Okay, now that we’ve got all the pessimistic stuff out of the way, I’m back to talk about things we DO want to see!
This is trickier, because the question “what makes a good story” is way too big for a simple blog post, and that’s really what we’re looking for in the end–good stories. Every story we’ve considered publishing has, at minimum, one really innovative element, or one really well executed element. There’s always some aspect that raises it above the average, but what that element is varies greatly from story to story.
One thing we’ve mentioned before is that we want stories that evoke a strong emotional reaction. We’ve tried dressing this up in fancy terminology so we don’t sound super dumb about it, but what we’re really looking for is FEELS. And, like I mentioned in one of my first responses, the best way to add feels to your story is to write lovable characters, and then make terrible–and occasionally wonderful–things happen to them. Beat up on your characters in whatever way makes sense in the story you’re telling, withhold whatever it is they want for as long as you can before you give it to them. Even in a gentle modern-day romance, the stakes should feel high to the characters.
In more specific terms, there isn’t that much I can think of. I’d like the next audio project to contrast with Awake in some way–but Awake’s a pretty weird little story, so pitch something other than a sci-fi bottle drama, I guess? Similarly, don’t do anything that’s too close to any of our currently running series. Comedy would be great, romance would be great. An urban fantasy or dystopian story (with fairly simple, subtle worldbuilding) could be interesting. A well-constructed mystery might work really well in audio, or a fantasy story centered around a small, tight-knit group on a mission. But, to be totally honest, outside the list of don’ts I wrote before, I don’t have a preference for genre. Do what you think you can pull off best–the genre you’re most comfortable in, one where you have a good handle on the usual tropes and can use or subvert them in a way that doesn’t feel forced.