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How to create and write interactive stories on Inkspired

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 5
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How to rely on BETA Readers to polish your story

As writers, sometimes we feel insecure about publishing our stories as they are. Will the readers feel the are good enough? Are they well written? Are they well developed? Will they be interesting?


After having so many doubts, it's normal to feel as we don't know what to do, who should we rely on, who can provide us some writing support, or who can give us a point of view that, above all, tells us the reality of the effectiveness our stories' narrative, privately, without feeling exposed.


On Inkspired there are many ways of support for writers, one of them being the BETA Readers, whose objective is to support and encourage you as a writer. The BETA Readers are a team of volunteer writers and readers who will give you a point of view about your story in a responsible, respectful, professional and constructive way. One of the best things is that your chapter does not need to be published to make a request. The idea of this service is to give you a thorough opinion with a more thoughtful reading than just a simple comment. In summary:

  • BETA Readers will review your story objectively and professionally.
  • They will check the fluency of the plot.
  • They will let you know if your story contains grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • They will help you notice the errors in the development of the script and the characters

The best part of BETA Readers is that they also clear your doubts, since when you make a request you can make specific requests about what you really need help with. To benefit from the help of BETA Readers, you must be an Inkspired Premium subscriber or, alternatively, unlock the option individually from the self-publishing services page.


For more information, you can check the official post about the BETA Readers service.

Jan. 15, 2020, 2:05 a.m. 0 Report Embed 8
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7 steps to break through the online literary community and not die trying

1) Join online communities of writers. It will help you to start reading other authors, comment on their stories, and you will see that it most of the cases it will be reciprocated. You can ask for advice or opinions about your book cover, some guidance, or even just proof reading a few of your chapters. You will see how much you can achieve just by asking, and by giving. Remember, being part of a community is sharing, not just taking.


2) Participate in writing competitions. You can take them as a personal challenge or just for fun, but writing contests not only help you get out of your comfort zone with their varied (and most of the time creative) themes, they also make you visible to other types of readers. Those who still do not know you may be attracted to read a story or a story in which you leave your personal writer's stamp. On Inkspired, we have monthly writing contests, and not to mention our annual The Authors' Cup.


3) Join book chains. Book chains not only allow you to know the stories of other writers, they are also very helpful to see the positive and negative sides of your writing. It will help you that another writer reads you and gives you his opinion, thus being able to improve your writing, the plot or the characters.


4) Be creative. Whether to promote your stories in groups, forums or online communities (without spamming) or to upload content to your social networks, the key is to draw the maximum amount of attention to your content. In this field everything is allowed, book trailers are a good way to tell briefly what your story is about. The memes are a very good tool to publicize your characters, today there are many free pages and applications to generate them. There is a golden rule for content creators: if it takes you 1 hour to write a story/article, you should at least spend 10 hours promoting it.


5) Make videos. Videos are trending and engaging. In today's world, videos have gained more strength in social networks, and draw much of an audience's attention. From youtubers to celebrities, content creators use them to connect and communicate with their followers. A good option is to upload a video to your social networks commenting on your next update or future projects. If you dare, you can make a live video and interact with your followers, watching their reactions and comments in real-time.


6) Write with passion, and create a unique storytelling style. If there is something that separates good writers from excellent writers, it is the passion they put into their work, and the unique style they use to describe and express ideas, sequences, and emotions. When you really care about what you are storytelling, your readers can perceive it.


7) Be authentic. For your posts and/or stories to gain traction it is essential that you define what is your voice, tone and writing style will be. Do not try to sound very different from the way you speak, as the reader will notice, and do not try to imitate someone else's style and ideas.


Original text by: Mariana Prado (@marinaprado84)

Edited by: Galo Vargas (@marinaprado84)

Dec. 15, 2019, 1:07 a.m. 0 Report Embed 8
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#NewWritingContest - Your Micro Year

Write a story with 12 microstories about every month of the year. The microstories can be fiction or real and must have a maximum of 20 words each.


The microstories must be published as a single story (story with chapters), but each one will be in a different chapter. The 12 stories must be connected to each other and have a meaning.


The work that has the best score based on the development of story, grammar, originality and that strictly complies with the rules, will be the winner.



Start date: December 2, 2019

Closing date: December 28, 2019


How does the contest work?

1. You must publish a story with 12 short stories that are based on every month of the year.

2. Once published, you can edit it until the closing day of the contest.

3. The work must be published as a Story with Chapterst.

4. You must tag your story with the hashtag # YourMicroYear in the hashtags section.

5. The story must have a title, its own cover and a brief description.

6. It must be unpublished and exclusive to Inkspired for the duration of the contest.

7. Once the contest is finished, the work must remain published on the platform for a minimum of 6 months.

8. The contest will have only one winner. These will be announced in the first half of October.

9. The jury will consist of the Inkspired editorial team, which includes Jackeline Vargas-Content Manager and Gin Les, as the leading ambassador.

10. A minimum of 30 participants is required for the contest to be official.

11. To get additional points, you just have to upload and share your story on one of your Social Networks (Instagram or Facebook) and tag us at @getinkspired. In your story you must put the link of your Instagram or Facebook account so we can see it. (Remember to be public)


Bases

1. People from anywhere in the world can participate, but the story must be written in English.

2. The story has to be published as Story with Chapters.

3. The story must be your own, we do not accept any kind of plagiarism and there can be legal action if this is violated.

4. The short stories must be exclusive for the duration of the contest.

5. If you are not a current Inkspired user and want to participate, you just have to register. It's free!

6. The work must have the hashtag #YourMicroYear in the hashtags section. In addition, it must have a title, a cover and a brief description of the work.

8. This time you can participate with only one work. No more works by the same author will be accepted. If this happens, all the works of their authorship will be disqualified.

9. Anyone who does spam will be disqualified.

10. Contest deadlines must be met. No work that leaves this period will be accepted.

11. Stories can be edited only during the contest period. Once closed, no changes will be accepted.

12. Once the winners have been announced, they should write to [email protected] to coordinate the awards ceremony. If the winner does not pronounce within 15 days, the prize will be awarded to second place.

13. You do not need to participate from day one, you can do it whenever you want while the contest is open.

14. Participation in this contest means that the user knows and accepts the bases of it.

15. We also have contests in other languages ​​-English and Portuguese-, you can see them in the contest section of each language.


AWARDS


BEST STORY


First place: The publication of one of the microstories on Inkspired Originals and a podcast with the 12 microstories narrated.


How to publish a story in Inkspired?

1. Go to www.getinkspired.com

2. Register as a user (if you are not already), you can do it manually or via Facebook

3. Click on CREATE A STORY

4. Choose the type of story you wish to publish, in the case of the contest it would be: STORY WITH CHAPTERS

5. Write the title of your story and the category. The title can be edited later if you wish.

6. Write your story as a single chapter.

7. Once written click on ‘save’ and then on ‘close and go to the profile of the story’.

8. Here you can add the hashtag # YourMicroYear , the description, the cover and the language.

9. Then you will have to go down to the title of your chapter or story to click on the publication status button that says ‘Draft’ and change it to ‘Published’.

10. You can watch a video tutorial on how to publish here: https://getinkspired.com/faq/

Dec. 2, 2019, 12:01 a.m. 2 Report Embed 10
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