What are your likes and dislikes when reading Episode?

Hii, I’m a new author and I’m currently making my first ever story and I want to hear what your likes and dislikes on episode stories to help me with my own story. I’ve been on episode since 2018 but i’ve never really interacted in forums or made my own stories, I mostly just read. I just joined episode forums and I want to get to know the community, and also to get tips on writing and just help overall. Thank you!!

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Needing to customize like every damn character that’s in the story, bad outfit choices and no point system…

Also the same recycled plot lines…. No man, I don’t wanna read the same story 10 times with few slight changes :no_mouth::pinched_fingers:t2:

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Hate long intros, weak backbone of mc , no customization or limited :person_gesturing_ok:t2:

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Welcome to the forums! And goodbye to the forums because episode is deleting the forums at the end of august :sob: . But I hope you enjoy the last two months on here

And my dislikes it everything to do with the episode official stories. Everything.
Especially:

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Dislikes: mafia
Likes: idk just someone who isn’t toxic and nice directing

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Welcome to writing on episode!

  • Customization of the MC is a big win for the reader. Dara Amarie has custom templates that make it easy. I’d say don’t add customization for ALL characters, as it takes up so much of your script space and can prevent adding depth to some characters. (Their ethnicity, race, and features can be a significant part of their identity - embrace it!)
  • Variety of outfits is fun for the reader and the author! I love making fits for my characters lol.
  • Make your choices matter. Not all of them have to, but use them to change the MC personality or relationships with others.
  • I recommend adding at least one choice (more, if you’re able to!) per scene, and at least one per chapter should be “important” and effect your story/relationships/personality.

I’m not active much on the forums (and apparently they’re shutting down :frowning: ) but if you need help with a script or story or anything, feel free to hit me up! good luck shawty

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Oh god thank you but yeah they are shutting it down at the end of august, so i just joined but only have two months left on here :sob:

Hi and welcome to the Episode community! : )

Likes

  • I love seeing healthy relationships in stories! You’d think this would be super normal, but there’s a plethora of stories on the app that romanticize some kind of toxic behavior in relationships.
  • I also love when authors personalize their stories with coding or storytelling. It’s easy to feel like you have to fit in to have a great and successful story, but the stories that do their own thing stick out the most to me.
  • Trope/cliche subversions are rare, but when I encounter them, I’m hooked. When it’s the FML that’s the CEO/millionaire/billionaire? YES. When the ML is the goody-goody, not the bad boy? YES. There’s tons I could list, but I’ll leave you with a few examples.
  • I like being able to tell that authors did some research. Of course, I don’t love when they make it obvious, but being able to read stories that properly portray certain things with accuracy and care is always great.
  • It’s more specific, but I always love seeing characters with a unique sense of style. I’ve seen so many characters that wear the same outfits across stories, and it makes it harder for me to remember them. But if a character wore something a bit eccentric, they stand out more to me.

Dislikes

  • Toxic LIs are a huge turn-off for me. I’m tired of seeing things like stalking and violent jealousy being romanticized. It’s dangerous to be portraying toxic behaviors in this light. Even if a lot of us readers are 20 and older, there’s still a huge portion of readers that aren’t even adults yet.
  • I hate when stories don’t give their characters enough initiative. While plot-driven stories aren’t a bad thing, I prefer stories that hand the steering wheel over to the protagonists. The MCs don’t even have to be assertive, but I really despise when they just let the plot happen to them. Show me the consequences of their actions!
  • I say this all the time, but if a story depends solely on the characters constantly miscommunicating, I will stop reading, no matter how amazing the idea for the story is. The plot shouldn’t be solved with a conversation.
  • I hate when major plots points/scenes are rushed. I get that the average attention span has become pretty short, but if there’s no cool-down in between major parts of stories, then said plot points/scenes won’t feel earned. Trust that your readers have enough patience to read your story without losing interest; should they give up, it’s their loss.

I hope my response helps, and if you want to see more of what readers might prefer, feel free to check out this post below! : D

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LIKES: New, innovative plot-lines (everybody has said this, but I really love this)! When there is customization for each character (it’s so fun to see them, but I get they get repetitive!) When the author offers sneak peeks, locked scenes, and suspense! All these elements give a well constructed story!

DISLIKES: Same story plot-lines, way too many gem choices to the point it makes the reader feel bad (like, come on we are all in the same community struggle, right?), and episodes with no or a hard to follow plot. (Why was your MC a vampire two episodes ago, but now she’s a werewolf?)

I love this community and I hate to see such a huge part of it go. I’ve mostly been lurking for a long time, but now I really want to speak out before it goes! Love y’all!

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Thank you!!

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Hey koolaidcatz,

Here are some tips for writing. I am a reader and an author. I have the following things I like to see (or don’t like to see) in a story:

  • The story needs to be one of a kind. (Almost) no clichés and unsuspecting storylines.;
  • For me it doesn’t matter if you have no CC, no art scenes and no choices, as long as I see (as reader) that you the author took the time for his/her story and as long as the storyline and plot are captivating me I will read your story;
  • No whole chapter for CC and especially don’t CC a whole family. It is irritating and weird. So, no CC for grandpa that is only in the whole story for 5 seconds because he immediately dies after those 5 seconds.;
  • I’d like to see more stories about after high school and college (I am older so I’d like to see also stories about character that are 20+ year old);
  • Stories with character developing especially between the main characters. If it’s a love story, lovers don’t fall in love immediately (in real life), I’d like to see the story spread over several episodes/chapters (they start their feelings for each other in episode 15, for example, and not in episode 1).;
  • No toxicity in stories, especially not between MC and LI. Or it has to be a background-story with something unexpected happening (in my latest story I have a male best friend of the MC that is victim of domestic abuse);
  • Stories with parents that are still alive (I read lots of stories where parents were murdered, died during a car-accident or died because of cancer). I like to see something different, for example parents that neglecting their child and are there at the background or die from age (at being 90 years old) or because of another decease than cancer.;
  • If you write a fantasy story → more diverse supernaturals. There are more supernaturals than only vampires and werewolves. Write your story about were-cats, elves or hellhounds (yep, one of my latest stories has this diversity of supernaturals and a were-cat as a MC);
  • Stop making exes cheat. There are other reasons why people can break up.;
  • No mean girls, alley creeps, cheating exes or bad boys. That’s a little cliché;
  • Stop making LI’s criminals. → Give me some sweet LI’s that aren’t murderers or beaters. That some other character deserves to beaten up or killed doesn’t justify the crime. Criminals aren’t funny or interesting.;
  • Don’t romanticize the mafia. In real life there are no hot 16 year old mafia leaders with tattoos attending high school. Most mob leaders are in real life old and ugly.;
  • Stop making the MC overly innocent. → No one has a happy life (I wish we all had), real life can be really hard. So, you can show the world the hard struggle of real life.;
  • Give some unexpected details, like MC falling over a banana-peel while she walks or MC bumping into a lamp (because she’s tall) or MC falling over a threshold (if you need fillers for an episode, use this.);
  • Give me some older MC’s and/or LI’s, like I said before I am almost 40, so I like to see stories around my age, too.;
  • Stop only using the car or motorbike for transportation, MC and/or LI can use public transport, the bike or walk.;
  • Let the MC and LI meet in an unexpected → I read to many stories where MC and LI met at a party, at school or in the office. Why not let them bump into each other on the street or they meet each other by a mutual friend or family-member (should be nice to see that the MC met the LI, because LI helped MC’s grandma cross the street.);
  • And please stop a whole day description with what the MC and LI are doing in every chapter. I don’t need a story where I see the MC and LI sh*t, shower or reading a book in every chapter.;
  • Your own character in the story is nice, but not at the beginning or at the end of a chapter for explaining → ‘English is not my native language. So if there are any spelling or grammar mistakes, bear with me.’ I don’t mind reading a story where in the authors own character plays a minimal role, but don’t use it as an explanation-character. You can use the question and answer possibility for that at the end of each chapter.;
  • Avoid black screens for narration → gets me on my nerves. You have several other backgrounds you can use, when narrating in your story.;
  • Avoid layer- or directing-mistakes → It’s cringy and weird when you see characters run through each other or kiss the wrong way.;
  • Grammar and spelling mistakes → I am also not a native English speaker, but when you mix ‘there/their/they’re’, ‘which/witch’, ‘were/where/we’re’, ‘rouge/rogue’ or ‘sweetie/sweaty’: that will creep me out.;
  • Avoid taboos → please no relationships between a 40 year old and a minor (that’s gross) or a relationships between family members.

For the rest I can’t think about something else. If something gets into my mind, I will give a scream.

Happy reading and stay safe,

Love A-W

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Oops I forgot to write my likes xD but I pretty much agree with everything everyone said. (Except cheating ex’s since I have a ton of personal experience with that so I can’t stop writing about that :sob:)

Also the forums has everything you need to code so soak it all in before it’s gone! I’ve been working on saving the forums for the past month though so it won’t be completely gone! It’s too bad Episode won’t at least achieve the forums so then everything will be saved, but I’m trying to save as much as I can.

Dara Amaire has a ton of helpful things on her website!

And basically you can just search on here whatever you need and need help with and you’ll most likely find it!

Happy writing!

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While I don’t have personal likes or dislikes, I can share what many readers generally appreciate or find challenging when reading stories on the Episode platform:

Likes:

  1. Interactive Storytelling:
  • Readers enjoy the interactive nature of Episode stories, where they can make choices that influence the plot and character development. This immersive experience makes the story feel personal and engaging.
  1. Diverse Genres:
  • Episode offers a wide range of genres, from romance and drama to fantasy and mystery. This variety allows readers to find stories that match their interests.
  1. Customizable Characters:
  • Many stories allow readers to customize their characters’ appearance and sometimes their personality traits. This feature enhances the feeling of immersion and personal connection to the story.
  1. Visual Appeal:
  • The combination of text and visuals, including character animations and backgrounds, creates a dynamic and visually appealing reading experience.
  1. Community and Social Interaction:
  • The Episode community is active and supportive, with readers and writers interacting through comments, forums, and social media. This sense of community adds another layer of enjoyment.

Dislikes:

  1. Paywalls and In-App Purchases:
  • Some readers find it frustrating when certain choices or premium content are locked behind paywalls, requiring in-app purchases to access. This can disrupt the flow of the story for those who prefer not to spend money.
  1. Clichéd Storylines:
  • While there are many unique stories on Episode, some readers feel that certain genres, especially romance, can fall into clichéd tropes and predictable plots.
  1. Quality Variance:
  • Since Episode allows user-generated content, the quality of stories can vary significantly. Some readers may encounter poorly written stories with grammatical errors, inconsistent plots, or underdeveloped characters.
  1. Limited Choices Impact:
  • In some stories, the choices given to readers might feel superficial, not significantly affecting the overall outcome. This can be not very pleasant for those seeking a truly interactive experience.
  1. Ads and Wait Times:
  • The presence of ads and wait times for reading new chapters can irritate some readers, especially if they are eager to continue with the story.
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thank you for the shot! :purple_heart:

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After reading on the app for years now, if a story hasn’t got something original in the storyline , I can’t read … so many stories are all the same now…
I don’t read mafia, no interest in toxic relationships.
Grammar has to be good, directing as well.
Examples of a couple stories that I find are completely original concepts on app are.
Sip of time
Grow a boyfriend.

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Like: Characters that don’t depend upon one another to be interesting. This is something that I haven’t seen many people mention, but it is a common problem in stories that could use some more attention. No character should be defined by their relationships to other characters, but by their own personalities and interests. One example could be the characters in the story “Post Birthday Mayhem”- there are 4 main characters and, even though this squad of 4 is made up of 2 couples, the characters are not simply character-B’s-girlfriend or character-A’s-childhood-best-friend- they are ‘the funny one’ and ‘the logical one’, etc.

I love it when characters exchange stories and share their interests with each other- it makes them feel like real people and not just extensions of other people.

Dislike:
Stories where the main characters are heavily dependent upon reader insertion to be engaging. While character customization can be fun, it is featured in every Episode Original and most community stories. If a character (or worse, a group of characters) just exists for the MC and LI to bounce ideas off of, they might as well just be a cat. Or a rock. While letting the reader pick the personality of the MC, LI, the best friend, the parents, may make writing easier, (and may make self-insertion easier), it also means that these characters are just shells.

I’m sure you’ve heard annoyance about the ‘token minority best friend whose entire life revolves around the main character getting with the love interest’, but what is even more prominent is the character (ANY character) that only serves as an extension of another character- that all have really cool character appearances, but no personality.

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Likes:

  • SLOW BURN, I’M A SUCKER FOR SLOW BURN
    I feel like slow burns are not only realistic, but are also more meaningful to people reading the story. It makes readers more invested and intrigued to read more. The slow burn doesn’t have to be THAT slow if you’re not into that but just don’t have them already be in love within the first three chapters, cause that’s boring in my opinion.

Dislikes:

  • A story with the same storyline as a lot of other stories
    No offense to all the mafia lovers out there but so many mafia stories on episode have the same baseline: girl gets involved/kidnapped by the mafia, girl meets grumpy, highkey toxic mafia boss, they fall in love, the end. Let me clarify, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG OR EMBARRASSING ABOUT INCLUDING MAFIA STORYLINES IN YOUR STORY, just try not to do it in the way everyone else is doing it, you know?

Like a girl can get kidnapped by the mafia but then what? What about her is so unique? What about the mafia boss makes him different from other mafia bosses in other stories? What makes the story different?

Some advice on HOW to make your story stand out if you have a cliche storyline is:

SIDE PLOTS!!! I cannot stress enough how much side plots make or break a story! I’ve read plenty of mafia books but what set some of them apart from the rest is that the author actually took the time to create interesting side plots. AND WHEN THE SIDE PLOTS CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER AND THE READERS DON’T FIND OUT HOW IT ALL CONNECTS UNTIL THE END?!?! THE PLOT TWISTS! THE DRAMA! I LOVE THAT!

All in all, it’s okay to have a cliche main plot but side plots are what set stories apart from the rest, so DO NOT under develop them.

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SAMEE I was so tired of seeing the mafia gang love stories which led to me writing my story because I didn’t like the idea of romanticizing toxic relationships and the lack of growth in characters

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Likes:

  • Actual Enemies to Lovers and make it a slow burn please. Instead of like 5 episodes in and they already want to be with each other.
  • Grumpy x Sunshine. I love these and always go for the most stoic characters in games as I can cause I love stories that have this trope.
  • When BFF’s have their own life and aren’t there to just talk about the MC’s love life or offer outfits.

Dislikes:

  • Author Introductions. Don’t mind if its for an outro but I really just tap quickly through them. I think they take away from the story.
  • Mafia stories.
  • Toxic LI’s and ‘Bad Boys’.
  • Speech Bubbles too small - can’t read this at all. I’ve dropped a story that does this even though I really liked it.
  • Miscommunication that can be solved simply by having a 5 min conversation.
  • Gem Choices that are exactly like Episode Officials.
  • Authors that try to shame the reader for not spending the Gems.
  • When Authors use the Support the Author but change the buttons to make people ‘accidentally’ press it.
  • CC for characters that only appear for like one episode.
  • Cheating stories.