December 2021's Writer Support Thread

The biggest problems I’ve noticed is that I think the coding for the game is broken, I’ve noticed a lot of scene jumps which made it harder to follow the story. Second is the dialogue. It wasn’t engaging and it was way off that the characters felt cheap? Next up everything was confusing, I didn’t understand most of what is going on 2 chapters in. The small portion in the beginning was ok, till the quality dropped. What the game lacked was revision and bug fixes.

I hope that my criticism helped, and don’t let this failure let you down that much.

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I didn’t have time to fix or bug fix anything I noticed the contest after it started so I simply didn’t have time and I didn’t have testers.

I committed a terrible mistake presenting the game but I don’t like to quit.

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I am struggling with my current arc… I feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew in terms of plot complexity, branching, etc. Also I’m scared it’ll not be very good when I write it.

Any advice/encouragement would be appreciated.

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First, remember that a lot of us have these same feelings; you are never alone in what you feel about your own writing.

When you say you are scared “it’ll not be very good” it is always good to identify what elements you feel may not be very good. Is it dialogue, choices, description, or what?

If you have access to readers, have them read your passages and explicitly ask them if those questionable things are working… so if you feel dialogue might be a problem, ask them: “Is the dialogue here ok?”

If you don’t have access to readers, you can ask your WiP followers the same question in a poll after you release it in an update.

If you find you need to rewrite the material or change it after doing that… it is ok! The whole purpose of WiP threads are to help you identify areas to improve.

Heck, after I released my demo in my WiP last month, my awesome readers really thought I needed to expand the roles of three specific NPC characters… so I am now rewriting the sections involved with these characters.

This is a long road to travel, and it often takes twists and turns. Isn’t writing fun :wink:

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That’s true!! Thanks for the reminder, I think my perfectionist tendencies got to me there, and left me stuck and frustrated.

I just need to keep going, and take heart and not get too daunted by the whole. At least if I have something done, I’ll have something to improve on.

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I don’t understand rewriting. If it is shit, it would be a turd forever. What is the point in the rewrite?

Probably is a cultural education problem. The nuns when I was a kid, if you failed to write something, broke up your essay and laughed at you and forced you to rewrite it again and again.

The idea was, or you do it right, or you don’t have anything, and you are anything. It was a punishment.

Still, until this day, I can’t rewrite, and I am really scared of showing my stuff to others as the only encouragement they gave me was “People laugh at you because you are a loser do it right, or fail literature.”

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Rewriting is like trying to find the ‘soul’, the important things you want to get across in a piece of writing. It’s hard to find the right words to get an idea or feeling across sometimes.

I have a hard time rewriting too. Editing is fine. That’s just tweaking words and sentences to make sure the reader is more likely to interpret them like you’d intended. Rewriting is more like tearing down a shed that’s built all lopsided and with holes in the roof and walls and then keeping the good pieces to start from the beginning and do better the next time. I usually don’t have the patience to do it right, or am too attached to my crooked planks to throw them out :sweat_smile:

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I’m going to try to share a bit of my basic game design philosophy to help explain what “the point” to rewriting is.

Much like a jeweler, who takes raw materials and makes something beautiful with it, a writer in IF takes a normal linear story and makes something different with it. Writing IF is harder than writing a linear story, and the tools we use in IF writing sometimes are used differently.

Rewriting is the process that allows us to take something that mechanically works, but that is inherently flawed in one way or another, and then change this something to address these flaws.

Cecilia’s shed has all the functionality of a shed, so it is mechanically sound, but it has flaws that will cause issues or problems later. The warped roof lets in rain, which soaks the tools, and rust then eats away at the tools inside.

As a jeweler examines a raw diamond to find the best way possible to bring out its beauty, we, as IF game designers, look at a story to find the best possible way of bringing out interaction with the reader.

To illustrate this, let’s look at the introduction or opening of a game. In addition to all the things a traditional story’s introduction does, we, as IF designers also need to give our readers an immersive, interactive way of existing in our game world.

This is because our readers do one of two things: they self-insert or they roleplay the MC of our story.

In general terms, the introduction’s main goals are:

  • Teach mechanics
  • Introduce the basics of their setting and character
  • Hook the player without the added complications of mistakes causing lasting consequences

In game terminology, we create a tutorial with the introduction.

The goal here is to give the reader the means and knowledge in order to roleplay, either a self-insert, or a made-up MC, within our game-world(story-world).

If any of the above fails, for example by creating clichés that fail to hook our reader into our narrative, then we need to go back to our design and revisit our work.

Editing by itself will not suffice here, because as Cecilla indicates above, tweaking something that is broken will not fix the issue. A cliché does not stop being a cliché, just because you change out one word for another or because you restructure a sentence.

That should cover the basics. We can get into the weeds and examine the many complexities involved in particular games/stories, but I feel that would be a topic for another thread, or a PM.

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Lots of people think this way!

It’s totally not correct at all. The first draft of everything sucks. That’s just how it goes! It’s like carving marble. Chip away at it, bit by bit, until the sculpture is revealed.

(Loving how we all turned to pretty analogies to explain it)

It’s easy to forget, in this day and age where it’s all about churning out content, that the majority of writing is going over drafts and refining your work. The first draft is a small percentage of the total amount of work you should spend on the project.

In other words:

Writing is rewriting.

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My illnesses is officially diagnosed in a partial remission, which means no more weekly chemotherapy and that means I have time to start writing again. This 2021 year end is something to look forward to and hoping for more good things by 2022.

I’m re-reading and planning a re-writing of my past project “Floriography” (Language of flowers) that I have written about 50,000 words in which I have to admit has been put on hiatus by 2018 due to forces that I have no control of. I’m mostly planning at this point and hopefully by next month I can really start writing it again. Anyway, I think I also need to relearn choicescripting. Hoping you all have fabulous days ahead.

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@lupiesoldier – Welcome back into the writer’s community. Having a 50,000 word start on your project is a great thing to hear about. Thanks for letting us know you’re coming back :slight_smile:

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So… uh… since finishing the HSC, and graduating school, I haven’t been writing my story. Even though I still want too. I talked about it with my older sister and she said I might have HSC brain frag… basically, I need a break from writing, because well, the HSC was stressful.

I do feel like I am talking too much of a brake, though. Even though I’m yet to feel super inspired and the like despite looking for inspiration. But I think if I don’t get back to writing soon, this story might end up in the mental rubbish bin.

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Try rereading what you wrote from the beginning, or watching or listening to things that remind you of it. Maybe edit some little issues if you run into them. That helps pull me out of a writing slump sometimes.

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We’re almost at the halfway point of December, but I reckon it’s always better to start late than never start at all, so here are my belated goals for this last month of the year:

  • The first, and most important one, is to simply write. I’ve barely been able to in the last two months, and I’ve missed it so much. So I want to write. Write every day if I can, write as much as my free time allows. I want to make it a part of my daily routine again. That’s the most important goal: Write.

  • More objectively, however, I would love to have finished the second draft of the Prologue before the year turns. I’m not sure how realistic this is, since the first draft is BIG and there are multiple branching paths. But, if I can’t finish it in the fifteen or so days remaining, then I hope I’m close. I really wanted to have a demo ready for book two when the Rose is published, but this two-month delay may have ruined that plan. We shall see.

  • The last goal is pretty simple too. I want to read more again. Just like writing, I want to have it back as part of my daily routine. There are a lot of new WIPs to check as well as the pile of unread books by my bedside table.

And that’s it. I can’t quite believe 2021 is nearing its end, it seems time is mocking me with how simultaneously fast and slow it’s moving. It feels as if the year has gone in a flash, and it also feels as if it’s been around forever. With the worsening of the Covid situation, I won’t be able to travel to see my siblings, which is heartbreaking, but I’m trying not to think too much about it. The whole world is suffering, I’m just glad we’re all healthy.

Happy writing and lots of inspiration to you all! :star2:

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Hello everyone! I’ve recently decided to take the plunge and work on an idea that has been floating in my mind for a while. I’ve written a couple thousand words so far, and while it is slow-going, the underlying plot for the main character is something very close to heart for me. Hopefully, I will find the words for what my mind wishes to convey. While a demo by the end of the month will be impossible, it is my hope that I will, at least, be able to complete the first draft of the first arc.

May the remainder of December be the kindest for all of you!

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I am losing my battle against depression and impostors syndrome, but still, I am trying to write my entry for the solstice writing jam.

To anyone there depressed and alone, remember that you are not alone. We are many, and we have reasons to fight for.

If anyone wants to try my jam but is afraid of failure or being mocked. Go and give it a try or pm me. I would do anything I can to make everyone feel loved and can at least say that They have achieved something like writing their own stories to kids and adults enjoys.

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Hi Mara,

I’ll write something for it if I have the time, but I also want to reach my actual writing goal for the month, and make something for my parents’ Christmas dinner, because I can’t live off meat alone :sweat_smile: (busy month) But I’ve unexpectedly got three days off work, even though the Christmas holiday itself got canceled, so maybe. (I love the concept of the jam, though I tend to overthink things too much to really write anything that reads fun and easy.)

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Chapter 4 is riddled with bugs. I put off testing for too long, and now I have a backlog of work. It will be a long time before I get to writing the last few scenes that I need. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do another beta version, either. It’s been a year or so, but this part of the game is just so headache-inducing.

No matter. It will be finished when it’s finished. No amount of badgering (from myself or others) can make it happen any faster. The opposite, I think.

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Chapter 3 is actually getting along pretty smoothly! I just need to finish this last part of it, and that’ll be the bulk of the demo done. However… I also noticed that I made the dumbest mistake in chapter 2. One that simultaneously makes me want to slap myself into the next dimension but also laugh because it’s so, SO stupid. There are also other things I need to change.

Is it possible to finish this mid-December like I said? Maybe. Not counting on it, but it’s not unrealistic at this point. I just want to finish this before things get super busy with school and college entrance prep and stuff. Not sure why I wrote this but yeah that’s where I’m at progress-wise. Honestly super happy with how smoothly chapter 3 is going.

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Uh…so I’m back! I doubt anyone remembers me as I was only active in 2020. :sweat_smile:

I’ve only now gotten back into seriously working more on The Body Snatcher. Currently, it’s sitting at a measly 3,036 words, and I still have not finished Vedere’s first scenes.

What I have done is start a revamp on the stat pages, fixed a grammar error as well as some mild code mishaps I noticed while I reacquainted myself with the project, and made Vedere’s first choices a lot clearer than they were previously.

I also completely removed actual character stats as I couldn’t find a use for them within this project.

As for what I wish to do with the rest of this month, I wish to finish the stat revamp, finish Vedere’s intro scenes, and, finally, move forward to the character creation.

It’s good to be back!

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