Spotlight Opinions



I’m currently experimenting with a couple spotlight mystery/thriller stories. Most of my work will be in regular limelight style, but I think spotlight might be okay for a more visual novel effect, heavy on reading. I have some experience writing, so I’m not afraid of narrating and am confident in my ability to tell a decent enough story, but I’m curious…whats your opinions on stories done in the spotlight style?

Do you completely dismiss them because they are Spotlight?
If so, if the story was interesting enough and written well enough?
Would you take a risk if the story was a short, interesting read (3-4 long chapters)? Would you if it was two really long chapters?
If you hate spotlight, what’s the reason?
What would make you want to read one done in that style?

I’m all ears!


I think Spotlight is fantastic, actually. I don’t hate it. In fact, I think it’s one of the most underrated and underutilized styles available.

I enjoy the simplicity and the straight-to-the-point attitude of the style. I suppose you are challenged (and I love challenges and taking risks) to write in an uncommon style that you aren’t familiar with, and I believe the author could be tasked to put extra focus to their narrative and that can make a story juicier when you invest in that, depending on how you write it especially. The ‘heavy on the reading’ as you said, the details, the syntax, the style of writing, etc. is something that an author writing with Spotlight must keep to usually high standards due to its unorthodox nature and difficulty, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all; if anything, it’s a benefit to the author to gain some skills and become an overall better writer.

Of course, you could do the same for a cinematic story, and any story regardless of the style should be of high standards but the spotlight style was designed for writing like this…

Ideally, although I have never written a story here before, I would think that gaining experience by writing some stories in Spotlight first could actually help improve writing cinematic stories as well for the reasons I stated before because you can translate that style and detail of writing into a cinematic environment visually.

The results could make a huge difference. People usually underestimate Spotlight and what it can do for a story. They only see limitations. I see possibilities. You can do so much with Spotlight, you just have to think outside the box and adapt. It’s good to branch out and try different things, as they always say.

And yes, I would take the risk no matter how long or short it is. A perfect example of a well-crafted Spotlight story is H & V: The Smoke that Separates Us by @Res. By reading the story, you grasp a unique feel for the descriptions and character’s thoughts. It’s authentic and refreshing to me; almost like an actual book, which is kinda cool. I find it nice to imagine the characters in my head as well, whereas in the cinematic style I already have a picture in front of me.

There are also other great Spotlight stories but I, unfortunately, haven’t found much due to its low popularity. Really wish there were more stories in Spotlight.

Anyway, I don’t dismiss a story if it’s in Spotlight or any certain style. I will never do that. In my opinion, writing is writing. :man_shrugging: I’m reading for the story, not the art style.


I don’t dismiss a story if it is in spotlight, although I do prefer cinematic. I think some spotlight stories are great, but it only works for certain plots in my opinion




I keep that in mind - I think I’ll do a couple spotlights - I enjoy the cinematic style, but working in spotlight seems like a lot of fun! I’m going to start reading H&V: The Smoke that Separates Us right now, thank you for the suggestion. :slight_smile:


Moved to Episode Fan Community since Community is for discussion of favorite stories. Make sure to check out our Forum Tutorial for more info about where to correctly create topics. :wink:


I feel like Spotlight just looks a bit lazy? I think it kind of dims great directing for me if a story is in Spotlight not Cinematic. I don’t know, that’s just my personal opinion. :slightly_smiling_face:


I have a spotlight story (it was for the contest) and although that story has done fairly well, I wouldn’t recommend it lol.
The amount of “Why are the characters in bubbles?”, “Can you remove the bubbles?”, “I like the story but I hate the bubbles. PLEASE FIX” fanmail that I got was annoying lol but I also have a feeling that my retention on that story wouldn’t be particularly high? I think a lot of people may exit as soon as they see the story is in spotlight so if you plan on entering the Thriller contest (or any future contest), this is definitely something to consider.

Although I prefer cinematic as a reader, I did enjoy writing in Spotlight. Now, a lot of people have this impression that spotlight is easier but I actually disagree. It’s faster, yes, but it’s actually a lot harder as a writer as you can’t rely on directing to tell the story. You need to rely on dialogue and narration without it being overdone. (I used Choices for inspiration. If you read Choices, you’d know that they don’t really overdo narration but just use it to help guide the story.) I found writing in spotlight very challenging at first although I’m happy with how it turned out. It ended up being my favourite story!

Since I have a story in spotlight, it would be hypocritical for me not to read stories in that style. I’ve read quite a few and there are some that I really enjoy! Some stories I think just suit the style really well.


I’ve only read a few stories that were in Spotlight, but I definitely think that you could easily get a very good story out of it. I think people really underestimate it, but I guess people just aren’t that into it or comfortable with it (yet).
I’d love to read your story, anyway.


It definitely takes some getting used to! Totally different experience - more like a novel with more writing and less directing. :slight_smile:


Spotlight is great if you just want to focus more on the story. I personally love it and would read any spotlight stories. (If they’re good, of course.)