We recently published a new guide for authors. Our first guide offered a high-level view of the Chatables concept of a “conversational story.” It provided a few samples of the types of questions your narrator can ask the listener to engage them during the storytelling process. The new guide takes a deeper dive into the questions authors can use to enliven their story and to offer conversational turn-taking to the listener.
What Makes a Story Conversational?
Over the past year, we’ve experimented with this new art form of the “conversational story,” made possible by voice and speech technologies. The big question has always been:
How can you invite the listener to interact with the storyteller and the story in a meaningful way, but without impacting the story’s outcome?
We’re not a publisher of branching, role-playing, choose your path adventures or choice stories. We’re a publisher of engaging stories told by one voice assistant, virtual character, and/or smart talking device. We want the listener to feel they’re talking to a friend and hearing them recount the details of a super interesting experience.
10 Question Patterns for Conversational Stories
During our experimentation and early work with authors like Kelly Abell, P.J. Devlin, and Janet Shawgo, we’ve discovered at least 10 types of questions a virtual storyteller can use to effectively engage their listener.
We call these “question patterns,” because they are repeatable patterns a writer can use in any story, in any combination that works.
Our list of 10 question patterns isn't exhaustive, but we think it's a good place to start. In future guides we'll take a look at how you can alternate narrators to play characters off each other. In other words, we'll explore how you can use forms of gossip to open up fun new conversational dynamics between the virtual character and the human listener.
New Informational Video Available
I created a video in which I introduce the topic of question patterns and review several of the patterns in detail. The video doesn’t cover all 10 patterns, but hopefully it will help you understand the concept and how you can use the patterns in your stories.
To get the full guide, please fill out the form on our Authors Page. If you’ve filled it out before to get a previous guide, please fill it out again. The new email we send will include links to all the writing guides currently available.
We look forward to seeing and hearing what you’ll write! Stay tuned for more writing guides, videos, and announcements about our upcoming voice app and writing tool.