I believe we all have the ability to create innovative stories, and interactive stories are a powerful tool for exploring our creativity. These are the most useful steps to move forward and exploit this new writing format:
1.- Choose a theme and lines of the outcome of the plot: Before starting to write it is very important to be clear about your ideas. This point is essential because from here your adventure will begin. However, since interactive stories are about dynamic stories with different outcome paths and plots, it is critical to be clear about how you want the story to progress, how much you want it to deepen, where and when you want to provide options to readers, and under what conditions they can interact with new chapters.
2.- Structuring of ideas, data, and plot lines: A good way to visualize how you want the story to expand under user interaction is to diagram it on paper. If you start with chapter one, you could write what are the decisions that will lead to chapter 2, or those that immediately will jump to chapter 3 or chapter 4. Remember that interactive stories are nonlinear stories, this means that there really isn't a sequence of chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. Chapter 4 could actually be the next chapter after the first.
3.- Editing the flow of the story and gaps in the plot: Designing an interactive story is not easy. Sometimes, we can become entangled in our own tree of narrative lines. The edition is your best friend in this case. Put yourself in the shoes of the readers, and reread your story using all possible decisions and paths to check that everything makes sense. An interactive story can be a very powerful tool to keep your readers engaged if it is well designed, but an unfinished or poorly developed interactive story can be like shooting yourself in the foot.
4.- Style corrections: Today it is essential when writing to maintain a perfect spelling and grammar, since readers will immediately judge your story because of it. Yes, this is not specific to interactive stories, but it is always worth to have it as a reminder since, if the decisions that the reader must make are not well written, they could become misinterpretations. Remember that interactive stories are designed to provide an experience to the reader, and we don't want to have them having to second guess what you actually mean.
5.- Know your audience and make a full publication: When writing this type of stories you should know if your audience is really adapted to experiment with new formats. Many readers will only read the whole chapter and, in the end, they will not understand what decisions are about to make the story progress. Although Inkspired offers a clear and direct way to introduce users to this format, it is good to clarify it from the beginning. On the other hand, unlike the other formats in which we can allow ourselves to publish chapter by chapter, in interactive stories it is recommended that you publish your story in full to increase its effectiveness. Leaving blank timelines or pending decisions will cause readers to lose interest.
6.- Advertising and promotion: This is the step that every writer forgets, ignores or underestimates. For better writers than we are, it is mandatory to have to promote your content - otherwise, it is unthinkable to expect readers, likes, comments, without the least effort: writing is not enough. Look at the case of famous artists like Taylor Swift: a mega pop singer star with millions of followers around the world. Even she, with a huge audience and with defined platforms to reach them, promotes her new songs again and again, on tours and concerts, for years. We authors are not the exception to the rule. There are so many books out there on the market, on the Internet and even in Inkspired, that readers have an ocean of options. If we want to be read, we must be able to be found. As we had mentioned before in another post, the 10x golden rule says that for every hour it takes us to develop writing, we must devote at least 10 times more time to promoting it. Participate in groups on the internet, in social networks, and promote your links, or in any case with phrases or images that incite readers. Not only will you notice that you attract more readers and people become more participatory, but you will also learn a lot from your readers and your audience.
Original text by Galo A. Vargas (@galovargas)Jan. 30, 2020, 12:53 a.m. 0 Report Embed 0