So my new story is about a person going through something like the hunger games but not at the same time. the person never really kills and has to outlast everyone else. It is very basic and so far only has 40-ish pages. but would it be a good idea for a CYOA?
That actually sounds pretty cool.
How similar is it to The Hunger Games is it? What is the time period this is taking place in? What’s the reason the people are doing this? You said that they don’t kill, but are they supposed to? Etc.
I’ve realized that you’re the author of a taken down story, so I created this guide to help you make sure that this one stays up.
I’d like to first say that any pages that are less than 500 words and only have 1 link attached to them should be combined with the destination.
This is my rough estimate of the ratings compared to the length per page (keep in mind that that the End Game links are exceptions to most of these minimum requirements.):
1: Any page has less than 10 words on it
2: Any page has less than 30 words on it
3: I feel like you’d be hard pressed to find a story that’s still up that has pages with less than 50 words
4: Spelling and grammar comes into play, and should have more than 75 words per page
5: This is where people actually start to read the story, when it’s not in the newly created category, and should probably have more than 100 words per page. Most have at least 50 pages and a total of 5k words. ( A good example of this would be Dusty Fist, which is one of the most 5 games I’ve read on here.)
6: It would probably be a good Idea to start to put some effort into changing the reader’s emotions, whether this be through humor, romance, adding some death etc. A fundamental aspect of getting this to work is to get the reader invested in some of the characters, which you can do by making them feel realistic. As for length, I’d say at least 150 words per page, but some outliers of like 300-500 might be a good idea, with at least 100 pages. If you’re trying to get a solid 6, you should aim for like 25k words total, but I’ve seen it work with about 10k (although there was scripting involved).
7: I’d say one of the most important characteristics of a 7 is having love interests. Having romance in a story is a great way to get the reader invested in characters, and are great if you want to add some twists that make the reader feel something. Try not to write meaningless romance words, like ‘he loved her, and she loved him <3“, and instead show the reader that they loved each other. Start to actually explain in detail how you died, and maybe even the affect your death had on others. Aim for 50k words.
8: Character development is key. I love to see the main character evolve in a story, and that’s what really separates the 7 and 8s for me. The most important part as a writer of a CYOA is figuring out when and how to branch the story out. Character development in its simplest form is making your previous actions affect your later ones. For example: In Eternal, you have a choice very early on (the beg, struggle or die paths) which dramatically affects the rest of the story. Seeing a choice from one path in another wouldn’t really make sense because that’s not who they are. While it’s basically impossible for a story to have a perfect 8, almost all high 7s are 100k+ words, so if you’re planning on becoming a respected author you better put the time in.
Might try to make this an article since I’ve already got 500+ words on it. Does this seem like article material?
Yeah it actually does.
I'd argue that with horrid spelling and grammar you won't be getting above a 2. You can have the best story ever but if it is a pain to read, it won't be well received. Granted, those who trudge through will probably encourage you to fix it up.
Heck, I'd say general readability is important, if people can't understand what you are trying to express with your writing, they won't end up engaged with the story. Don't do stupid things with font style & size. Generally follow conventions. Proofread!
Granted, some mistakes can and do get forgiven, but you cannot have a story riddled with mistakes, it won't end well. With that said, for the minimum at the start, you just ought to read over what you write at least once to see if it makes sense and can be read. People aren't expecting perfection, but they do expect some effort to be put into published stories.
Personally, I'd say that the fundamental aspect isn't getting readers invested in characters, but rather engaged with the story. I feel this is broader and can thus better cover stories where characters are not the central focus. Granted, most readers do really like well written characters, and character driven stories seem to be the norm and most widely accepted, but I feel you shouldn't discount stories trying to do things in a different style.
Anyway, having characters who feel realistic makes sense as a criteria, tho less logical works can still work (but they can be harder to pull off). I'd, again, argue it is more about making the characters engaging than realistic, since it is a broader goal, but I'm more OK with this statement of yours than the other one. Maybe simplify it down to being consistent with the things the story establishes? I feel the word realistic can make it sound like certain things wouldn't work, but having a strange story which has consistent internal rules should still work even if it is not something realistic. Maybe I should just say, there needs to be some method to the madness, if you go that route.
I'd say no, as I do not think every story will benefit from love interests. Obviously, in CYOAs they can do what you have mentioned, and it can lead to some interesting things due to the potential different paths provide. BUT I disagree with it being one of the most important characteristics of a 7, but maybe I'm just delusional.
Personally, I'd say think about what you can do to help elevate the specific story. Love interests might be just that, but maybe utilizing themes more effectively would be the better choice. Perhaps working on the flow on both the micro and macro scale would be a good idea instead. Thinking about narrative beats and grander concept things too!
Obviously, you can still just write something to be cool/fun, and it can definitely work, especially considering CYOA's unique strengths and weaknesses (such as foreshadowing being much trickier to do well when the reader can end up in different spots). However, I think it is at least worth considering these other things to figure out what you prefer most, maybe you don't care for themes and think they belong in eight grade books, but maybe you just haven't thought about it and now want to include it, who knows!
There is a lot of freedom in writing, and I'd say it is all about finding what works for you, but that doesn't mean you cannot gleam something useful from others. You aren't inventing the concept of stories here, trying to get something useful from what others think can be invaluable in helping you make your writing better.
Oh, I'll quickly add here that there is a thing such as too much detail, and in certain scenarios less can really be more. With that said, most stories that suck tend to have too little detail/information, so trying to have more can be a good first step. You can always trim things down. Granted, you can have 'bloated' paragraphs and still have a good story, but you want to be careful that it still flows and has good pacing (tho that would arguably mean the paragraphs are no longer 'bloated', just long).
I like to think that 8's don't have to be perfect, rather just really good at what they do. I'd also argue that you can have a short 8, since length isn't everything, but it can definitely be harder as you'll really need to utilize the word space you have to maximum effect if you want the story to resonate as much with readers as something longer (as the longer a story, the more time for the reader to explore/engage with it).
Yeah idk, I didn't like how authoritative some of the things here were so figured I'd add my own thoughts. Truth is tho, I might just not have enough conviction, so what I added might be too general (or I might not have spotted stupid things among my thoughts). The post is still good, very informative with good use of examples.
I'd say if you have to ask if something is worthy of being an article, it probably isn't. Tho I'm not an article expert so don't mind me. Maybe see if the post gets commended? That might show it contains enough value that turning it into an article might be a good idea.
As for the OP's question, almost any idea can work, you are being way too vague for us to figure out if the idea will fail. The execution tends to matter more in these scenarios where the idea is relatively vague. However you should probably try to write, worst case scenario you improve and learn, best case scenario, you write something that you want to write AND improve and learn. Both are good outcomes, so just write!
Austinc - I micro-aggressively opine that you are being overtly restrictive:
Evie22 - Almost any idea can work, so go ahead and write it! Remember to proofread so that readers get the best experience possible.
>Only getting truly invested in a story with love interests is pretty gay.
Not true! There are love stories with straight protagonists. Do you even romance bro?!
Sometimes you just need to be gay.
I was just wondering if this seemed like an article worthy topic. I’ll make the appropriate changes later.
Thank you for the tips! I'll put this all into thoughts!
I can tell you put some effort into your post, but I do think you missed the mark a bit. I realize that ratings are subjective and can vary between users i.e. something I see as a 6, another might see as a 4. There’s a certain level of personal enjoyment factored in besides overall word count and quality. That being said, a minimum of 75 words seems way too low for a 4. In fact, everything up until this very sentence was 75 words exactly. It’s not a lot. Also, it’s a bit misleading to suggest no one reads stories that are below a 5 rating.
The paragraphs for 6-8 go a bit off topic. The initial premise of word count per page gets tossed aside for basic story requirements and character development. Great points, but they don’t really play into the whole idea of word count’s effect on rating. I personally don’t factor word count much into rating unless it’s obviously lacking or tremendously overdetailed, and even then I tend to attribute the rating hit to poor writing quality rather than overall word total.
Actually, I think your post is a good example on why overall word count shouldn’t matter that much. It’s a decent size, but falls short in the previously mentioned categories. You bring up some good ideas though. If the plan is to try to publish as an article, you have a lot of editing to do.
I accidentally refreshed, so this is going to be kind of brief because I’m frustrated. Go into the fantasy category and set the filter to maximum length of 3. It’s not a coincidence that every single story listed has a 4 rating. I certainly don’t enjoy reading something that is only “slightly more fun than homework”, but I’m sure some people may want the free point to help the illiterate writers on the site out a little bit. You’ve read The Knight Order Of The Golden Sun right? It’s like 60k words total, and despite having numerous spelling and grammatical errors, it’s just what I’d call ‘lower quality’, but it still has a 6.5 rating because of the sheer size of it. People see the 7/8 length and they automatically boost their ratings a little bit.
Refreshing sucks. To be fair, Zake's post above is probably a length of 3. I'm not exactly sure where the cut off is, but it's about 100 words shorter than a random 3 length storygame I clicked on. Obviously you can't do much with a storygame that short unless it's heavily scripted. Regarding Knight Order, that's a perfect example of the subjectivity of rating. I personally didn't put it at that level, but apparently other people thought it deserved that rating. More power to 'em.
Name a story that’s above a seven that doesn’t have a love interest.
I don’t think Dungeon Stompage has a love interest.
The love interest is between Berka and large amounts of scripting.
Lol seems about right.
There’s the love interest between the main character and the succubus...
The master’s daughter?
I feel like it’s one of those things that you don’t realize the importance of. Imagine Eternal or Rogues without the various female characters you can smash. I think that all of the badassness would get really repetitive without a break in the action. I’m not trying to say that it’s necessary, just that having the main character interact with other characters in a non hostile way is important.
I only do that when I want to grind points. I read through anything above a 5.
My prior claims are that having love interests are a good idea, and that they tend to make the story better. Obviously there are going to be specific examples where this is not the case, like in POF where the main character is a child, or Death Song, which is about the world going to shit for basically everyone in it.
I don’t even know what you’re trying to argue here. The purpose of having love interests in a story? Obviously they are important becuase they are used in almost every high rated story on here.
And no, the merchant girl William fucks occasionally doesn’t count.
I mean there are only 18 so not a great sample size
Thank you very much, this is truly appreciated!
Would this story be good even if it only has 4k words? Or should i go back and beef it up more, adding in more details?
Only on a few parts, but I fixed it up. I will look over it again though. Thanks!
I honestly expected worse.