December 2021's Writer Support Thread

Welcome all to the support thread for December 2021.


:birthday: Happy Birthday to December babies.

Thank you, everyone that continues to participate in these threads – it helps others when you do participate, sometimes more than you think.

If anyone has specific questions or concerns I may help with, please let me know.


There are a lot of community members that have ties to RPG and D&D gaming. With that in mind, I’d like to share a few basic articles that might help you use your gaming experience and turn this knowledge into better writing skills:

  • This month’s first featured article is focused on making characters for roleplay in your favorite tabletop. The goal here is to take the guiding principles explored in this article and use them to build your narrative’s characters.
  • This next article is an interview of Amy Vorpahl, one of more than a dozen writers on the Candlekeep Mysteries anthology which challenges us to look at writing in a different perspective:
  • The final article for the month is from actor-turned-game developer Stephen Ford, in which he discusses his core philosophy for writing a game narrative.

It is awesome to share everyone’s journey during the month; both highs and lows help each one of us realize that we are not alone in our journey.

If anyone has something special going on in December, let us know!


Here we are at year’s end. My starting goals for December will be:

  • Continue writing the next scene for my Emigre project and get at least 50% of it written
  • Redesign the project I outlined last month – this is a carry-over goal from last month
  • Finish and deploy my first major update for my Emigre project – I’m really excited about this and can not wait to share the new content with everyone!
  • Provide Feedback

Just a reminder: There was a Vampire Jam this past month. @dwsnee and @poison_mara both completed and entered games into the Jam. Be sure to check out their entries!


Thank you for continuing to run these Eiwynn, even though I’ve yet to participate myself (I will, eventually, I promise!), they’re always a really warm and fuzzy read.

It really gives me such a communal feel and adds hugely to the positive culture of this forum.


This support thread is being handy, at least for me, I have anxiety disorder and depressions, so this helps me gain the force to write everyday.


hi, I’m alive <3

I’ve been writing Springmist Lake for a different company, and right now I’m more than halfway through! Chapter 4 is in progress, and I anticipate that I’ll finish this by February or March of next year. After that, I’ll be moving on to a fantasy romance project, either for the same company or CoG. My goal for December is to finish Chapter 4 of Springmist Lake at minimum. I’m excited to finally get my first published work out there!

I’d also like to go back to being active in this community. I disappeared for a bit because I stopped working on Voltaic, so I’m hoping I can participate a bit more here. :slight_smile:


Thank you for this Eiwynn.

I’m happy that I finished and submitted my game. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: My goal for December is to put out a demo for book 2.

If you’re working on a project, no matter how big or small, just hold on to it. The thought of having create something is a nice feeling.

Happy writing everyone! :two_hearts:


I love these threads - it’s really nice to see how everyone’s doing in one place and check in.

I find myself behind where I hoped to be in December - which is OK, though a bit anxious-making. What I hope to do is:

-Draft Noblesse Oblige Chapter 4 and send it in
-Write as much of Royal Affairs Chapter 7 as I can: if I can finish it, I’ll be delighted but I’ll try not to be hard on myself if I don’t manage it.

I’m going to be having some holiday time away from my day job which I’m looking forward to (though I do love my day job!) and between spending time safely with friends and family, I hope to get some writing in.

Good luck to everyone in this pre-Solstice time, and especially sending well wishes to all who find this time of year tough.


Today marks the last day of November.

A whole month has passed (minus a few days) since my last post in a Writer Support Thread. Thirty days, more or less. As we all get ready for another month, it is often important to take a moment to reflect and prepare for the days coming.

Which means, on my end, taking stock of what I wanted to do. And how I did.

November's Goal Overview

Today, as the last day, is a good place to pause and review what I had wanted to do for this month and also a place to reflect on my goals for December.

  • Develop a basic overview of the story, the major events, and possible endings
  • Flesh out the characters, PC and NPCs alike
  • Begin the story in earnest

I also had some more personal, self-love goals such as:

  • Treat myself kinder
  • Love myself more
  • Try to stress less

Looking back at what I had put for last month, I failed some and won a few of the others. My self-love goals found themselves in a ditch somewhere that I fished out repeatedly. Depression is an insidious beast difficult to face and harder to defeat. Those goals are still, and will always be, a priority.

On my writing goals, however? That’s where the fun begins.

How I Did For November's Goals

So, to start, I got some writing in. In CSIDE, I have shy of 2,000wrds put down. For me, this is a feat and something to be very excited over. Writing has been difficult for me, these last few years. On those same 2,000wrds, I have a Microsoft Document devoted to writing out the story and its various branches. There are, roughly, twenty pages and 5,000wrds to it.

Most of that is a commentary to myself when I’m stuck – turns out it helps to talk to myself (in writing) about what’s happening when I’m stuck and how to get out of it, narrative-wise. Tracking choices in Microsoft Word is a chore, by the way. While time-consuming, and generally frustrating, it has helped me get some of the story itself written.

I have a few endings, the NPCs are, more or less, created, and I have a few major plot points in mind. The story overview flew out the window, though. I wanted to plan the story in advance, but getting that down turned out to be a nightmare. So I’m plotting and writing at the same time while also keeping those few scenes I have in mind and the endings on hand.

For December, My Goal Is: Get The Demo Published.

That’s it. I want to get the first half of Chapter One finished.

I have roughly 2/3 of one set of choices and the corresponding narratives done. I’m really excited to be working on this project, which has been a change. The last year or so, I’ve been forcing myself to write even when I didn’t really want to. When things get rough, I had to push forward. So I did.

I want to get more of this story of mine done so I can share it. I’m looking forward to being able to share it with the community. At the same time, I’m a bit nervous. I have a few projects I have worked on (these projects will be worked on at a later date, but, for now, they’re more complex than I’m comfortable working on) since I joined the community, and there are several areas I struggle when it comes to writing. Largely the flexible personality of the Player Character. I have a hard time with emotions and portraying them in a satisfying manner.

My Creativity = Apantasia, Autism, And The Insanity Of My Mind

This last section here is a high and a low from where I sit, and this dives a bit into mental health. My mental health, to be precise. Read it if you want. Skip it if you want.

The truth is, the last few years have been hard for me. My mom died at the end of 2019 and she was a woman who was one of my main support pillars and someone I didn’t realize I depended on until she passed away. From my early childhood, she supported my creativity. My desire to write a story at all hours of the day to my temporary dives into other areas of creative expression was backed with so much unconditional love that my chest starts to hurt thinking about it.

The same year my mom died, I was diagnosed with autism. Would have been Asperger’s a few years before that, before it was swept under the same label despite there being some differences that should be noted. Which, for most in my family, that I had autism was already a given. My fixation with stories and writing began before I could write, and began with me drawing families of squirrels as a child when I wasn’t able to spell my name.

For years, writing was a form of self-expression. Then, when I learned Aphantasia is an actual thing and people can actually visualize a beach in their head complete with sand, ocean, and scantily dressed people playing beachball, I realized my writing will always be a form of self-expression.

Because I can’t picture an image or a scene in my head. I can narrate it to myself. I can think ‘cube,’ and know what it looks like because I’ve seen a cube well over a thousand times. I have mental references stored away in my head, but no actual pictures going with it.

It’s like having a blank canvas on a wall with a beautiful description describing a scene that should be there that isn’t there. The description describes something grand – could be a castle, outer space, or the House on the Praire – but the canvas is blank.

That’s my mind.

I learned what Aphantasia was towards the beginning of this year from an interview of some kind on YouTube that randomly popped into my very random selection of recommended videos. YouTube’s algorithm likely hates me because I’m all over the place on what I watch. Hard to predict what I would want to see when I don’t know what I want to see until I see it.

So, yeah. Here’s me – blanked-brained writer creating fantasy stories. I thought my horrid people skills and self-management were difficult to understand, but we all learn something new every day. I’ve learned that when I’m extremely depressed and should be seeing someone about it, I tend to sleep or write excessively. I’ve been leaning towards the former instead of the latter, which is something I am now trying to work on.

When we hit that point when our mind takes us to a dark place, it’s easy to lay down and sink. Very easy to do, but everyone has something they’re passionate about even if they forgot about it. When times get dark, grab that lifeline and hold on tight. I write. That’s my lifeline. And once I grab that hook, I let my writing haul me to the shore and away from the dark waters waiting to drown me.

Moral of this mental health rant: our brains don’t always work the way we want, and that’s fine. We sometimes want to give up. That is also fine. But when it comes to the heart of the problem, we have to hang on until we’re safe again. Just wanted to put that out there for anyone who may be having a hard time themselves. You are seen, my friends. I may not know you, but I see you.

I tend to go on tangents, but sometimes it is inside those whirlwinds of word vomit that one can find hidden nuggets of gold. Which sounds extremely disgusting once I reread that. Just, no. No thank you.

So, I’m gonna end this here and get back to work before I spiral into another section of writing.

Everyone, take care of yourselves and best of luck to us all as we drive our creative little minds straight into December’s cold, wintry hands. Now, I’m gonna make myself some coffee and get to work.

See you all in January.


Good luck everyone!!

I have once again decided to eschew a thorough outline and instead just have some vague notions of individual scenes in my head that I hope will flesh out and gain complexity and resonance in the writing.

I am also looking to read more historical nonfiction about the medieval era, civil wars and revolutions, and other topics that I think will give my story strength and depth.

But it’s hard to juggle reading, writing and a full time job.

My goal for the week: Finish reading “The Greatest Knight” by Thomas Asbridge and also finish writing one (squire) branch of a particular scene and/or all the introductory scenes for each branch in the current chapter.


Thanks for the RPG stuff! Love me some RPGs. Will definitely read through all that today.

Manage to squeak by November with an extra 2800 words for Invite Only. Finished a whole chapter! Only seven to go.

Now that I’ve proven I can knock out an entire (short) chapter in a day it’s very tempting for me to just do a chapter a night for the next week and finish this project, but a) I’ll burn myself out, b) they won’t be very good unless I take more time with them, and c) pretty hectic move going on at the moment.

I revisited my plan for Invite Only because I was really feeling unmotivated with it recently. Just like what I did for A Kiss from Death, I had another thought about what makes this project interesting and appealing to me, specifically. Focusing on the stuff I’m interested in made me a lot more excited to keep going. I’ve got a key dramatic question for each chapter I want to explore, now, which helps a lot. Without that it’s just spinning wheels.

Every chapter should be someone’s favourite chapter for one reason or another, just like with characters. The worst thing you can be is boring.


I’ve been missing from these threads so I could hunker down and finish the first complete draft of my game by the end of November.

So, uh, that didn’t happen.

I’m pushing for the end of the year, now, but we’ll see! I’m pleased with how it’s going, though not the speed. Each chapter is another fathom beneath the water, and the pressure’s definitely slowing me down.


I have long admired these threads of support, and am so grateful to see so much kind assistance and helpful reflections being shared by so many authors! :relieved: This is my first time interacting in one of these support threads, and simply wished to speak on the troubled pressure I have felt this past month or so.

My goal had been to publish a demo for my project - the Prologue (more so a ‘Chapter 0’) and Chapter One - by Christmas Day, yet the sudden arrival of December has forced me to reassess the likelihood of this. I am idling in this Prologue / Chapter 0 still that is nowhere near close to completion despite sitting at 35k+ words, and the Stats Page that has not yet received all its intended functions is at 16k+ words - all excluding code. This is also while not taking into account the pre-drafted scenes / choices yet to be added but have already been written. It is discouraging to progress so slowly as my outline stares back at me with so much unchecked. So, my current goals for the month are as follows:

My Goals!
  • Implement in Visual Studio Code the entire outline for Drafted Choices / Scenes / Routes for the Prologue (even if it means bookmarking areas with ‘WIP’ for now), then return to it later to fill in the blanks; just ensure the narrative flow remains stable
  • Establish the Allegiance System
  • Finalize the Tattoo System - Even if it means simplifying it!
  • Finish Drafting descriptions for customized character aspects
  • Draft more text versions for personality and relationship stats - even if they will be incomplete upon a demo publication
  • Above All: Complete the Prologue / Chapter 0! :sweat:

Starting post-Finals Week, I want to start adhering to a word-count-per-week goal or perhaps a choices-completed-per-week goal; anything to become more accountable towards actual productivity rather than daydreaming scenes that are drabbled in my notes and little else.

I would like to receive feedback as soon as possible since this initial chapter is already so dense with text / content that needs refinement by audience input, but fear that a published demo is still not appropriate until the completion of Chapter One in which the core cast are more established in their interactions with the protagonist rather than sparsely seen through an outsider’s perspective here-and-there. Hopefully Winter Break will provide the time and energy to accomplish my goals.


My goals are still the same as last month’s, just trying to finish chapter 3 and post a WIP thread along with some minor worldbuilding things. Sometimes I forget that the reason I never participate in Nano is that November is usually the busiest month for me :sweat_smile: I was really, really busy with end of semester projects that I barely had time to write.

But now that those things are mostly done, I’m looking forward to getting back to it. I re-read the stuff I already wrote, and I already know that some things need to be cut entirely, along with some minor changes to chapters 1 and 2. Hopefully I manage to finish it by mid-December, because I have some stuff coming up in late December.

Good luck, everyone!


My goals for this month are pretty much the same has last month, excluding the HSC part, starting tomorrow. in other words, this:

My word count has gotten very big (17676 words at the time of this comment), and my skill has a writer has really taken off. I don’t think I would have gotten anywhere near both the word count and the writer skills that I have today with out all your help, and I aim on improving even more. Thank you and good luck with your writing everyone!


I haven’t written anything for months and in a way it feels good. But I can’t help but have story ideas that seems fun to write, but whenever I’m on the process of writing I just give up on it. I don’t know if I should force myself again to write and do something completely different from my project, or just stop writing entirely. I find the whole process tedious except the brainstorming parts. I couldn’t translate my thoughts well to written text.


Quick update on my late-night 1 Dec writing blitz:

It went reasonably well - there was probably too much chatting and snacking but I definitely expected that.

Managed to knock out a good portion of the chapter I’ve been working on, almost 20k words (way too bloat-y), but I’ll be re-reading and adding some texture to the placeholder portions soon, and also just double-checking that my 3-am brain didn’t accidentally end up typing in a different language. Hope to share a decently-sized update for my WIP by Mid Dec, and then go off on a proper holiday :slight_smile:

As for the links @Eiwynn shared for this round, I really liked the idea of pacing (personal takewaway: when I’m clearing the bloat from my first-drafts, I should clear it more ruthlessly in the parts that are meant to be fast-paced, and leave more of the ‘fat’ in for the parts that are meant to be “rest points”). I also liked the character prompt questions in the first article - will definitely use those as productive procrastination!


After a hectic November, I should probably be easing up, so I’m trying to stick to smaller, feasible goals that still represent significant forward progress. With that in mind, I’ve got these two:

  • Manage the usual, steady 30k in FoA.
  • Finish Diaspora’s current chapter, test, and release.

This should be doable. Working on FoA is basically just a habit at this point, and so when I’m not ‘pushing’ my daily wordcount I can pretty reliably do it. Diaspora… has more stops and starts, so in a way I think that’s going to be the harder thing to do, even though there’s way fewer than 30k words left before the chapter is ready to go.

Best of luck this month, everyone, and please forgive yourselves if this is a particularly crappy time of year for anything, including writing.


So, it’s been a while. Still don’t feel up for picking anything ChoiceScript related back up, but I’d like to finish the multi-chapter fanfic I’ve started a few weeks ago before the end of the year. Pretty sure that counts as a writing goal.


I am really sad as people didn’t like my game jam and all commentaries has been negatives, I will try to carry on with new project. But is hard keeping going when your projects go bad. But I an suppose is part of the process.


That’s all for your prologue? Wowzers. Why don’t you just call it Chapter One? Might be nice to frame it that way in your mind so it feels less like preparation for your story and more like story! :slight_smile: