We’re envisioning a nirvana for fiction writers and readers, but paradise isn’t built overnight.

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Illustration Courtesy of VectorMine

Amid our lofty ideas of making a difference in the literary community, we need to look at the hard and fast issues that come along with trying to build a new platform. We are in the ideation and prototyping stage, but we envision Fiction Stop as a home for weekly serialized fiction.

We are conducting extensive market research and design research to ensure we find a good place in the competitive digital content market. …

Our core idea has survived customer interviews thus far, but there are different paths we can take in feature prioritization.

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Photo Courtesy of MinDof

Fiction Stop will be a home for weekly serialized fiction. Readers can subscribe for unlimited access to novels for a low monthly price. We will serve readers while supporting authors by allowing them to monetize their stories based on readership.

Currently, readers on a budget have to wade through saturated platforms like FictionPress or WattPad if they want to have affordable access to fiction. Even paid services like Kindle Unlimited have very little quality gatekeeping. We will scout talented authors and guide them through the editing process. We will gradually publish their chapters to increase reader engagement and help them monetize their stories. …

Interactive storytelling can take many forms—and it might just make you get off the sofa.

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Photo Courtesy of Nnudoo

I’m becoming progressively more obsessed with exploring different forms of storytelling. I’m admittedly a bit of an outcast in the literary fiction community since I am so intrigued by these unconventional models. I’m curious about the potential of things like interactive storytelling and the model of serialized fiction.

To culminate on a semester’s worth of coding study, I want to write a piece of flash fiction that would be advanced by the user taking on certain poses and motions. …

This time, I got my Arduino talking to another device.

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Photo Courtesy of Alona

Part of me still expects something to go catastrophically wrong each time I pick up my Arduino. But so far, luckily, I haven’t shocked myself or caused any fires, even when I dangled the poor thing over boiling water. I did manage to fry an Arduino, but that’s a story for another day.

When diving into this project, I started out with the most unnecessary step.

Choosing thematically appropriate wire colors.

All the productivity gurus will tell you to do the most important thing first.

I did not. I picked pretty wires first.

On the plus side, I’m getting a good sense of the basic necessities of writing up buttons and LEDs, so this part wasn’t too time-consuming. I did get a little tripped up and confused about which resistor I needed to use to make the button work, but I realized my mistake without blowing anything up—always a victory. …

The last thing consumers need is another useless app on their phones.

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Illustration by VectorMine

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve downloaded an app that sounded cool or helpful, only to get slapped with a demand for money before I’ve even gotten to properly use it. Before I’m able to even see if I like it, they’re dangling a subscription in my face.

Sure, there’s usually a free trial. But how many free trials can a person possibly have going at once before they slip up and forget one? This initial problem is one of marketing and a lack of giving consumers the chance to try something out before they buy it. …

But it took a lot of cursing at Jeff Bezos to get there.

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A photo this ridiculous couldn’t be by anyone but the author.

In general, I’m not the biggest fan of Amazon. As much as their convenience is delightful, I try to avoid buying from them when I can. There’s no denying that Jeff Bezos forces his warehouse workers into terrible conditions. I’ve had friends who work in one of his warehouses in Florida and even the ones that aren’t completely horrible are still pretty unpleasant.

Regardless, while I try not to fatten Bezos’ pockets with my small purchases, I sometimes find myself turning to Amazon if I need something that I can’t buy locally really fast.

For example, Arduino components. And when I started to panic that I have a grade on the line if I don’t get things done in time, I gave in to the diabolic lure of Amazon two-day shipping and a bunch of components to follow an Arduino love-o-meter tutorial. Since I didn’t feel like I understood the components well enough to make anything without very clear instructions, I felt like following a tutorial from the Arduino Project Hub was my only option. …

It can’t be the main component of your diet, but learn to harness the treat that is motivation.

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Photo Courtesy of Fizkes

I often end up feeling drained from the simplest activities in life. I feel tired from writing, from taking care of myself, just from getting through ordinary days. But when I feel that fatigue creeping in, I have two thoughts.

My first thought was that I shouldn’t be getting so tired of such ordinary things. I’d start to beat myself up and tell myself I was being pathetic for not handling things well that should be easy. Then the second was that thinking like that isn’t productive or good for my mental wellbeing. …

The idea of minimalism used to make my gut wrench.

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Photo Courtesy of Photographee.eu

I went for a run out of pure frustration the day we decided to leave our very old but decently sized apartment. It was supposed to be our last apartment before we got a condo or small house. We started building our own furniture, started outdoor projects like composting. We added to our various collections of things very carelessly.

But in the course of just a few weeks, the apartment became uninhabitable due to severe safety and sanitary concerns related to our neighbors. I was so upset about the situation that was forcing me out that I couldn’t think, process, or be productive — I just needed to move my body until I calmed down again. …

Every new idea needs a lot of research and ideation—here’s a first taste of mine.

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Screenshot by Author

As crazy as it may sound, I’m setting out on the journey to build something. I’ve rallied the most talented writers, editors, and designers that I know to come together and collaborate on this idea. We want to build a symbiotic community for writers and readers alike.

First of all—why is reading important?

I’ve learned the hard way not to trust unproven Arduino tutorials.

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Photo Courtesy of Besjunior

“But Leigh, you could buy a motion-activated nightlight for less than $12 on Amazon!” you might say.

Yes, I could, but why do something sensible like that when I could DIY it for 9 times the cost?

This might be the most clickbait title I’ve ever written, but sadly, every last word of it is true. Jokes about DIY projects aside, as a part of the Creative Coding course I’m taking this semester, I’m learning about physical computing with Arduinos. …


Leigh Fisher

Writer and poet from Neptune. Instructional designer in NYC. Grad student at @NYUTandon studying Integrated Digital Media.

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