Reviews, Views and Adventures in Content Creation

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Experiments in Storytelling: Wattpad's "Tap"

I recently engaged in a bit of experimental storytelling using a new app called Tap. Created by the people at Wattpad, the creative writing site (and available for both Android and iOS), it also allows authors to freely create and share their work with a wider audience. What sets Tap apart, however, is that it's all about telling stories "chat" style—in other words, through the back and forth texting that dominates so much of our lives.

The opening lines of Played.
The story is told entirely through dialogue. There's no description or third person observation. The scene must be set and the story told entirely through text. Character names can be indicated as one might find in a group chat, and a background image for the chat screen can help set the scene. Also, if the story occurs in more than one setting, that background image can change to indicate a change in venue.

Finally, the author can add a book cover (in this case, a simple representative image), and add a short description and category (or multiple categories)—for example,  romantic, scary, magical or suspenseful.

My story, Played, is the tale of two young gamers planning to meet IRL (In Real Life) for the first time. Will the meeting happen—or is this all a game?

The story selection screen looks nice, but
so far, it's not possible to search anything but
  category. I haven't yet found my story. 
Played is told in a total of 177 messages. The reader will either Tap the screen (if in the App, or tap the "Tap" bar, if on a desktop) to move on to the next text.

Here's my story. You'll be guided to the desktop reader if that's where you're clicking.

I encourage you to follow the link, Tap through the story, and tell me what you think here on the blog or through my social media channels. As the App is in its early days (feature improvements are promised), I'd also appreciate if you would share it as well. Reader feedback isn't built in (yet), so

I had great fun creating this story, and I'll likely create a few more Tap experiences. It's a great stream-of-consciousness exercise and brainstorming tool, too. I'm very curious to see what readers think.

And who knows, it just might inspire my next book...


  1. Nice write up! Looks like your 'Players' isn't live yet, but I was able to follow the link to read. I'm by no means a gamer, still I felt pulled into the suspenseful dialog and instructions Charlie fed to Michael to complete their meet-up. Personally, I'd have run like hell! Tap is a unique and fascinating medium. I was a beta writer for the app, one of my stories, 'Deal with the Devil' is in the pic you used. Do you feel inspired to write more chat/dialog stories after trying out Tap? I do!

    1. Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you enjoyed the story. It's a great concept - I'll be interested in seeing how the platform develops. And yes, I am inspired to write more Tap Tales. Hopefully, the search mechanism will be developed and some of us Tap newbies can get some attention, too! I just read your story, by the way - great fun! If we could follow in-app, I would!