrong with the skin color part, because some stories only let you choose dark skin tones, and I’m not one for double standards.
Then again, I might be biased because I never customize my character in the first place.
I guess it depends on the context. Like, if the character is ethnically East African or from Trinidad or something, it makes sense that they only offer dark skin tones… vs. here is a character with no defining traits or backstory whatsoever… and you can only choose light skintones. That kind of smells like racism to me. If the character is from Ireland and can like… idk, trace their lineage there back 300 years on both sides or something, then it makes sense that they’d only have white.
Although when it comes to oppressed minorities, the idea of “double standards” actually starts to get a little murky because the emotional harm caused to black people by offering no dark skin tones vs. the emotional harm caused to white people by offering no white skin tones is wildly different.
I guess I can understand that.
For example, I am/was writing a fantasy romance story, and if I was going to include character customization, the MC would likely only have lighter skin tones. It’s not racist, she’s just heavily influenced by an Irish background (she even speaks Gaelic).
While many-a-times it certainly is only there because the author probably has some biases, other times it might simply be there because it makes sense. Would it make sense for the MC of Instant Princess to be white? In another story I’ve got in the works, a main part focuses on people that live in the snowy mountains - and it likely wouldn’t make sense for them to have darker skin.
Like many things, I guess it just comes down to context. Limiting skin colors in a suburban high school story? That’s probably a bit racist. Limiting skin tones because it relates to the environment or character’s background? That’s just logical.
I like limited or no customization.
I don’t like when I have to customize the main character, the best friend, and the three different love interests; it makes it feel like the characters are supposed to be stand-ins for me rather than thought out individuals.
I do sometimes like being given the option to make small changes such as hairstyles. One story I think handles this very well is Natural Selection. There are parts of the story where you can choose the hairstyles of different characters, but the choices available for each character are limited by hair texture and length.
I don’t mind being restricted to certain skin tones at all. One story I am working on is in INK, but I won’t be allowing any customization. I am not trying to exclude anyone; I just have a clear idea of the ethnic background of the characters.
I also like characters that are older than average.
Thank you all for all the feedback. Its been so helpful and informative to my writing, and now that I have finished with the SAT (for now…) I am excited to start writing again, the amount of detail people gave about likes and dislikes was also very helpful. Thanks again!
Closing due to one month of inactivity