December 2022's Writer's Support Thread

That would be a really strange idea anyway, considering the epilogue is the last part.

(Also, sorry. Haven’t been able to focus lately.)

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Her point is that there is a sweet spot for all authors, and that it is different from project to project.

@Phenrex – this is a question that pops up from time to time in the support threads.

Here are a couple of posts to help you:

Here are my thoughts on this:

Getting feedback is another issue which has come up a few times.

In last month’s thread, I went into detail, but even in other support threads there is a lot of helpful advice, tricks, and practices to read about, and adapt for your project as well.

There are numerous experienced authors here, and they often share their hard-earned experiences. Past support threads are a gold mine of information and help to use.

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For the second time in as many months, I am forced to remind everyone that my “Writer Support” threads’s focus is on support and writing.

There is a fine line between banter (which is defined by Webster’s dictionary as good-natured and usually witty and animated joking) and cruel banter (which Webster’s dictionary describes as ridicule).

I ask everyone that participates in this thread to err on the side of caution because there is a gray zone where banter can be seen as both good banter and cruel banter by different people.

Going forward, because my last warning was not enough, I reserve the right to delete from my thread any post which is outside the scope of these threads.

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With demo amounts, it’s a bit of a “how long is a piece of string” question, especially as a chapter can be any length and means different things to different people.

I would suggest including enough in your demo to give a sense of what the story is about and what will be mattering to the player and main character; you will probably want to introduce some major characters to help players get an initial impression and a feel for the people they will be spending time with. I definitely suggest playing through several times, partly to check for bugs and how it feels to read, but also so you have a sense of how long it takes going in fresh. If it feels like you have demonstrated important aspects of your setting and shown the kinds of choices they will be making going forward, that is helpful because players will be more equipped to understand what you’re creating.

I am being a bit wishy-washy and vague because it isn’t solely a numbers game. 10,000 words of writing will feel so different in different games, and even 10,000 words of playthrough average will too. But if you consider the above, and play it through yourself imagining what a player would think of the length if they knew nothing else about it, you will hopefully be in a solid place.

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My takes on demos, It is the important bit are

1.The pacing and overall flow
2.Give an accurate slice of the actual game.
3.Have an overarching ark that evolves during the demo that feels like a complete mission or preliminary plot of the whole demo.

All those 3 points have to be accurate to the flow, gameplay and plot concept of the whole thing.

If that’s not the case brace yourself for the reviews and the overall feeling of have been cheated on from your players.

Many people complaining about the lack of demos nowadays. But I as an author could understand why. Sometimes make a good demo is more difficult than do the whole game right.

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Oh, that’s an interesting concept. Trying to give the player three different branching paths like that is very ambitious. It would take a lot more work than just a single path, obviously, but will also add a ton of replay value. And I totally understand wanting to go for the thing that’s more interesting to you. After all, why write if it doesn’t interest you?

The only thing I’d add is that organization is key. Speaking from personal experience, I decided in my first chapter to put in two fairly different branching paths. I made a huge mistake by not planning things out first and it got to be overwhelming very quickly. You could say I bit off more than I could chew.

In my case, I made a spreadsheet outlining everything in a clear and concise way. It made it easier to look at the bigger picture and decide what needs to stay in vs what can be cut out to make a cleaner, more manageable story.

… Well, I say all that, but I’m hardly an expert. :sweat_smile: That’s just what has helped me, personally.

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Everyone is talking about Demos, I was just talking about when is approximately the write time for sharing your WIP thus far. I’ve come to the conclusion I’ll do it at the end of the first chapter’s completion.

Response to @KLou :
Thanks for the advice! I took the time to write out briefly the events from the separate MC perspective vs what happens if it is the alternative characters and I think it’ll help quite a lot when writing out the full scenes! I am really excited hehe. The thing I’m most excited for is interactions between the three characters, I wonder if it would be weird to make them romanceable?

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Ah, I think in my case at least I was using WIP and demo interchangeably, my bad :sweat_smile: sharing a full chapter rather than anything less is a good idea. Good luck!

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In my experience, sharing your story ideas fall under the same criteria as sharing the demo – minus the actual writing and code, of course.

If you just want to gauge possible interest from the community, you can do so in the interest check thread.

If you mean, “when should I open a WiP thread?” then you have to wait until you have a hosted game link to share (whatever size you decide on) and it is this that most refer to their demo.

If you mean just sharing your storyboard idea with your closest associates (or first readers), then I would say, as soon as you have an “elevator pitch” you can put forward for them to grasp what your game is about.

If I am still not understanding your meaning, perhaps you can clarify what you mean?

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Hello all,

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and happy December to the rest of you!

Last month I actually stayed on target and finished the last of the four main branches of Chapter 3 for the People’s House! The chapter is already approaching 76k words alone, but I’m happy to be nearing the end of it.

My main goal in December is to finish the remaining parts of Chapter 3 before Christmas so I can finally release updates both for my public and patron-only Demos as my Holiday gift to everyone! I’d also like to go back and spruce up the prologue to focus a bit more on building up the main character and providing more background (we’ll see if I can get around to it).

I’m incredibly happy with my progress so far going into what I believe is month seven (!!!) of writing. This is by far the longest I’ve stuck with one writing project, and I’m very happy with where it’s headed.

Anywho, I think that’s enough blabbering from me. Best of luck to all my fellow writers and aspiring authors – try to take some time off and enjoy the holiday season regardless of what you celebrate, and if you don’t celebrate anything, celebrate yourself!

R.F.

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Now that the semester is mostly done (I still have a few things to do), I finally have time to actually write! My goal is to finish chapter one of WIP #2. I have three projects, and two are IF, so it’ll be slow going

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I find it really funny when people bring up the idea of having multiple chapters done before a demo is out, and I’ve considered my WiP to only have a little more than two chapters done but is over 400k words in total and about 37k per playthrough LOL Just goes to show there are many different definitions of the word “chapter” in IF’s. Personally, I split up chapters based on events that happen in them, not based on scene change or length.

Chapter 1: Introduction of the main character, world concept, RO’s, and the case the team will be working on.
Chapter 2: Get to know the RO’s a bit more, the investigation begins, and an emotional situation comes up.
Chapter 3: Confront said emotional situation with RO and continue the investigation.
Chapter 4: [REDACTED]
Chapter 4.5: [Optional + REDACTED]
Chapter 5: [REDACTED]

That’s essentially what my chapter timeline looks like. So a book that is more than likely going to have well over a million words will have a total of 5 chapters.

But as others have stated, share whenever it feels right! For me, it was at the end of Chapter 1 because I felt like I had enough to share at that point. Maybe your chapters are shorter, maybe they’re longer, who knows? Only you know what’s truly best for your IF!

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To be fair, it’s the same way in traditional books.

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I’ll be honest with y’all and admit I totes forgot about writing. I got a new job, a new hobby, AND got obsessed with a tv show, so no writing for me lmao And tbh I don’t even feel bad about it, I’ve been busy fangirling :rofl:

No, really, I should start at some point. When, idk because rl gets in my way, but this month I’ll try to work on the plot, the big stuff!!. That’s my goal, wish me luck!! :sparkles: :sparkles:

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Good luck! :four_leaf_clover:

EDIT: Apropos of nothing, today I learned a new expression: “to lead up/down the garden path”. Is this a common expression that had just never crossed my path before, or is it obscure?

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Bad day for me, I erased my project and I feel useless and bad writer. I will never suceed. I wish you all a better day than mine.

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for the past week i have been really outlining the major plot points in my story and character profiling. i feel like most of the big questions are answered, and i’m proud of that. now comes the hardest part, sitting down and actually writing.

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Wishing you a better day tomorrow-- and a backup copy of that project.

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I am not good enough for that project or for any project. I am a shitty writer.

But I feel proud of the rest of you and I like trying to help all of you talented people to rech your goals.

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This interview with the creator of Roadwarden is interesting! I haven’t had time to play it yet, but it’s on my to-play list for sure. The author discusses the writing process, planning vs spontaneity, and characters living in the moment (I don’t know if I’d want to do it exactly as described myself, but it’s fascinating to read about).

I enjoyed this piquant comment:

Have you ever played a tabletop RPG with a narrow-minded GM who sees each meeting as an opportunity to present their cool story, cool villain, and cool world, but grows more frustrated whenever the players move away from the beaten path, for they are disrupting the “epic” conclusion of the prewritten script?

I think some video game writers are the same, hoping to give themselves a chance to shine, striving to astonish others with their fantastic ideas, but they fail to leave any space for the player to carve their own way.

Some types of games don’t suffer from this approach as much: visual novels, adventure games with linear stories, or even action games that use dramatic, lengthy cutscenes. However, there are styles of games that work best when they offer players freedom to make their own decisions, and RPGs are definitely among them. It’s important to allow a player to hate the characters you love, to abandon the quests you see as the most interesting ones, or to fail at things that seemed basic to you.

It feels related to something that I keep thinking about more consciously over the last few years, which is allowing characters to breathe and stand as they are, and letting go of trying to make them likeable to all people. I’d rather that four people describe the same character as “a soft broken heart who deserves only good things”, “degenerate”, “so much my favourite character that I had to restart and play again with them”, and “no redeeming qualities” (real quotes from separate people about the same person!) than “nice but bland”.

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