Frequently Asked Questions

What are interactive/branching stories?

Interactive or branching stories (as we like to call them) are short stories, novelettes and novellas in which readers are occasionally prompted to make a choice on how the story should continue. These choices lead to branching storylines, which can either come together again or further branch out and even lead to different endings.

Learn more about How to Write Branching Stories

Can anyone write a story?

Yes! Anyone can publish their stories in Sana Stories—we welcome professionals, hobbyists, and fanfiction writers.

Is LGBT+ content allowed?

Yes! We are LGBT+ friendly and would very much like to see many different types of stories.

How “saucy” can the stories be?

They can be quite saucy, but of course don’t have to be. The app is meant for adults and the raiting we are going for (17+) allows for erotic and violent scenes in the stories.

Does the story have to be erotic or romantic? Can I write e.g. a murder mystery?

Romantic themes are what our readers have enjoyed the most, so we suggest writing romance or light erotica. But the setting of your story can be anything from contemporary to fantasy or sci-fi, or a murder mystery!

I have never written interactive fiction before, help?

Don’t worry! We’ll help you get started. Branching stories don’t need to be super complicated with lots of different choices. Your first branching story could simply have two different endings instead of one. Start small, come up with a single scene that could play out in two different ways, then write those and think of how you can bring the story back together in such a way that no matter which scene your readers pick, everything in the rest of the story will make sense to them. That’s it—that’s the basis of writing branching stories!

Learn more about How to Write Branching Stories.

Read the Writing Tool Tutorial

You can also join our Discord community to discuss branching writing and ask for help from other authors.

Can I publish my story one chapter at a time?

Yes! If you’re planning on writing a very long story (over 20 000 words), it’s a good idea to publish it in shorter installments. Because each chapter will be published as a new story, currently the best way for your readers to find the new chapters is to give them a clear title, for example “Little Red 1: Prologue” for the first chapter, and “Little Red 2: Meeting the Wolf” for the second, and so on. Numbering helps readers find what they are looking for.

What if I later want to change the story or add more choices?

If you want to update your story, just submit the updated version through our submission form and mention in the additional notes what you want to update an existing story. For now, we are still adding and updating all submissions manually. We will email you if we have any questions!

How long does the story need to be? How long can it be?

There are no hard limits for story lengths. We recommend that stories should be at least 5000 words long, and that stories longer than 20 000 words be divided into several installments.

Do I have to write in English?

Yes, for now all stories published in Sana must be written in English.

Will someone edit my story?

Not automatically, but we are working on a tool that can match people who want to edit stories with stories submitted for editing.

Can I write a story without any branching?

While technically both the Sana Stories app and the Writing Tool support linear stories as well, at the moment we only publish stories with at least one branching element. But don’t worry, it can be as simple as two different ending scenes!

Do I have to write my story directly in the Writing Tool?

No, you can use whichever writing software you prefer and then copy and paste the finished text into the Writing Tool to submit your story. (Should you find any bugs this way, for example any special characters that the Writing Tool will not accept, please let us know so we can fix it!)

If you are already familiar with other tools for creating interactive stories, such as Twine, you can use those for drafting your story, but please keep in mind that our Writing Tool is designed to be more simple and currently doesn’t support complex interactivity such as conditional if-then structures. 

That said, Post-it notes, mind maps and the likes are also great tools for designing branching stories! The whole reason we are creating our own Writing Tool is to help you, writers, create branching stories in an easier way.

What happens to my story if the browser crashes as I’m writing?

Don’t worry, the Writing Tool saves automatically and does it often. It is highly unlikely that you would lose more than a few sentences. For extra safety, we recommend that you download the .sana file often enough—at least after every writing session—and keep back-up copies of it on your own machine.

I have written a story and published it previously elsewhere. Can I publish it on Sana Stories?

If your story is self-published or you otherwise own the rights to re-publish it, go ahead! 

Do I retain all rights to my story?

We ask for worldwide, non-exclusive rights to display your self-published work on the Sana Stories app. The intellectual property rights of your stories always remain with you. Quotes of published stories may be used in marketing, but always with the author’s name (or preferred pseudonym) shown.

Can I publish my story somewhere else as well?

Yes you can! We ask for non-exclusive rights to display your story, which means that you are free to publish it elsewhere as well, if that other platform allows simultaneous publication. You can also at any time request your story to be removed from Sana Stories. You can also write stories in the same universe or with the same characters for other publications. The stories you write belong to you.

How are authors compensated?

We share 25% of the subscription revenue with our authors. Sana Stories app tracks the number of words read, and we will divide the 25% of the subscription revenue with our authors based on how much their stories are read. In a nutshell, we tally all words read by all subscribed users, divide the 25% of the subscription revenue by the total number of words read, then distribute these revenue-per-word earnings to authors according to how many of the words read were theirs. This means that it makes no difference if you prefer writing long or short stories, because users reading the same story multiple times are also counted towards the total number of words read.

When your royalties exceed 50€, we will contact you by email to ask for payment details.

When our log-in system for the Writing Tool is released, you can claim the stories you have written as yours by notifying us via email. After you have claimed a story, it is linked to your account and the payments for the story are registered to you.

Can someone else claim my story?

No, they can’t. When submitting a story to be published, we ask you to provide your email address. To make sure that every story is claimed by its real author, we will then later only accept claims coming from the email address provided when submitting the story.