Interactive Stories
Author: HatedLove6
Content Rating: T-13
Published: 2016-11-09 12:30:54
Tags: reasons i will not give your story a chance, writing, guide, interactive, cyoa, pyop, wwyff, wwffy


Summary:
I have standards and Iím not afraid to use them. This is a list of story turn-offs that make me hit the back button and not give your story another look at. What are we talking about in this chapter? Interactive stories, such as CYOA, PYOP, WWYFF, WWFFY.

Author´s Notes and Disclaimers:
This was mostly inspired by and written for QuoteV members, but these things can also be pretty universal for any site.
Chapter 7
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You claim your story is Choose Your Own Adventure, but there's only one or a few instances where the reader has to choose a fork in the path.

Choose Your Own Adventure is a genre where most of the chapters end with the reader having to choose which page or chapter to go to next. There may be some chapters that only have one choice, which makes the chapter a bridge, and that's perfectly acceptable, but only if it's a few in comparison. If only one or a few chapters in the entire story has the reader choose a path, I personally wouldn't consider it a CYOA.

You claim your story is a CYOA and a Who Would You Fall For/Who Would Fall For You, but it isn't a CYOA.

CYOA is not interchangeable with WWYFF/WWFFY, nor that WWYFF/WWFFY is a subcategory of CYOA. Some WWYFF/WWFFY stories have the reader choose which love interest they would want to be with, which is a fork in the path like CYOA, but if this is only going to happen in the end of the story, I wouldn't consider it a CYOA. Choosing a love interest is just one of the many aspects of WWYFF/WWFFY. It's false advertising if you claim the story is both CYOA and WWYFF/WWFFY but the only plot-path choice there is is to choose a love interest at the end.

Whether choosing a path to the next chapter (CYOA), or choosing a personality answer (WWYFF/WWFFY), there are inputs from the author.

Which color is your favorite?
A. Pink. (QM: EW!) B. Black. (QM: Awesome!) C. Brown. (QM: Ugh, boring!)
What do you want to do next?
If you want to go through door a, go to chapter 2. (AN: I wouldn't go there if I were you . . . .) If you want to go through door b, go to chapter 3.
This is annoying to no end. I came to read a story, not for a person I've never met critique me for my personal choices. It's unneeded, and it makes the story seem like the story is only for the author in question rather for the readers. Don't get me wrong, writers should write firstly for themselves, but that piece of advise is more to get writers to write what they want to write and not to let others or the newest popular trend to dictate what they write. These inputs put the readers like myself off. Also, it makes me feel as though, especially for WWYFF/WWFFY stories, if I choose these "ew" or "boring" answers, I'll get an "ew" or "boring" love interestóas if the author makes one perfect, in depth, love interest for themselves, for the answers that they would choose, and then have some other vapid eye-candy for the rest of us. WWYFF/WWFFY stories are supposed to support various kinds of people with a variety of personality quirks and choices, not just reward only one kind of person.

In WWYFF/WWFFY, the story portion asks the readers which love interest did what (and the answer portion consists of a piece of description from each of the love interests).

Who kidnapped you?
A. The one with tussled blond hair. B. The one with silky smooth black hair. C. The one with springy brown hair.
I understand that this was a way to outwit Quizilla's character limit so that at least the love interests were described at all, but asking the readers who did what is like telling me that they're all dolls where their heads can pop off and be put on another doll's body. They're interchangeable. "So it basically doesn't matter who you get, they'll be the same except maybe their hobbies and skills or talents," is what this is telling me. In WWYFF/WWFFY, it should be story and characters first, the reader's choices and results after. The love interests should be different, have different roles with each part they play specifically, and have different motivations and goals.

In WWYFF/WWFFY stories, the multiple choice answers are color coded, or are in some sort of code (bold is for love interest A, italics is for love interest B, etc.).

Why? You may as well just add a parenthesis and say this answer goes to this love interest. The point of WWYFF/WWFFY is that when you're answering questions, you don't know for sure which answers go to which love interest. If people knew that why bother answer the questions? They would just read the result they want anyway. The only reason I would color-code the multiple choice answers is while I'm handwriting the story so I wouldn't have to keep reminding myself which answer goes where. This color goes first, and this color tends to have this sort of response . . . . It's not so much which color goes to which love interest, it's more of the order of which kind of response goes where. The certain kinds of responses do go to a certain love interest, but that's besides the point. This is my personal writing that no one would probably see. I don't do any color code or format code when actually publishing the story.

In WWYFF/WWFFY stories, the answers interact with each other.

What color is your favorite.
A. Pink. B. ^ Ew, you like pink?
Does the reader have Dissociative Identity Disorder or something? The answer is reacting to the answer and not the situation in which the story calls for (and it wastes an answer space). And if the answers look like:
A. Pink. B. ^ Ew, you like pink? C. ^ Who cares if she likes pink. People can like different colors. D. ^ Sure, but pink is still a stupid color. E. ^ You are entitled to your own opinion, but it's still not good to put down others. F. I like brown.
Then the only logical answers are pink and brown. Wow. Only two colors out of eleven basic colors (red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, pink, white, gray, black, and brown). Now let's say the answers were like:
A. Pink. B. Blue. C. Red. D. Green. E. Yellow. F. Brown.
If the reader chose an answer, the rest of the answers would be obsolete, so the whole answers reacting to an answer is useless. There's no reason the reader would be reacting to themselves (especially if they were sure their favorite color is in the answer). And even if they did react to their answer (as if they had some sort of DID or sever inferiority complex or something), these reactions should be in a separate multiple choice set.
A. Pink. B. Blue. C. Red. D. Green. E. Yellow. F. Brown.
After you stated your answer you couldn't help but think . . .
A. Ugh, why did I choose that color? B. That's an acceptable color, right? C. Maybe another color would have been better. D. No, I should have chose that color! E. The favorite color question was a trick question, right? F. Oh gosh, I should have chosen another color. They can totally key into my inner personality with my favorite color and they can totally see all my flaws now!

In WWYFF/WWFFY stories, when each of the answers are more than one or two paragraphs long.

If each of the multiple choice answers were as long as:
A. Seriously? I know that you may seem discouraged by the lack of comments, faves or follows, but do you honestly think that making your chapters your hostage is going to help you? This is the same thing every site you go to. It takes time to build a fan base, and the only way you'll get fans is if you interact with people and be friendly. Actually take the time to converse with your commenters, and don't treat them like a point on your score board. It also helps to update your stories at least semi-frequently, and finish them before starting another story. This takes time, and even if you have a hundred years, there's no guarantee that you'll ever be popular. So even if you do everything right by making friends, updating on schedule, your stories are awesome, fill your activities and journals with stuff, and you still don't end up uber popular, what makes you think that negotiations will help you in any way? If anything, even if it works, they look to me like pity faves, and your comments would probably consist of just "OMG I love your story, please update!" which are very cheap to me. (A couple of paragraphs in the "You have tried to negotiate by withholding your chapters in order to get comments, faves or follows anywhere on your story" section.)
And then have B through F be equally as long, would be tedious and confusing. One paragraph is fine, two is pushing it, but three or more is a no-go for me. If this happened once in the story, then it's a one time thing I may comment on to let the writer know that these answers may cause confusion, but if this happens on multiple occasions, I won't have the patience for it.

In WWYFF/WWFFY stories, they have questions asking you what you would do, but then continue the story disregarding all or most of the answers.

You're sure you should be alone in the house, but you hear footsteps. What do you do?
A. Grab a blunt object and hide in your closet. B. Hide in your closet. C. Call out, "Hello? Is anyone there?" D. Grab a blunt object and quietly search the house, making sure to avoid the creaky spots. E. Quietly search the house, making sure to avoid the creaky spots. F. Grab your phone, hide in your closet and call 911 even though you're still unsure if there's someone in your house.
Despite the options above, you call out, "Hello? Is anyone there?" hoping it was just your mom or dad, or even your pesky younger brother ditching field hockey.
If this keeps happening over and over, it frustrates me because even though the story is supposed to be interactive, what's the point in letting me choose if you're going to ignore it anyway? It begins to feel like you're only writing for one kind of reader.

In CYOA, the writer asks the readers which path they would choose, and then only writes the paths with the most votes.

If you do this, your story isn't a CYOA, you're just copping out of doing as much work. It is a lot of work to write CYOA stories, but don't claim the story is CYOA, if you're not going to write all of the paths and twists and turns, because by the end of the story, there's only one path, and the minority are ignored. That's just about everything that instantly turns me off of stories that I can think of. So, what are your turn-offs? And do you agree, or do you think I'm being too picky?
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