So, I have returned to Episode after a WHILE, under a new name, etc. I’ve been sussing out Limelight, all the awesome new editing techniques and (cue dramatic horror music)… The Trending Section.
I don’t know if ANYONE will remember me, but I wrote High-Tech and Protecting Carolyn Dean (shudders) back when Classic was all the rage and I was a tragic young teen. If you do remember me, sorry I never released the Ink updated version of High-Tech…
Anyways… I am here to ask some of the authors who have been here a while-- do you also find it hard to write a story, well in the knowledge that it will be drowned out by the… Trending Section…? Romance, the Mafia, and various illegal relationships are EVERYWHERE now. Is anyone at ALL interested in some good old horror? Sci-fi? Please respond below! PLEASE.
Definitely! I’m writing a story and I HOPE it doesn’t get lost when I publish it, but who knows?? As for the horror section, that’s probably the most empty and underrated section, but I would say you have a better chance of getting your story noticed if you make it a thriller, since there aren’t so many stories in that section.
That’s bang-on. It leads me to over-criticise my work and I never end up publishing anymore. Perhaps I can make an Instagram that discusses these topics and promotes stories that are well-deserving of attention. I know there are a few accounts for this, but it can’t hurt to have one more?!
Personally I have never written any good story, (although I actually wrote and published one years ago, but I straight discontinued the story since it didn’t make any sense. It was mystery one though.) but I also feel over the years it is indeed hard to fight over these trending stories and there keeps piling up so many great underrated authors, who also struggle to get seen more, especially among not so popular genres, and their amazing stories are also left in darkness most times.
I also intend to write a horror story, because I love this genre so much and I hardly find any good new stories in that category. I personally feel that all romance and drama are way too overrated and they leave these other categories (such as fantasy, mystery, thriller, horror etc) in shadows, which is really sad to see. I have no clue how it would turn out if I get my story ready, but I still think it’s sad truth of Episode right now. Hopefully it changes in the future, who knows.
Thank you for replying! I feel exactly like you do. I am a horror fanatic, and wish Episode catered to it more! They have ads with scary, ghoulish (Very Samara from “The Ring”) ghosts in the background, Ouija boards, etc… yet these features are nowhere to be seen in the Writer Portal. If you did happen to get round to publishing a horror, let me know!
Also, I think it is interesting to note that The Infected by Caitoriri was snapped up very quickly by Episode… Perhaps there is hope?
If you write in genres like horror, thriller, adventure etc, it’s easier to trend in those sections than drama or romance so even if you’re not easily visible in the overall trending, you could still get some visibility in the genre trending . I tend to write mostly in the thriller genre and whilst none of my stories have millions of reads, they’ve all done pretty well (in my opinion). I never expected any of my horror or thriller stories to become a top trending story.
I can’t imagine the utter shock of coming from classic days to what is now the trending section…your poor heart.
I would say at times it can be a bit discouraging, especially if you’re trying to trend in romance (which I have not attempted, and probably will not for various reasons) but it’s not disheartening enough to demotivate you from writing, I don’t think. At the end of the day, it’s important to write your story for you and to fall in love with the world you’ve created. If you truly enjoy writing this story, you won’t even find yourself thinking about trending spots or rankings.
As Elise mentioned, it’s certainly easier to trend in genres like horror and thriller as they’re mostly filled with older stories that haven’t been updated in quite some time.
However, genres like romance, and now fantasy () are more difficult because oversexualized stories filled with harmful tropes own the top spots, and maintain that popularity due to their demand.
Me! I love sci-fi and have a current sci-fantasy published, and some other sci-fi stories in the works. There’s still a lot of readers who enjoy stories that aren’t what you mentioned as well. You just need to know where to look.
Current Episode is definitely a very different beast from the older Classic days which I was there for! But it’s not like there aren’t people who want to read interesting stories. To get read, you have to put some energy into getting your story out there and making sure people are aware of it - same as you would for publishing any creative works in an oversaturated market. Instagram helps with this a lot.
With overlays, tappables, etc, we have so many new technical functions that allow people to create some truly stunning works. We’re leaps and bounds ahead of what we had back then.
This pisses me off just thinking about it. You can feel when a story was written just to trend and make money.
I honestly feel you. I’ve been a part of this community since the Classic days (2015); I even wrote stories in the Classic version. Since, I’ve been an author in this community for years, I do find it hard to even get my stories in the trending section. It wasn’t like that when Episode was new and unheard of at the time. Authors had it easy back then. They didn’t have to necessarily worry about mafia/gangs and illegal relationships being plastered in the trending section. We can’t get away from seeing Mafia and gangs stories now.
Romance stories are always successful stories, but let’s be real, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller, etc… They’re the most fun to read. As a fantasy writer, I find it hard to even get over 100 reads (yeah, ik it’s pretty sad smh), cause it’s always drowned out by Mafia or badboy stories. I’m a huge Fantasy and Horror fanatic and I really feel like Episode should bring out those stories more.
Have a cliche-ass plot, story, title.
Include many stereotypes.
Appropriate as many cultures as possible.
Oh, and—have an extremely provoking image as the book cover even if there are one or two kiss scenes in the book that usually comes at the end when the bad boy and the nerdy girl get together.
This question has always bugged me: has the trending section always been this way? So the answer is no And now I’m getting high hopes that there’s a chance to change this mess
To answer your question: I don’t find it that hard because as Elise mentioned, you can trend higher in basically every genre than you could in romance and drama. But it kind of bothers me that when we have stories featured on a shelf, again, it’s the mafia romance that becomes even popular, instead of some really great stories with unique concepts. I’m personally not a fan of horror, but at this point I will still rather read that than another problematic story with a gang leader love interest. And I love sci-fi, and basically everything else.
Trending section is god when it comes to getting high reads. So when Episode lets harmful content win a permanent spot on the contest shelf, puts it on a themed shelf, or… heaven forbid… buys the story in question, they reinforce the problem. Exposure is power for writers on Episode and it keeps authors who don’t care about the harm they cause in power.
Like I know people will scoff at that and say “anyone in trending is there on their own merit,” but I really don’t believe that’s true. If you watch them, popular authors are often very careful about the ways they maintain readership + keeping friends that are equally popular and can help them retain a following in a sort of quid pro quo relationship. There really is a odd little social ecosystem that goes on here.
I also get what you mean. I have been here since the classic days too. But even though the trending section was a lot different back then that wouldn’t stop me from writing a good story in sci-fi or horror. As the others already said it’s easier to get your story trending in these genres than in the romance section. Personally I’m also currently writing a story that’s not in the romance genre and I think it’s looking good. So, if you put effort into it I’m sure your story will get noticed
Before I forget to say this again, despite all its flaws, I do think Episode is a special little app for visual writing. There really aren’t any other platforms at the moment that let you make something akin to a visual novel without needing a deeper knowledge of game coding or being required to spend money / pay fees.
That’s pretty unique. And if visual writing like Episode appeals to you, I wouldn’t let the fear of going unnoticed kill your motivation. There are still special stories on the app if you know where to look and special readers starving for interesting content.
Thank you for taking the time to write all of that! Talking about this with you all has lead me to consider starting an Instagram to support like-minded people and their stories. I know some exist already, but for my own sense of fulfilment, I might just. Also heartwarming to know that there are still people who love sci-fi and horror, etc.