Photo by Andrea P. Coan

Published on 25 May, 2020 by Kyla R.

So… This has been requested a whole bunch. Not only through direct messages but basically four times every Instagram live I do. So I thought it was best to make a list of my tips so that I could send everyone who asked to this post. Let’s get started!

Don’t Compare Yourself, At Least Not Too Much

This is harder said than done. We all do it whether we want to or not. And I’m in no way saying you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people at all. Sometimes, that’s what gives you an extra push. If you realize someone else has more reads and started at the same time as you, see what they’re doing that you aren’t. See if you want to do that same thing! And if not, stick to what you’re doing and you’ll improve to that level in no time.

Remember that even if someone started at the same time as you, they may have had more practice, focus on a different genre, posted more often, posted in chunks, etc. There are so many reasons that make certain people more popular because all of us are different. Even if you copied someone’s exact update schedule and did everything in a similar manner, it doesn’t guarantee you anything.

This is one of the reasons why I don’t celebrate many milestones. For me, hitting one million was crazy. It took a really long time and was really slow after 600,000. And then in no time, I hit 2 million, and then 2.5 million. It goes up all the time too. And I’m not saying this to brag and I don’t hide it to “be humble,” but rather I don’t mention it so that people can like me for me or a story, not the fact that I have “lots of reads”. Even when people say that I do, I remember how many others have that amount and even more. While I am extremely fortunate and have more reads than many, I’m not the best, and I will always acknowledge that!

Practice, Practice, Practice

Remember to be kind to critics. I haven’t always been the best with this one. Not necessarily because I disagree with things they say, but because some people say it so rudely. So try to stick with the type of author you wish to be when you get criticism.

I know that so many people bring up the importance of practice in basically everything, but it’s especially relevant for writing in the Episode community! The portal is challenging to use, the coding is difficult to get the hang of, and finding backgrounds, customization, and all that jazz is even more irritating. There’s a lot more to writing an Episode story that many people don’t understand. If you are lucky enough to be part of the payment program one day, the money is nice, but the hours that it took to get there were not all sunshine and rainbows, I promise.

Invest in Your Story/Career

One thing I always mention to new authors is being willing to invest in your stories. Whether that be art for your cover, working on updating your social media, whatever. In particular, I always recommend saving money so that you’re able to buy a decent cover for you story. You can get some for free from artists you may not like as much or just an edit as well. I’m not saying these are bad, because they aren’t. But I myself didn’t like the art I was seeing when it came to free art. And it’s extra unlikely someone skilled will give you art for free, especially if you don’t have a following or monetary incentive.

My advice is slightly discouraging for those younger authors. I get why, but it doesn’t change my advice! I am here to tell you guys the truth. You need to be eighteen (I believe) to be part of the payment program. If you don’t have a bank account, debit card, or a job, I’m not sure if this is for you. When I was sixteen, I already had all three of these things. So when I was eighteen and first started writing on Episode, I was able to make an investment in my future as a writer and I will always stand behind it. There are many authors on Episode that didn’t stick around long enough to get the reads they wanted, and I don’t want that to be you.

Make Your Brand

How do you want to be recognized? There are many authors known for so many different things, and you need to keep this in mind when starting. Do you want to be the author who hates on other authors? The one who only writes stories about pregnant teenagers? Only romantic comedies? This is your choice! And it’s important that you keep it in mind.

This is where Instagram plays a large role. Being friends (and finding friends) in the community not only makes being in the community more fun, but also allows you to network quite a bit. It’s likely that your friends will try to read your story and share it, just like you would hopefully do for those friends. And the more shares your story gets, the more likely people will read it! Readers love recommendations from authors and other readers.

Hate is Everywhere

Note: The top one is for sure one of my rudest and most irritating fanmail. If something like this spread (just a btw) it would be considered libel!

It’s true. Especially if you’re younger, and even if you’re not, if you aren’t good with handling hate and criticism (whether warranted or not) then this career/hobby may not be it for you. It takes some getting used to, but I was lucky enough to write on Wattpad and a site named Quotev far before Episode. I was accustomed to hate mail and responding to it (if necessarily) or ignoring it. I don’t want to recommend that you write in the Episode community if you don’t think you can handle it, because even though who think they can, can’t handle it very well (including me).

I want you to know what you’re getting into and prepare for it. For example, short chapters or writing about basically anything. You can and likely will get backlash (especially as your story gets higher and more popular in the ranks) for anything and everything. Just be prepared! But don’t let it discourage you either. 🙂

Also! Check out my Ko-Fi link on the welcome page or HERE! I have opened up donations for those of you able and willing to donate. I’m a regular university student taking on a good amount of debt, so truly anything helps!

Remember, if you ever have any questions and requests, feel free to send me a DM on Instagram or leave a comment down below. If you have requests, follow my Instagram and submit it when I ask for requests on my story!  Not all my article posts are to be Episode Interactive related.

As always, I recommend all of Joseph Evan’s tutorials and DaraMarie’s templates for starting help. As I always mention, the forums are your best friend! Unless your question specifically asks for help regarding this article, please do not contact me about it!

Published on 20 April 2020 by Kyla R.

Keep in mind that I do not own the Episode Interactive portal and the screenshots, while my own personal work, are not necessarily my property. They are used for educational purposes only.

Hey everyone! This week’s top request was the point system! This will be a bit of a short post, but remember that I’m always here to help if you want to send in a message or comment below.

Remember that no one just hopped onto Episode and got the hang of this! I have only just recently become acquainted with the point system, and I don’t typically use gains. The point system is similar to gains and can, in a way, be used as a substitute, which I will explain later in another post where I talk about gains! Now, let’s get started!

What is the Point System?

Long story short, the point system is a system inside of the episode interactive portal that pulls on a set number of points that you, as the author, decide on through choices and such! Ever wondered how you got points with your favorite love interest or supposedly got “points” for different actions?

Fun fact, this was originally to be better implemented in Filthy Royals. I decided against it because many of my readers were taken aback when I said they would not choose their ending love interest. If you have read Filthy Royals, an example of this system was when you were told if you were a good queen or not by the people in season 2. Based on your previous actions (which I sneakily did not mention were using the system), you were told a specific outcome.

Why would I want to use the Point System?

Lots of readers enjoy more complex coding and not necessarily always advanced directing. A point system allows for a better-customized feel for your readers as their own choices make a difference.

Using it or not, of course, is your choice. Lots of stories do not use this system or the gains system, but it does help your story get something extra cool in it!

How is this System like Gains?

Most simply before actually discussing the code, the coding between the coding system remembers the reader’s choices in a remarkably similar fashion to the point system, just without needing an individual character that the points are attached to.
I personally make characters with names that I don’t even use, such as “ALEXANDERSHEALTH” instead of making gains, but gains are an extra step more natural.

How do I Implement this System Initially?

First, you will need characters that exist in your story. Feel free to make new ones so long as they don’t give you any coding error codes.

Below are the general templates for the point system with the name YOU.

@YOU =0
@YOU =1
@YOU +1
@YOU -1

The templates above show ways of either adding points or already setting points. All numbers such as 1 and 0 can be changed to any number, positive or negative! Within a certain choice that you decide on, you will need to add in the code needed to add the points to the system (on its own line as well).

How do I Pull on the Point System for More Interactivity?

Now that you know how to add points… Now what? Now you can recall the points! There’s a reason we implemented the system… Right? If you’re smart (unlike me initially), you will keep a note of how many points you made possible for each character. This will be necessary if you ever decide to put coding at the end of your chapters to let people know how many points they have!

If you want to use your points, you will need to use if-then format! Let’s say you want to have the reader obtain a prize if they obtained over 4 points. How would you use the point system for this? Easy! But be careful and be specific.

CHARACTER>1 means only if they have over 1 point. The same goes for CHARACTER<1, meaning only under 1 point. CHARACTER=1 means they have exactly 1 point. Be careful with your coding and try it out yourself before hitting publish! Now, back to the example!

if (YOU>4) {
Congratulations, you get a prize!
} else {
You didn’t get the prize!

OR if you want it to lead to a certain label…

if (YOU>4) {
goto WINS
} else {
goto LOSES

In this case, we can make individual points to let them know how many points they have. Let’s say you’ve only offered 3 points up to that point in the story.

if (YOU=0) {
You have zero points.
} elif (YOU=1) {
You have one point.
} elif (YOU=2) {
You have two points.
} elif (YOU=3) {
You have three points.

That’s how you would show the number of points they have amassed!

An example of how I used the point system myself is shown below, with more points being added to Liliac after being told you were good or bad!

Note: When authors put “Calculating Points…” this is a manual addition! Points are always in the system, and this is actually just a cute preference to let people know that they’re about to be told their points or to raise suspicion!

Remember, if you ever have any questions and requests, feel free to send me a DM on Instagram or leave a comment down below. If you have requests, follow my Instagram and submit it when I ask for requests on my story!  Not all my article posts are to be Episode Interactive related.

As always, I recommend all of Joseph Evan’s tutorials and DaraMarie’s templates for starting help. As I always mention, the forums are your best friend! Read more about gains and the point system if you’re still confused.  Unless your question specifically asks for help regarding this article, please do not contact me about it!