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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1716010-Interactives-What-Not-to-Do
Rated: 13+ · Thesis · Opinion · #1716010
Let's face it. You've probably read a bad interaction on Writing.com before.
For me, the interactives on Writing.com are probably one of THE BEST means of telling a fun story. Be honest, how fun is it to take a story and just add your own piece to it or actually choose what fate befalls the character? It's a total blast, nothing spurs creativity more then listening to another person's ideas.

With that being said, there are some truly horrific interactive stories on this site. I know kindergartners who can write better stories then some of the crap I've seen, and I'm not just talking about the erotica. This writing is just plain bad. There are little things that take you out of the plot or just blatantly frustrate you so much that you have to stop reading. Why? Why do people constantly keep making these same mistakes? Do they reread their stories at all?

So because I like listening to myself talk and because I want to put my thoughts together on this, let's go over a few mistakes I see CONSTANTLY when reading through interactive stories.

1.) Gramm e ar: I'm not sure what is it about the interactive stories that attracts so many people who insist on making grammatical errors, but frankly it just gets embarrassing. I'm not talking about writing something and misspelling a "than" for a "then", unless you're an editor you probably won't be able to pick up errors like that at a glance. I'm talking about writing your sentences with no capital letters at all and misspelling such simple words that you'd think the writer was typing on a cell phone.

"she to him 'jonh, we need ot go. now!'"

I'm amazed Writing.com doesn't allow the author of a post to edit his own chapter unless he owns the story; I cringe whenever I read through a chapter of mine and see even one spelling error. I know we're all not editors, but come on! We can avoid crap like this at least!

2.) Too Many Choices: You ever start a story that's about 200 chapters long, expecting a nice long tale and instead getting NOTHING but choices? Stories based on an already existing series are the biggest offenders of this.

"Naruto Story? Okay then. Which character? Sakura? Alright. Young or older Sakura? Young? Okay, short hair or long? Cool, does this take place in an alternate dimension?"

Some people like choices like this in interactives, but I stand against it for one big reason. Stories should be about stories. Interactives are about choices, certainly, but it's also about balancing choice and no choice. The best and deepest decisions are those someone is forced to make. It's like that scene in Mass Effect 2 (Spoiler Alert) where you're forced to either destroy a robot alien race for standing against you or reprogram them against their will to suit your needs.

What I'm saying is choices should be about letting us learn something about ourselves judging by our actions. It's not about letting us decide if the main character should have size 12 feet or size 12 and a half.

3.) The Wall of Text: I don't think I need to explain this one too much. In fact it should probably go right up there with the grammar. When I do a chapter I try to break up the text as best as I can. And with me usually doing a 4000-6000 character chapter, that means it really fills up the pages. But that's good, I never let my paragraphs go past 5 lines.

Seeing a giant block of text in front of your screen is just a bitch to read. It's like I'm trying to read a book with those binoculars on top of tall buildings.

4.) A Lack of Story (Discontinued Plot): This is a more common thread in the fetish interactives. Often when you start a story, the adders will get the fetish part out of the way...Then the story just stops. There's no plot, there's no coherent character development. It's like watching a porno, except I have to read it and it's not as pleasing "visually".

Sorry but I assumed I was reading an interactive story, and considering interactive story has the word STORY in it, well...

5.) Too Many Rules: Now, I like an interactive with some structure. Having the author ask the reader to fill in the blanks for him is no way to write. On the other hand, assigning way too many rules to follow is a good way to lose an audience.

In an interactive freedom is a must, but it's also about balancing freedom with several basic guidelines for the adders to follow. I've found that the best way to start an interactive is to create the characters (their personalities and appearances) create a world and just let the readers run wild with it. That's probably why interactives about famous anime and video game characters are so popular and easy to write with.

Plus if you end up giving adders too much freedom you can always talk to them and ask to change what they wrote.

6.) One Sentence Chapters: Again, similar to the Too Many Chapters annoyance. You're reading a detailed story then all of a sudden a new adder writes something like: "He wasn't there." And then he just ends the chapter just like that. There's nothing there except a single sentence that explains absolutely nothing. A few words, the end. Good bye, next chapter.

Writers usually do this to add new choices that they didn't have from the last chapter. While I'm all for more choices in an interactive (Sometimes two choices just isn't enough), but these one sentence chapters are just flow breaking. It's like watching a movie and having the ending and all its loose ends wrapped in 5 minutes. It usually doesn't work.

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I'll probably be adding more to this list as I find more things to rant about. Sure, say I have nothing better to do and I'm making a big deal over internet writing. But you know what? I'd rather give something my best effort or not even bother try writing at all. Even if I'm just trying to make something interesting out of a bunch of 1's and 0's.

Feel free to mail me with some of your own annoyances of bad interactives.
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