Thursday, May 03, 2018

Various Directions

Now that Camp NaNoWriMo is officially over (I happily left with 10,345 words) I have shifted my attention back to other projects. The first on the list is of course that script I wanted to use to apply to a script writing program. I'm still not happy with it, so it's in a serious revision state with only three weeks to go until applications close, but on top of that, I've never put a TV episode into the proper format before, so there are a lot of little annoying things I have to get just right. Usually I just write TV episodes in feature format, which is wrong, but everything else is still first drafts, so I guess I would have had to bring them up to this standard at some point anyway.

I also jumped into the world of Episode. I downloaded the app just because I was bored and needed something to do for ten minutes, and I've always loved the choose-your-own-adventure format. Once I opened the app, I noticed that there was a write tab, so I checked it out. It turns out that you can write your own story on Episode, and that intrigued me. Most of the stories are geared toward flirty romance and light mystery (the target audience being female 13+). I thought, why not? I could come up with something fun, and it says there is a paid program for writers.

A sneak peek of Love Bites the Big Apple (I promise, it does get better!)

I started my story, but then I found out there is a lot of other aspects of writing a story for Episode that I wasn't thrilled with. First, you can't just plug a script into a form and get it animated. You have to control the movements, directions, and facial expressions of all the characters. Some people compare it to something like coding rather than simply writing, but I think any true coder will tell you it's nothing like coding either. I found that it's closer in comparison to a technical script--where it has camera angles and specific shots along with all of the dialogue.

It is tedious to do all of the directions, set changes, and clothing changes, but once I really got into it, I was starting to have fun. The story is still working itself out--since the look of the characters seems a little Barbie-esque to me, I decided to plug in the story I used to use when I played with my dolls. I can't publish anything to the app until I have three chapters that meet a certain length requirement, so it may be awhile before it goes live.

And about that payment program. I'm pretty sure this is going to be a passion project rather than a paid project. To qualify for payment, a writer must get 500,000 reads in only 60 days. Once you meet that, then the payment program signup is available. Anything about what you get paid per read after that is information that I have yet to get my hands on. I'm going to say that even if people fall in love with my story and clamor to get more chapters, I would still have less than a twenty percent chance of qualifying. Half a million is a giant number. I still have to get through the popular stories on the app to see what it takes to really get noticed--and since I started this journey on my Kindle, which hasn't had an Episode update in the past four years, I'm going to have to switch to my phone to read more of the recent stories for research. With only a small chance of ever turning this into paid work, I've been trying to restrict myself to an hour a day working on it.

Even with all of this work, I managed to think up a short story idea in the shower this morning. Today is looking to be a very long writing day.

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