Guest Blog: Skyler White on Reader vote stories and how they make stories fun to read
Today I’m handing the blog over to Skyler White. She’s going to talk about reader vote stories and how they make stories fun to read. Check out her post and her latest story Painted Lady.
Skyler White on Reader vote stories and how they make stories fun to read
I can still see the cover art and several of the interior pages of my childhood favorite Pick-Your-Path book. It featured gruesome pirates and things that blew up, and looking back, it was obviously meant for boys, but I loved it. I couldn’t understand how, no matter which door I went through, I would find something different in the next room. I loved that I could change the outcome of the story – that, in an imaginary world someone else made up, things could go differently because of decisions I made. It took a story and made it a game, something the author and I played together. I think that’s exactly what attracted me to writing for SilkWords – the chance to share the game. It’s so much fun to build a world, then hand it over and see what readers do. I’d like to see it go even further—for readers to write in next steps, and take the story someplace I hadn’t thought of.
Maybe it was reading comprehension test rebellion, but as a kid, I also loved that these stories had no single right answer to the question “what happened?” or “how did it end?” I died in a power keg explosion. Or I dove into the ocean. Or I rescued the sailors. I like the ambiguity. Somehow, it makes the fiction feel more factual to me. And the reader-vote stories seem even more real. These aren’t something I had any exposure to until I started writing them for SilkWords, and I worried a little that readers would always just pick the straightest path to sex, or the hottest option, but they don’t. Sometimes they do, but sometimes they seem to be deciding based on character arc. Sometimes they make the one choice I was sure wasn’t an option, and I have no idea why, and I have to scramble to find the story’s new purpose, which is exciting for me.
Reader-vote stories lack the flexibility of pick-you-path ones, but the stakes are higher. In my most recent finished piece, “Shadowed Desire,” I had three different possible ending in my mind, only one of which was happy. Readers picked one of the other directions, and things did not end well for my protagonist. Now that’ the way her story ends in the world. I know things could have worked out for her, they just didn’t. Which feels like life to me. It’s uncertain. Your decisions matter. It’s more fun when we share the game.
When even the month’s rent spent on new brushes isn’t enough to inspire the painter she loves, Sadie offers her body as bait for his muse. But modeling is more revealing and more pleasurable, riskier and more erotic than she ever expected. And muses can be monstrous.
SilkWords is the go-to source for interactive romance and erotic fiction.
With gorgeous custom covers and a clean, sophisticated design, the SilkWords site offers a secure, upscale reading environment. In addition to content on their web site, they offer stories for purchase in the standard e-book formats.
SilkWords is owned and operated by a full-time mom with a background in genetics and an RWA RITA-nominated, multi-published sci-fi romance author.
Their technology guy and site designer was the founder of Microsoft Xbox Live.
SilkWords features two formats that allow readers to choose how the stories will proceed.
Pick Your Path:
Will she or won’t she? With which man (or woman) in which location? With Pick Your Path romance, you decide. Romance and branched fiction are made for each other, like picking your favorite flavor of ice cream…positions, partners, and paraphernalia, oh my!
Readers vote at choice points and decide how the story will continue. These stories are a great way for readers and authors to connect. It’s exciting to be part of a developing story!
About the Author:
The child of two college professors, I left high school to pursue a career in ballet. Since then, I’ve worked in theater and advertising, earned a Master’s degree and appeared on reality TV, and if you can find a “career path” in that, you have a better eye for pattern than I do.
My debut novel, ‘and Falling, Fly‘ was named one of the top sci-fi/fantasy books of 2010 by Library Journal, Barnes & Noble’s Sci-Fi Blog, and Dear Author. My follow-up, ‘In Dreams Begin‘ was accorded the same honor by Fantasy Literature. ‘The Incrementalists,’ co-written with Steven Brust, was one Publisher’s Weekly Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy titles for Fall 2013, and recently, I’ve started exploring indie publishing with “Offerings,” a serialized sacred erotica.
I write angels and scientists, demons, faeries and revolutionaries, secret societies and sacred sex because I’m interested in the places where myth and modernity tangle. I’m a mother and a rebel, a wife and a romantic. I’m a liberal living in Texas, an existentialist witch, and a sucker for paradox – lucky thing, right?