December 2023's Writer Support Thread

Welcome all to the support thread for December 2023.


:birthday: Happy Birthday to December babies.

Thank you, everyone who 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.


This month, I want to share:

  1. An article by @Cataphrak that is very relevant to what has been talked about for the last couple of months; writing consistently and self-care while writing a long-term IF project


  1. An interview of an author who takes common tropes and writes a modern version of Arthurian Legend.

First, let me begin by introducing a free resource that is available from our very own: Paul Wang:

This is a free resource, funded by his Patreon, which has a lot of great info and advice in it. If you have not looked at any of the blog’s articles, I suggest doing so.

This month, I am going to highlight the following:

I feel this article is essential to grasp and not only take in, but to internalize what is said:

Persistence, commitment, and being open to feedback from both readers and more experienced writers are fundamentals that we discuss in the support threads all the time!

Take the time to read this, and while you do, take a look at all the other wonderful articles available. I guarantee you, that there is something for every IF writer.

What if I told you there was a tale where riffs on familiar archetypes in an Arthurian setting are subverted, and that the story told pokes fun at heterosexual norms and chronicles the undeniable flush of first love?

There’s a do-good princess, a pleasure-seeking lord, and the heteronormative expectation that these two, promised to one another since birth, shall wed. But each has a secret: Princess Gwen catches future lord Art kissing a boy, and Art finds steamy details about the kingdom’s only female knight in Gwen’s diary.

Oh, my! :revolving_hearts:

Lex Croucher understands the humor in subversion, and his book celebrates many facets of the queer experience in a story about teenagers discovering their identities.

The following interview talks about the evolution of his book and its depth and messiness, things that we too experience as we write.

It is wonderful 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, please let us know!

My personal goal for December is to : complete my current pass I am on for Patchwerks Chapters 5, 6, and 7. My stretch goal is to also complete this pass for Chapters 8a, 8b, and 8c


I’m dying now, how do you get a copy of Gwen Diary?

1 Like

With hopefully the final revision of Falrika the Alchemist already submitted yesterday, my only goals for December are to write and code two side stories for my latest visual novel, Occhiolism (as it’s eligible for Game Jam Plus 2023/24’s incubation stage); as well as to enjoy Christmas.


This month is radically different for me, in terms of goals. With one of my projects now in the editing stage, I feel admittedly less anchored, and less able to tell what is a “good” amount of progress. In an effort to ground myself, I’ve made a list of steps to take for the edits, though, so I think I’ll just try and get through that as efficiently as I can and see what happens.

So, goals for December:

  • Get through the first five items (1/3) of my edit list for Asphodel
  • Get through one character’s endings in Diaspora

Fingers crossed.

Good luck to everyone as we round the bend into the end of the year!


I should really try to take part in these threads more. Oh well. My current December goal is to finish final draft on the ttrpg module I am writing with some others, and to get the next Fallen Hero: Revelations demo out. A lot of time in November was taken up by what I call “pathing,” and by that I mean figuring out how all the endings of Retribution will connect together in Revelations, and the paths they will take to get there. Just the kind of gruntwork that will hopefully save me time later by not having to rewrite things by backing me into a corner.

Not glamorous, but needs to be done.


For December I’m going to try to draft Honor Bound Chapter 7 and if I manage to plan or code anything on Chapter 8 that will be a major bonus. I would really like to make progress on the outline that’s been trundling along for ages now but for various reasons it’s slow going.

Winter is a hard time. Through October my SAD starts to creep in and November to January is always a slog. Although in some areas of life stress is lower than it has been the last couple of years, in other areas it’s a lot higher (not least because I got sick twice in November and am not fully back to normal yet). So, I’m trying to get out in the sun and move myself around whenever I can.

Best of luck to everyone this month - especially those who are struggling, whatever the reason.


:christmas_tree: YESSS it’s christmas season!

Goals for December:

  • Take lots of breaks
  • Finish chapter 3 and end chapter 4 of Pushed
  • And enjoy christmas with my family. :smile: .

Super excited to finally be getting back on these writer support threads! I’ve just set for myself some pretty ambitious goals so I’m hoping that actively participating in these threads will help to keep me inspired and accountable!

Starting this month, I’m going to try to push myself to be reaching at least 7,000 words a week. By the end of the month, I hope to have at least 30,000 words written and be at around the halfway mark for Chapter 5, which I’m currently working on. For my own purposes, that should be around the scenes of the debates.

I seriously envy those of you who are able to pump out tens of thousands of words a month regularly, kudos to you all! I’m going to be trying to increase the time I set aside for writing by a few hours a week in hopes that I’ll be able to hit my goals and sustain it without getting to burnt out.

Best of luck to you all in meeting your goals – let’s finish 2023 off strong!

Future me: how did we do?


Well, my month hasn’t started too well, but it’s non-writing stuff so I’ll leave it at that (I’m starting to think I’d need separate glasses for winter though, I’m freezing my nose) but at least the stuff I keep mis-reading is mildly amusing.

Also currently swapping between “why would I make character portraits, nobody wants them” and “I like making character portraits” which… is annoying.


I had a slower November than I’d hoped, but am rolling into December with good writing energy and momentum. The holidays will hit that – time with family always takes priority over my work – but I’ll be back with my wife after six weeks apart while she was doing research stuff in the UK, and sharing some of the household logistics should help me make more time for writing.

My goal for the month is --what else?–to finish Chapter 2 of Stormwright. :slight_smile:

Oh, and thanks for sharing Paul’s article, @Eiwynn – that’s an absolutely terrific piece. Thanks for writing it, @Cataphrak .


Welcome to December!1!1!1!1!1!

It’s the time of the winter blues, don’t let the cold get to y’all, all of you can write, and writing I have found, has one of the steepest learning curves out of anything that I have ever done. It’s takes so much effort to become a good writer that can hook a reader within just a couple of pages, and getting to that level can take YEARS.

Here’s some advice for our newer writers that has worked so well for me:

  • Read Books
    The most straightforward advice, yet the most applicable to becoming a good writer. the trick is not to copy what another writer does, but instead take what you like the most out out how they created, then paraphrase and tailor those skills to your own. It’s so beneficial as it gives you a massive advantage during the start of your career. No writer has ever not taken inspiration from another writer. For example, one of my heroes, Haruki Murakami, took inspiration in his own from people like Kurt Vonnegut and Raymond Chandler, clear legends in the writing industry.

  • Brainstorm
    Before even BEGINNING to write your novel, brainstorm a total framework for how you want your story to go. Write notes, before and during your writing journey. Create flowcharts and develop pathways for your story to progress, and choose the best path you could go as you write. Don’t forget to take time off of writing to either relax your mind or take the time off to think about what you may be missing. It’s imperative that you don’t overwork your brain. It will only lead to struggle otherwise.

  • Listen to your readers
    It doesn’t matter if you have 1, or 10, or 100, or even 1000 readers, communicate with them, treat them like your best friend. Those readers are your biggest critics. They’ve read your novel, and they know what they want to see. You don’t need to pay for a professional to critique your novel, when you have people that know the history behind the process of you writing the novel.

  • Remember to Have Fun
    Novels are a stressful activity at times since you will always and I mean ALWAYS, be nervous about what your readers might want, because of course, you can’t read their mind. But remember, this is your novel. You can do anything you want with it as writing is about revealing your thoughts, emotion, and nature, then combining it into a well made novel in the end.

  • Finally, it takes time
    You WILL NOT create a full 10-15 chapter novel in 2-4 months. It’s near impossible unless you’re the most creative writer on earth. I started writing my novel in March and now it’s December. I’m only 4 full chapters in out of 10. I’ve had to take time off for life, time off to brainstorm new content, time off to think about what I want out of the novel, time off to converse with my readers about what they want, and even more. It takes so much time to finish a novel, and you will sooner or later, be in my position. Take as long as possible to finish your novel. Rushing through it to get it done quickly serves no purpose. Your readers, at least a large portion of them, will be patient if they enjoy the writing enough.

Good luck to all new or newer writers!


I’m a pet sitter, so December is always super busy for me. Unfortunately, I also hate freezing weather. But I’ve been in a writing slump all year so I’d like to end the year on a halfway decent note. My goal is to write 15k words minimum for The Mage’s Adventures this month.


Depends on chapter length though. I wrote 20 chapters during last year’s NaNoWriMo, but they were 1.5k-1.8k words per chapter. (Of course, it wasn’t a full novel, but that’s only because I planned it longer, not because 30k-word story couldn’t be a full novel.)


Very True! Though I like to classify novels as about 3,000 - 5,000 words per chapter, and about 50,000 words total. Anything less, I’m not exactly sure of what to classify it as, but less than a novel lol (Like a…shorter novel? haha)


November’s goals were slowed down as I put those new official checkpoints in place and spent way too long trying to figure out how to keep the checkpoints even if you went back before you made them – but I did get it to work!

December’s goal: continue writing friendship events!


That’d be a novella, a little novel.


Thattttt’s the one. Don’t write novellas so I sorta…probably…kinda forgot they existed


After my previous six thousand words were burned by me moving computers I rise again like a phoenix from motherfucking ashes. This time I actually have a plan and will plan out chapters at least at a rudimentary level, and my characters are more than a bunch of concepts loosely combined into a person.

Started chapter 1. If everything goes well, I’ll push a demo out after I’'ll finish a first arc.


There we go! Planning Planning Planning. The key to a good novel is that :slight_smile:

Hope it goes well for you! I’m unsure if you have past writing experience or not, but planning can turn a rudimentary novel into a great one. Just keep doing that exact thing, then write further notes on how you can add even more complexity into your characters and chapters through the future of the novel :slight_smile:


I wrote fanfics and have about five years in online text roleplays, but it’s mainly in Russian. I like writing in my own language, but I’m an adapter, I can adjust to English. Main issue? Feels so dry.