Finishing and Planning


#1

There are two things that really stump me in writing: planning and finishing. And I was wondering if there are any great sites that can help me with the first one (and the second one if possible.) I work better when there are specific tools helping me. I’ve tried Litlift, and I really like it, but I was wondering if there are any others.

I’m also terrible at finishing things, and anything that would help with that would be gold as well.


#2

The forums here will probably help you the most.


#3

Planning is hard. I got me a programme a few years ago that helps me keep track of things even if I am more the ‘write as I go along’ kind of writer as opposed to the ‘plan it all out before I write anything’ approach. It’s called the Snowflake method and the programme Snowflake Pro. Basically allows you to keep tabs on characters and the persona and motivations and so on, but also write concept and a lot of other things. I use it my own way, which is what the author recommends any way.

Finishing, I’m right there with you. Not completely certain as to why - perhaps I have a short attention… oh, look, shiny thing!

…where was I? Oh yes, short attention span. Or maybe I get bored quickly. I have no clue. I do know I have way too many ideas fighting over attention and I need to regulate them.

I simply try to persevere. :persevere: (easier said than done for me, ha)

For some, having a deadline helps. For me, it stresses me out more than help. :cold_sweat:

Others are helped by, say, posting there WIP here. For others it can mean the end of their project, for many reasons. Bad feedback, for one thing. Bad as in non-constructive. Seen that happen before I signed up here. Depends on you and who you get posting.

I’m still figuring out what works best for me, different things work for others but not me, so my quest is still on-going. :sweat_smile:

The ‘Snowflake guy’ have approaches that might help you with this too, and that part is free unlike the programme, just an on-going newsletter.

Hope you find something that helps! :relaxed:


#4

Extensive note taking works for me :grin: Alongside the extreme overuse of *comment

I find that deciding the endings is actually the best way to plan everything else. In choice script you have the ability to end things in multiple ways! Which is great but also overwhelming… So you’ve got to break everything down into chunks.

When starting, I like to think of what types of endings I’d like to make available, and then brainstorm all the ways a player can get to those endings. Write them all down, cross out the ones that you’re not so into, underline the ones with potential, and then daydream about how everything might tie together in the end :blush: If your game has a tight theme your ideas will probably meld together pretty smoothly.

I’m not exactly sure how useful this will be to you but oh well! Good luck with your game!

edit;; Lucid Chart might be what you’re looking for if you like to visualize where things are going before you put it to paper.


#5

Oh, and for planning - being a visual person myself - I use the freeware programme yEd. A flowchart programme where I simply can easily overview things to help keep things straight when planning it out. Call it a storyboard-flowchart-thing. :grin:

Might work for you too. :relaxed:


#6

I use a pen and paper for planning. Before I start I jot down a very rough outline of the game, only the main plot points, some background information and a bit about the characters, and then fill in the blanks as I go.


#7

I do that too, but my desk is a paper-jungle and my skill in misplacing papers are on a third degree black belt level. Years later I find something and wonder what the heck all those notes are about. :neutral_face:


#8

Large blank page notebook. Lineless, big empty page you can jot down the random thoughts or physically draw the story branches and connect the dots.

make titles for the different choices thus far circle them and connect them in the proper path. You’ll literally see a ‘map’ of your story or at least a chapter, and you can make notes next to the appropriate bubbles ect… Might get a lil messy but then again my brains a mess too.

Long story short I draw a story map.


#9

People here nice cheerleaders and tip givers if you have problems about planning or finishing your game. I use Gliffy to make diagrams of my stories so I know where it going. It free and you can use it offline but I needs chrome. :persevere: It easy to use and well you can make the diagram into a jpg or png :blush:


#10

Thank you all.
I think having a deadline for me just annoys me, especially if it’s one I set myself (if it’s a contest of something I tend to do better). @Taylor_Enean.
@iris Thank you! I already have overused the *comment button, but whatever… Writing the endings first seems like a good idea (one I’ve never even thought of trying anyway).
@Cecilia_Rosewood I do that first, but as @Taylor_Enean mentioned, for me, I can never keep track of everything. Especially if I have tons of branching to do.
@Snoe :grin: I write too messy for that. But for a basis I see what you mean. It has never worked for me before, but if I need to I will frickin’ make it work.
@boredhypocrite Thx.


#11

If you’re ever looking to actually buy a program I am a huge fan of Scrivener for Mac and PC. It helps you keep planning, writing, and revising work very organized, and I’ve been using it for all of my writing projects. You can use it 30 days (only counts days you actually use it) for free if you want to try it out.

Good luck!


#12

What’s this? Someone named a chart after me now? :slightly_smiling:

I fill a note document with ideas. My thoughts don’t come in order, so I like the ability to move things around easily with a cut and paste. Once I do the broad strokes, I start writing and change my ideas there after.


#13

I am very undisciplined but have managed to finish a few games and a few works of fiction (screenplays mainly, they’re shorter!) Some things that help me…

I imagine a stove in my head with a lot of burners. I have multiple stews on this stove that are projects in multiple phases of completion. Letting a stew simmer because you’re not ready to write it and need to dream and daydream more ideas for it is part of the writing process. Don’t be frustrated if it’s too soon to write a project that hasn’t fully cooked in your head. There are front-burner ideas and back-burner ideas.

Don’t swim the lake all at once. Your game/work is a huge project, and very few people could swim across the lake all in one go. Divide your project into sections that are like little islands in the lake that you can take a breather on and go “look how far I’ve gotten!” where the distance isn’t the entire lake.

If you get stuck, do something. Draw a picture of the cover of your game. Search for music that represents the plot to you (I find it really helpful to have some specific mood music that I always play while working on that project.)

Don’t be afraid write a good deal of prose that sucks. Nobody has to see the first version. You’ll fix it later, and you need to be able to live with getting words out and leaving them be for now, which ties in with…

Don’t get caught in what I call the “inward death spiral”. You write a whole chapter and are feeling great about it. A lot of people will get the impulse go back and revise that chapter till it’s perfect. Revising is easier and fun. DON’T DO IT YET. Resist the urge and let that chapter remain unpolished and move on to chapter two. If you go back and polish chapter one hard before you get to the end you will eat your own tail and never be able to finish because nothing you write can compare to your first chapter. It’s much easier and more rewarding to revise and polish the entire work at once.

You have to allow yourself to get the bad draft completely out before you can polish and revise the whole thing together. I know way too many actually good writers who can’t get past three pages because of the death-spiral. (I am often one of these.)


#14

Because you’re awesome :wink:.

@Hanon_Ondricek Ooooh :heart_eyes:. [quote=“Hanon_Ondricek, post:13, topic:14849”]
“inward death spiral”.
[/quote] I do that so much.

That… actually makes sense. :smile: Thanx, both of u.