Lost in Fiction with Playlists

5 minutes

Playlists are our unique proposition to the world of fiction: short enough to read without a schedule, long enough to let you explore all of the paths fiction has to offer. It's the main way to read stories from our library, and it's a format that's evolving as we add more great fiction.

Since we've added Playlists, we've made them easier to find, introduced a whole bunch of new and unique storylines, and involved visual artists in our storytelling. Today we're serving over a hundred different stories with Playlists, and adding a new Playlist every month. In this post, you'll get a little bit of the inside story on how Playlists came about.

A new way to read

Playlists came out of two needs we had: A way to discover more stories and a way to browse our ever-growing library. While the frontpage is always fresh, we always knew we wanted to add the ability to browse all of our stories. If you like a story, why shouldn't you be able to read more in that genre, by that author, or of that storyline? We want you to get lost in a world of fiction with Chronicle, and Playlists offer you a number of paths to follow.

As Chronicle's grows, so should its ability to help you find what you want to read. We want every path fiction has to offer to be open to you. If you like an author, read a collection of similar stories. If you like a storyline, read more with the same characters and never lose your place because each story takes 5 minutes or less to read. If you like a genre, get lost in it on your coffee break. We have so many stories that take less than a minute to read, we've started two Playlists to hold them all!

The ability to browse is something we thought about from day one, but with so many stories we knew more standard organization methods wouldn't do. Chronicle already has hundreds of stories available, and our entire existence is based on the idea that reading can be easy and fit into your schedule. If it takes more time to browse for a story than it does to read that story, we've failed as an app. Playlists allow us to organize our library in a meaningful way. Something delightful came out with the creation of Playlists: storytelling through the collection of stories.

Explore a world of fiction

Playlists are our way of finding all the paths your story can follow. If you read a story you like, the best feeling is being empowered to read more. That's what we made Playlists for. Each story on Chronicle is unique, but Playlists offer a way to discover more. Browsing Playlists gives you a high-level view of every path you can take so you can see all our fiction has to offer.

The Playlists we've added so far can follow a few different categories. We have types of fiction like Literature and ways to tell stories like Realism. Recently, we've featured authors on a single storyline like Coordinates Unknown, or in any direction they want to go like Place Names. We have Playlists that are simply short, like 60 Seconds or Fewer. When we set out to make Playlists we imagined a way to explore genres, so expect to see more of that in the coming months.

All of our stories take 5 minutes or less to read, and Playlists enable you to reach beyond that without losing your place. Because a Playlist is made up of stories, you can open one up and make progress during that 5 minute coffee break. Like stories on Chronicle, each Playlist tells you just how long it will take to read the whole thing. So far, most of our Playlists have around 10 stories, but that's something we see as evolving over time.

We want to do more with this format, and we see this as only the beginning. We want to let you make and share your own Playlists. We want to link Playlists with each other, adding potential for seasonal storylines, spinoffs, remixes, and more things we can't even imagine yet. This format is only the beginning of what fiction on your phone could look like.

Playlist covers let more artists participate

One of the most fun parts about Playlists for us has been working with authors more closely, and then matching them up with visual artists to complete the collection. We are on the lookout for new illustrators, and have featured outside artists in almost all of the Playlists we've added this year.

One example of a great author/artist matchup is Gladys. This entire Playlist takes place in a townie bar, and we were so happy we got to work with the supremely talented Mike Jandora on the cover. We're a big fan of Mike's style and found it to be a perfect fit for Sam Frybyte's stories. Both author and artist were great to work with, and we couldn't be happier with the result. I guarantee you that if these two got together, they'd instantly become silent drinking buddies.

We pride ourselves in curating a wide range of stories in our app, and we want a variety of artists to match. If you or someone you know is a visual artist, we want to see your stuff! Contact us using the link below and we will consider you for future covers. 

Playlists are our love note to the written word. Chronicle exists so that you can read on your time, and Playlists let you do that and more. They follow our unique brand of flexible reading. They enable you to explore all of the paths a story can follow, and they enable visual artists to participate. Playlists are our ever-evolving love note to the world of fiction. We hope you like them.