Writer Questions

I love playing Episode and want to write my own story! How do I start?

We're so happy to hear that you're interested in writing your own stories! You can go to the following link to start your story: https://www.episodeinteractive.com.

What is the Episode Writer Portal?

The Episode Writer Portal is a place where you can create, and manage, and publish your own stories for our popular mobile app, Episode - Choose Your Story. Using our library of hundreds of backgrounds, outfits, and characters along with our simple directing tools, you can create your own story in no time at all! To get started, check out the directing guides.

Who owns my story?

In a nutshell, you do! We can't sell the rights to your story to a movie or TV studio, make it into a book, or hire some new writer to write your story for you without your permission. You should review the Terms of Service, however, as we are licensed to promote your story and use it in advertising, among other things. We also own all the animations and art provided by the Episode platform, so you won't be able to take those with you. For more information, please read the Episode Terms of Service.

What happens if you decide to feature my story?

If we decide to feature your story, we will email you with details about what we will need from you to get the story published to our featured stories section along with a contract for you to review. The story will then go into Quality Control testing, where we will check for bugs, ask you to fix them, and then release it to the public!

How do choices work? They are confusing!

The syntax for choices can be a little intimidating when you first learn it, but you'll get it with some practice. Try reading some of the scripts we have here and here for examples on how to write a choice and create branches in your story.

Why isn't the choice I pick making a difference when I test my story?

This may be because you played your story earlier and did not reset the story's state. In that case, it will always go with the first choice you made. Make sure that every time you test your story, you tap the "Navigation" button and then "Reset Story State".

I'm getting the error "Unexpected End of Input". What does that mean?

It means you did not end your episode correctly. Episodes must end with a line of dialogue or direction of a character. They cannot end in the middle of a choice or with a place.

It says I am missing a place, but I've written it correctly!

Some of our places have very long names. Make sure you scroll through the entire name on the Art Catalog - sometimes it is on two lines.

Publishing Stories to the App

How old do I need to be to write a story?

As stated previously, authors on the Episode Platform must be 13 or older. If you are 13 to 17 years of age, you must have parental permission to submit and publish your story.

Will you publish my story without my permission?

No, Episode will never publish your story without first having your permission.

How do I publish a story to the app?

You can publish a story to the app by tapping the publish button as soon as your story meets the minimum requirements:

How do I update my published story on the app?

You can update your story once all of your episodes are error-free. You can choose how many episodes go live at once, so you don't accidentally publish unfinished chapters!

Where can I find my story on the app?

Published stories are readable in the "Trending" section of User Stories. To help players find the best stories, we'll be ranking them by how much they are read. You can also use the search bar function to locate specific stories in the app.

How do I improve my story's ranking on the app?

Once stories are published, their rank in the app is based on how much they are being read. To improve your rank:

How do I get featured?

The Episode team will review the top stories in the app for featuring. There is no exact formula that will get your story featured, but we recommend the following:

Does my story have to be finished when I publish it?

Actually, no! We want to see a fair amount of episodes that show great promise and development, but you do not need a finished story.

How do I share my story online?

You can find the share link to your story at the bottom of your story script page. This is a link that you can email to friends, put on social networks, or share on our writer forums so everyone can read your story!

What is "Reader Retention"?

Reader retention (also called reader engagement) is a measure of how well your story keeps people reading. Episode looks at the number of people who start your story and compares that to the number of people who finish each chapter. The more people who finish each chapter, the higher your retention is. Generally, we look for stories that have high retention.

We use this measure because it allows us to see how into a story readers are without being dependent on the total number of reads a story has. Here are two examples:

Example 1:
Story Starts: 10,000 Readers who finished Ch Retention Score
Ch 1 5,000 50%
Ch 2 2,500 25%
Ch 3 1,250 12.5%

Example 2:
Story Starts: 500 Readers who finished Ch Retention Score
Ch 1 400 80%
Ch 2 300 60%
Ch 3 250 50%

In Example 1 we can see that even though the story has more reads, the overall retention is lower than the story in Example 2.

Episode uses retention scores to measure how successful our own stories are with our readers. We also use this in conjunction with our grading rubric to help select user stories to feature, and contest winners.

Where can I get feedback on my stories?

Our writer forum has a rich and supportive community where you can post your story for feedback!

What CAN’T my story include?

If stories contain objectionable or offensive content, we may not be able to feature or promote them. We are on the lookout for stories that are appropriate for readers ages 13 or older.

Objectionable content may include, among other things, content that:

In addition, by submitting your story, you agree that it does not include any content that infringes on the intellectual property rights or rights of publicity or privacy of any third party. This may include using any of the following without permission:

For more details please see complete Content Guidelines.

Why are stories removed from the app?

Stories are removed from the app because they do not follow our content guidelines. You can review our Content Guidelines. If you are not sure whether your story meets the guidelines—we are here to help. Send us a ticket and we will do our best to answer your questions.

Why are gem choices deactivated in a story?

Gem choices might be turned off in a story for a couple of reasons. If a choice has a high number of reports it might be turned off so it can be reviewed by our team or the choice might break one of our content guidelines. In either case, you can get more info by contacting our review team here. Be sure to include your portal email address as well as the story title and URL for the story in question.


Will I be reimbursed/paid in any way?

The Episode Writer platform is a free service for you to write your stories and If you are at least 18 years old and earn the minimum reads required, you qualify to be part of Writer's Payment program. Please see Payments for more details and Terms of Service.

Didn’t answer your question? Check out our Episode Support FAQ for more information.

This FAQ is provided for reference purposes, but remains subject to our Terms of Service.