February 2024's Writer Support Thread

The problem with that is CS is a choice-based language. You can’t really have like two or three windows with three different viewpoints of the same scene.

You can have a choice that switches viewpoints, or you can have all the viewpoints on one page, but you probably can’t have like three viewpoints in three different windows at the same time (unless you have a switch in the beginning and manually open a window per character) but then playtime per character would be really short.


That’s not really what I’m trying to do, so that’s okay. I’m more trying to show things happening away from the PC, and there are probably better ways to do it, though I might play around with a prologue and epilogue in another POV. We shall see.


3-4 romanceable characters is excellent, especially if there are other major characters that play a big role in the story. Don’t underestimate how much work and screentime each character adds! (I would not recommend the route I did with Creme de la Creme with having a huge romanceable cast; I wouldn’t have been able to juggle that if it was my first project, and certainly wouldn’t if I hadn’t had some characters with less frequent screentime).


I know it isn’t 15th yet, but I was doing an editing pass on my space opera project and just couldn’t resist.

Behold, the glorious extent of character descriptions! (I'm actually very happy to NOT describe most characters at all.)

Vega looks at you, then turns their eyes back to the roof. Connor turns to read the displays, while you keep looking at Vega. They look mostly human; like most people in the USF, you have actually never seen a varg – as far as you know, Vega is the only one to ever serve on any of your ships – so it comes as somewhat a surprise to see they actually can look that human, being the aliens they are. Then again, if they looked truly not-human, you’d remember that from the pictures you’ve seen about the crew of the Eraser.

And it’s not like it’d be without precedent, either. While the click resemble giant insects and the wisps a sentient mass of smoke, zerts like Commander Sol are also mostly human-like (or the traditional fantasy literature elves, having the pointed ears they do), some facial features and the feather-like hair notwithstanding. Vega’s face looks mostly human too, apart from a scaly pattern on the bridge of their nose, but after a further inspection, you also notice a tall, thin, fur-tipped tail (well, it’s probably completely covered by short fur, but with longer hair forming a ridge along the spine and a tassel-like tip like that of a lion’s) hanging from under the bed covers.

B(e)ar fight!

You’re escorting Böckel and Jørgensen to their cabins after the tour when you, while passing the medbay on your route, come across another security team (you exchange nods with Lieutenant Wibowo) on the same job with their respective emissaries. One might think having this many civilians on board would cause some disruptions, but Producer is a large ship and transporting important people is one of its designated purposes, so daily functions are running largely uninterrupted. Well, to be fair: you are security. That means your daily functions include a lot of disruptions most of the crew’s don’t. But usually they are mild ones, drunken brawls and such.

Not this time, though.

The moment Böckel and Jørgensen see the other team, or rather their escorted emissaries, they tense up, share a glance, and start shouting in a language you don’t understand. The other emissaries seem to, however, since they respond in kind. And before you know what’s happening, Jørgensen and one of the two of Wibowo’s are bears, and in a blink they’re at each other’s throats with teeth and claws, growling furiously, intent to kill.

“Oh, joy,” Kozlov mutters. “Shapeshifters.”

“Rude, Sarge,” Leif says. “You know I’m one. As is the LT, even though they don’t really use it that much the way I do.”

Well all right, that’s true, but you have better things to do right now than discussing manners. Like calming the situaton. “All right, let’s calm down now,” you say, and all of you unholster your weapons (except Leif, who’s already a wolf, but then again, that is him unholstering his weapon).

The emissaries who haven’t shifted take a step back, hands in the air, but the bears aren’t listening. (They should be able to; you don’t know many shapeshifters – Leif is one of the few ones, as is your family – but from what you know, they are just as human in their animal shape as they are in their true, human shape. They can’t speak as animals, which is one of the reasons Leif can shift while you can’t, in situations like that; you are in charge and need to be able to give commands, but that inability is due to the structure of the throat in the shifted form – you can’t expect someone to use human language if their anatomy is that of a wolf.) Instead, they crash, fighting, through the medbay doors.


“That’s enough!” Wibowo commands, with as much success as you did (which, unfortunately, equals to none), so both of your teams rush in, weapons drawn. Not that you could actually shoot in medbay, so you’re not quite sure what you think you’re doing (or scratch that, you do know. You aren’t thinking). Leif doesn’t have such problems and is quick to the fray, but against two bears he’s only one man. Wolf. Whatever, this isn’t going well.

Against all odds Leif manages to force the bears apart, even though he’s smaller than them. And, suddenly, someone grabs one bear from behind; they turn their attention to the new attacker, which gives Leif the opening to force the other one to relent and shift back (it’s Jørgensen, apparently – you couldn’t tell in the animal form, they both looked really similar to your untrained eye) and, not surprisingly, promptly becomes cuffed by Leif (who’s back in human form as well, to be able to perform this action). This allows you to observe what’s going on with the other one.

The bear is furiously shaking off… Vega, of all people. First they hang on, but then the bear succeeds and smashes them to a wall. They bounce from the unrelenting surface like a ragdoll, land on floor on all fours, and shake themself like a wet dog. And shift.

And suddenly the bear isn’t the one in the fight with the upper hand. Paw. Whatever.


The bear retreats, turns back to human, and, before having time to do anything else, gets cuffed by Wibowo. You point your weapons at Vega’s shifted form (which, now that they’ve stopped moving, seems to be something akin to a mix of a dire wolf, a lion, and a dragon, the combination being somewhat the size of a grizzly bear. No wonder they won). And then they shift back to their humanoid form as well, albeit their legs stay bended like they’re still in a half animal form, and the long, lion-like tail twitches like that of an irritated cat behind their back.

You cuff them as well.

“The brig?” Kozlov asks.

“The brig.”

“Captain’s not going to like this.”

“Captain can sort it out with the emissaries. We’re doing our job here.”

Kozlov nods.

You quickly reorganize your team with Wibowo’s: two teams to escort the emissaries that stayed out from the physical fighting to their cabins, as originally intended, and one to escort the bear-shifters and Vega to the brig (Leif is already back in wolf form, just in case). You stay in the medbay for the wrap-up and to exchange a few select words with Lieutenant Connor.

The medics are shaken, but not quite as much as one might expect. Although a bear fight in medbay isn’t a regular occurrence (a fact you’re very happy about right about now), the crew is a seasoned one, and as such knows how to react in a crisis situation. Which makes it all the more curious how Vega was up and about.

“Hey,” Connor says.

“So explain this to me,” you say. “Vega can’t heal with the collar on, which means they can’t even get out of the bed, not to mention they’re under arrest. And suddenly, there they are, fighting an emissary we’re supposed to protect?”

“Emissary who tried to murder another one,” Connor says.

That’s beside the point.”

“Well, I,” Connor says, “uh, might have removed the collar.”

“You what?

“It made sense at the moment,” Connor says. “They were in a containment field.”

Were being the operative word.”

“I don’t know how that happend,” Connor admits. “Guess they cheated the sensors.”


“On the plus side, they can be collared again now. It’s not blocking anything important anymore, unless someone wants to interrogate them with a telepath. Which would knock them out. I think.”

If they’d even let themself be collared again,” you say. “You saw what happened.”

“I saw them giving you backup.”

“That, too, is beside the point.”

"Well, yes. Apparently, varg are some sort of shapeshifters. Quite fascinating, really – it wasn’t mentioned in any of the files, but it does explain some anatomical irregularities I was wond – "


“Right. Sorry. In any event, the collar blocks that, too, so all you need to…”

“Yeah, yeah, I get it.”

You’re not looking forward to writing this report. So you move to check everything is in order with the locked up ones, to postpone the reporting if not for anything else.

You hope nothing goes wrong in the next twelve hours. You sorely need sleep.

The brig is busier than usual, what with visitors trying to tear each other apart and all. You check the database to see everyone is filed in correctly (they are) and then walk in to talk with the guard on duty. “Rivera,” you greet.

“LT,” the guard replies, turning to you.

“How are our guests?”

“Noisy. Well, the emissaries are. The third one is just… there.”

“Sounds about right,” you mutter.


“Nothing. Did you secure them properly? The third one, I mean.” You need to remember Vega’s identity is still being kept under wraps, so you can’t talk about them too much, not even with your own subordinates (although how are they supposed to be prepared for a psychic shapeshifter who apparently doubles as an eldritch abomination if you don’t warn them, is a question you haven’t figured out an answer to yet. Hmm).

I'll just leave this here.

“Couldn’t you just check the network like normal people?” Ekström asks.

“Normal people don’t dabble in black market xenoscience-biotech,” Connor smirks. “Trust me, those things are safer checked on site. Even if I managed to find the information in digital, which is not likely as of itself, I don’t fancy summoning the wrath of Navy Intelligence upon us.”

“Sounds good to me,” Ekström says. “I’m sure Guld still has a bone to pick with you.”

Right, Special Agent Guld. She was intent on arresting Connor from carrying illegal cybernetics (in his pocket), but had to relent because Connor beat her at the card table. Or that’s the story at least; you weren’t there, and while Connor plays a mean hand of Stellar Base, you have never been able to figure out how that narrative makes any sense whatsoever. Guld is real, at least – you’ve met her. In fact, she was a great help to you in the war with the wisps.


Snippet of chapter 5 in Pushed, :

The world passing by, they say you can't feel rotation but you can. Right at the very moment. The earth rounding up to the sun. Your trembling. 

You haven't heard anyone mention your Mom. So why was Harper doing it? What's also the problem with Cameron's Mom?

Are character sheets allowed in place of snippets? @Eiwynn sharing hers got me back to work on a couple. (work in progress still)

Thorn Petrović

Name: Thorn (Born Ellie) Petrović

Callsign: Princess (Because of Briar Rose)

Family relations:

Sibling of Finn Petrović. Child of

Thorn and Finn have little contact with their parents. Either their parents are too absorbed in their work to remember them, or Thorn and Finn will be out of contact because of their work. They will however leave messages from time to time, and send presents for their birthday.


Always wears their brown hair in the buzzcut fitting their role and profession. Leans more towards femme in presentation while off-duty, with a preference for princess gowns, large earrings, and heels. (They in specific have a large collection of shoes, a filled jewelry box, and four dresses which they store in a closet in Finn’s house on Mars since their military footlocker is too small to store them.) When dressing up their make-up is limited to matte brown-pink lipstick and a band of eyeshadow (usually a shade of green) across their eyes and the bridge of their nose.



Pansexual with a preference toward female/agender/non-binary/not hyper masculine

Role on the team:

Team leader of team 3, tactician, backup field medic (3rd skilled after main field medic and Eric), expert in shoulder arms.


Bionic/mechanical upgrades:

Reinforced skeleton.
Advanced military communication implant. (Placed in skull behind left ear.)

Genetic modifications:

Standard muscle and bone enhancements.
Improved night vision, low light conditions.

Additional information:

Does not want kids, under any circumstances, and will avoid them when possible.

Was fascinated by Briar Rose as a kid, and chose their name to reflect that.


“Without the surgery I could easily pass as a woman. Hell, I can do that even now. That doesn’t mean I am. It’s too restrictive, like one of those old time corsets. ‘Act like this. Do that. Here’s the latest fad diet and fashion trends.’ That’s just not me. It doesn’t fit me. And more importantly, I don’t want it to fit.”

“The only reason I still have a uterus is that I don’t want to have to deal with beard growth just yet. Do you have any clue how much time the guys on the team lose on that a day? At least the implant stops periods. Bleeding through your pants is the worst.”


I’ve taken a break from the RO-specific side stories in chapter 1 of my WIP by writing some more of chapter 2. It’s done! And better than I expected, considering it took three months from when I started writing it till now to finish. I feel bad taking so long on a single chapter, especially because I distracted myself with the side-stories, but it seems it was all for the best. Will probably hold onto the chapter until ch1 is “fully” done though

Now onto finishing up the side stories in ch1 and starting the side stories in ch2. Hoo boy, I both love and hate the way I structured my WIP to have RO side stories. It’s a pain for me to write but I love reading them once I’ve finished it


I have a bit of a problem with this forum. I find myself distracting myself reading all the little discussions and soaking up all the ideas thrown around that I end up spending more time reading than actually writing, but thankfully progress has been wonderful. Just a little polishing and figuring out what to have in the stat screen and I’ll be ready to reveal it to the world. Because frankly I do not want to go too far in without getting some feedback on the way I write and the general concept.

I just do hope that this speed continues because I’d be rather bummed if I suddenly lose this streak.

A notable thing I’ve gained from writing my own work is I gain a renewed appreciation for all the ones I’ve read to date, knowing how they had to code it in, and the little differences with variables that takes a while to implement. It really is part of the fun of learning a new trade or entering a new field, how many things you take for granted are actually not as simple as they appear. Especially making choices have long lasting impacts or be constantly brought up, not just in regards to like, continuity, but writing the little variations based on your choices a few chapters earlier, it quickly made me realize why COG and HG books tend be much bigger than your average novel, and also why I find myself favoring longer titles, especially the high hundred thousands or even million word ones. In some way it sort of illustrates that not only will you likely have a lot of options, those options are fleshed out and there is actual notable variations between choices that kinda forces you to replay to see it all.

The greatest difficulty I have had has surprisingly really been one of two things. Names and conversations, And the actual overarching plot itself, but those I feel will slowly fade out as I get more familiar with writing in this way.

With this I ask thee, How do you all cope with what options you give the player in terms of dialogue and questions asked? And more precisely, whether you prefer a MC that says little outside of choices to maintain player control over reactions and speech. Or automatic chats that have some choice inputs but mostly are pre-ordained like in a traditional novel?


It may sound hard, but with the right planning. You can really explore different persona’s. Get examples from others. Really show how each choice is different.

Automatic chats are easier, but it can be flat. If you really just…don’t do it right…? Make sure that if you’re doing traditional make it special. Dialogue if regardless is important in almost every novel you can read.


Something that I want to do as much as possible is to ask what the MC is feeling, rather than saying or doing. That way I can write more of the story at a time while still giving the player control.

In other news, I accidentally exited out of an assignment :cold_sweat:. So instead of redoing it I’m going to try and get back into my mystery.


My saga of doing anything but work on my WIP continues. Have a massive book finished (441 pages) and now I’m putting together a screenplay for a big project.


That sounds like very productive procrastination. What genre is the screenplay?


Does going from one whole “type” of writing to another (i.e. going from game writing to a screenplay) trip you up at all?

I have to give myself time to adjust mind-sets, personally, so I was just wondering if others can switch gears easily or if they need the same adjustment period I do.


That’s a great question.

For me, no! But I’m unusual. I write IF, short fiction, novels, poetry, textbooks, marketing copy, screenplays, stageplays, essays, and a thousand other different things. I’m used to it.



Sounds extreme productive. Hope it goes amazingly!

Happy birthday by the way!


I have noticed that there isn’t a food/cooking thread. Should there be one? :smirk:


There’s sort of one here, I have fond memories of the photos of @Cecilia_Rosewood’s dessert :star_struck:

(I don’t know why I’m talking about it like it was 10 years ago, I guess I’m feeling fanciful :laughing:)


I’m envious of you script writing I’ve tried to get into it but I find is difficult. In fine with novel writing and IF script writing is like another language! Good luck with the project!


Do you think I could smuggle some through customs? :thinking: (Darn Brexit and your ‘no, you can not transport (fresh) fruit to and from the UK without a certificate’ rules.)


Darn Brexit and its… everything :sob:

I want this year to be the year that I get myself together and pick the damsons across town where I used to live… then I will make something poached and delicious with them.