Published on 22 December, 2019 by Kyla R.
So you’ve heard the term “Interactive Writer” thrown around some people’s LinkedIn profiles and resumes. But what exactly is an interactive writer, and is it for you? In this post today, I am going to discuss a particular app in the appstore that is called Episode Interactive, and what it is like writing on it.
Interactive writing refers to writing that is unlike traditional writing. There are several components that are similar in both traditional and interactive writing, but just because you are experienced in novel writing, does not mean interactive writing is a fit for you and vice-versa.
- Judging a book by its cover.
- Descriptions aren’t always necessary.
- Visualization and directing is key.
- Implementation of choices.
- Social Media interaction.
- Know your audience.
“Aspiring authors, get this through your head. Cover art serves one purpose, and one purpose only, to get potential customers interested long enough to pick up the book to read the back cover blurb. In the internet age that means the thumbnail image needs to be interesting enough to click on. That’s what covers are for.”Larry Correia
Judging a book by its cover. Don’t lie to me. We’ve all done it. We might not admit it, but we’ve done it. It’s just like what I do when I go clothes shopping. I know what I’m looking for. If something doesn’t catch my eye, I don’t spend another second looking at it. So why would I do any different when it comes to book covers?
On an interactive app, the majority of your audience will be young females, typically very young. They don’t care enough to read the description of your story if you don’t put enough effort in obtaining a nice cover. This is why even when I began writing, my covers were my largest investment. I was no longer willing to edit my own with copyrighted photographs… it was time for the big leagues. And it paid off.
Descriptions aren’t always necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not referring to story descriptions. Those on the other hand— completely necessary. What I mean is in chapter descriptions. When writing novels or short stories, you learn the importance of describing scenes and not only focusing on dialogue. Due to the major part of interactive apps being the inclusion of actual backgrounds, in chapter descriptions are no longer as important. Sometimes, you want to include them, especially in intimate scenes, but not always.
Audiences are young and enjoy stories that are descriptive enough, but not so much description that it’s boring. Keep this in mind!
Visualization and directing is key. Going off of the previous point, descriptions aren’t so important. Now, what is? An incredible plot line with an emphasis on visualization and directing. Donacode is the coding that is used in the writing portal for Episode Interactive Community writers. It’s easy to catch on to, but not easy to master. Those who have been writing with episode for a while have caught onto the tricks and treat it as a second language. Others, don’t see the importance of above-par directing and background choices.
Readers enjoy a professional look when it comes to directing, and it’s obvious to spot a newcomer from seasoned writers. I spent some time reviewing newer stories in my own review book club, and oftentimes, I noted that practice in directing was definitely needed. Spending time learning donacode is worth it in the end.
Implementation of choices. The main focus on applications such as Episode Interactive is “Choose Your Own Adventure.” Writers take this seriously, and it pays off. Having a storyline where choices matter is even better. Some authors make the mistake of writing their stories for themselves. While this seems like a good idea, it may not help your story reach higher ranks. So having no choices and sticking to your original plot line may not win you brownie points with the community.
In such a competitive community such as Episode’s, you want to strive to write like the best. Episode claims that over 2.5 billion episodes have been played to this date and the community holds over 5.5 million creators. Now that’s what I call competition!
“Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.”David Alston
Social Media Interaction. I myself have found that free marketing is the best marketing. At least this is true for a college student like myself who doesn’t have the money to pay for a real marketing manager for my small episode writing startup. In regard to writers who link to to their social media via the Episode app, almost all link to an Instagram account.
Instagram holds a ginormous Episode community. From authors, readers, reviewers, and editors, the list could go on for ages. This community is a great way to speak word of your story and works. But be careful! Cold messaging authors, especially larger ones, with a link to your story may not end well and may end up in you being blocked.
Know your audience. The community not only holds young female teenagers who enjoy reading stories, but also adult women who write for a profit. And this app doesn’t only apply to females! Although the audience is primarily female, many authors pride themselves in writing a male main character or giving a male choice in many stories.
Some individuals in the community pride themselves on being different and writing in genres that aren’t as popular on the application such as Mystery, Horror, or Comedy. But not as popular does not constitute as not popular. There are many authors with millions of views who focus in the different genres. Some say it’s actually easier to start off in one of these abstract genres as the popular ones such as Romance and Drama are hard to trend in!
#Trending. Trending is where it’s at on these interactive apps. Not only is it preferred by most readers that you update in chunks of at least two chapters at a time, but the algorithms on the app will actually help you in the trending category and in the trending category for your story’s particular genre. The more people that read your story chapters and finish, the higher your rank will go. This is what you want to aim for.
I have only been an interactive writer for a year this January, but during this time, I’ve learned an immense amount about Episode’s social media community and how to succeed on the app. Have you read or written on Episode before? How do my tips compare to your experiences?