For writers, when did you know you *had* to write that one story you'd been sitting on?

Whether IF or not, when did you realize you had to get it done? What was your inspiration or the turning point/moment of truth? And how did that original idea look like compared to when you finished it, if you’d like to share?


I knew I had to write a story for the writing competition that CoG held a few years back.

“The moment of truth” was pressing the submit button as the deadline approached.

The original idea matched well with what was produced, although I ended up breaking the story into parts instead of trying to cram it into one game, so I ended up changing a few mechanics to reflect this.


You know, it’s funny that yours is the first comment because I was strongly considering submitting to the writing competition back when it was happening, but ultimately decided I wasn’t quite ready yet. I’m so glad it was that moment for you and others! It’s refreshing and inspiring hearing about others’ big pushes. :smiley:


It came to me in the pub, where most of my good ideas come from. One night, I was having a really involved and interesting discussion with an old friend of mine, about how, when we were growing up, we both loved old-school adventure stories like Indiana Jones, Tintin, Tarzan and Around the World in 80 Days, but how it was hard to love those stories nowadays because it seems so obvious to 21st Century eyes that these stories are basically colonialist, even in some cases racist. We started to wonder if it was possible to save that genre, to write a story that kept everything that was cool and fun about it, while shedding the colonialism and the racism. I couldn’t stop thinking about that conversation for months afterwards: I started to obsess about writing the first post-colonial Indiana Jones story! And it helps that I’m a professional ancient historian irl, so I actually know a bit about how archaeology works. In the end, I got so fixated on the idea that I just decided that I had to have a go at it, even if just to get it off my mind. And so a wip was born!


Ooooh! Sounds neat. I switched my major to English because I decided on a different career, but I used to be in the history department hardcore. All things ancient fascinate me deeply. Careful, I’ll have to follow your WIP and be one of the many voices cheering you on now.


most of my stories are like that lol otherwise they just NAG! and nag and nag! :sweat_smile:

That and gotta make space for more stories in tha brain lol

I think it was around chapter 3 (for my last story), where the tone changed. That’s when I figured out…it has a life of it’s own!

It went from Comedy with corny songs to Massive Angst. It so different then what I had in mind…I can easely make the original idea in a new story! :smile:


It so different then what I had in mind…I can easely make the original idea in a new story! :smile:

That wound up happening for one of my very first substantial ideas! Now, it is in fact two completely separate stories. These brain babies grow up so fast, haha.

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The moment my brain finally came to terms with
‘FFS, you CAN do this better. Walk your talk!’


I was drunk


Hm, I used to write Dragon Age fan fiction a few years ago and I’ve always read COG stories (without realizing what the company really was and that anyone can try to write for them) and once I found that out I just needed an idea, which came to me while watching tv and movies and reading. More specifically I was home last summer and wanted something to do, so I started writing down ideas, scanning the forum to see what other people were doing, and taking notes on writing and coding. 3 months later I released chapter 1 :slight_smile:

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Did I click on your profile to find out “chapter 1 of what?” Possibly. Already can’t wait for the WIP to be a completed project! From a former fanfiction writer to another, best of wishes; I’ll be rooting for you. I too used to read CoGs not realizing there was this whole massive forum full of aspiring and continuing writers I could support. I think I read my first CoG as an elementary schooler so it’s been a while. Good times. :grin:


I tried not getting lost in thought while answering and failed miserably I’m so sorry it just half worked, so, bear with me for a moment :flushed:

First, I’d like to point out my mind’s constantly churning out new ideas and throwing at me, and I’m constantly lost in a loop of “new idea - ops new idea - double ops new idea”. Usually all I do is pick the one which interests me the most and run along with it until I either burn out or something “shinier” comes along and makes me temporarily lose my focus ― and I say “temporarily” because I have a rotation thing with my inspiration and stories, so, yeah, complicated. But I think the moment of realization usually comes when the story’s the only thing I can think about ― I’ll be doing work things and a stray thought comes, and then another, and another, until I’m scribbling notes and plot points on things I shouldn’t; I’ll be in the middle of class and something a teacher or classmate says will struck me as something exactly like a character would; I’ll go to sleep with varying levels of thoughts about worldbuilding and characterization and which of my characters would sing to Jack’s Lament the most. That’s when I know that if I don’t write it, my brain can and will make me regret it. Currently, the story I’ve been sitting on has been on my mind for about 3 years ― the characters, almost six ―, and the moment of realization hit me in the face when I was talking to a friend about his college thesis and came up with “you’re not writing it because you’re using your fear of not being good enough to tell yourself you can’t do it”. And. Yeah. Talk about projection, am I right?

The moment of truth was when I sat down to do a little bit of brainstorming and outline the little monster (if it’s not going anywhere, the only thing I can do is write it, right?), because it was when I realized I’ve been putting it off for so long that the story’s practically done already ― the endings, the arcs, the little details that shouldn’t have come so easily as they did, snippets of conversations I’m sure I’ve never written anywhere, character growth that makes sense. The skeleton’s done, and all I need to do now is fill it up (properly, I mean).

As for inspiration, I think it comes from everything? Like, talking about this specific story, it was from a nonsense dream about a white corridor and a colleague from college talking about stars, but usually my ideas come to me in either: a) the shower, b) while listening to music or c) when I’m with my friends and something I feel makes my brain go “well wouldn’t it nice to write a story about this?”.

In one simple, painful word: rough. I don’t like editing (as in: rewriting and/or recycling), but I hate when I look at something and think “oh, well, that’s not all you can do, is it?”. To tell you the truth, my stories don’t tend to look much different from what I first plot them out to be ― I go from point A to point B to point C unless I want to start from point D and go from there, you get the gist of it ―, but how I get there is a completely different thing, and I hate the feeling that I haven’t done my best while writing something (which I usually know I did by being fiercely proud of what I wrote, even if it’s cringey, because it was the best I could do at the moment, because I had the time of my life writing it and because I know it was a step further into being the writer I aim to be). But I still got time to work on it, so it doesn’t bother me as much as it would if I had a deadline or something.

I apologize if I completely missed the point of your questions lol but those are a few thoughts I’ve wanted to share for a while, so. There. Done.


Well, it all started a long time ago…
Now, seriously, yes it was a long time ago like around 10 years, I was inspired by a character that liked it, then I tried to learn to program in java by myself to make my own game but failed, then I discovered that I could have saved a lot of time by making it with HG, and then I started to make it, I played a lot of video games at that time but some changes in my life made me change the time I was using for that for something more productive and I started to write. It was just a secondary project, I was only working on it when I had free time and was inspired (and the planets were aligned) so the process was very slow and not of a good quality because I had never written before (still it isn’t but is a little better than before) .
Then a few years ago I had a problem with my riser and I had to drop archery for almost a year and a few months, and I used the time I was dedicating to train to write instead, so that year I made a lot of progress, then I tried to keep a little more rhythm than before as the project was fairly advanced, and I kept that way until now.
The quarantine began 24 days ago, and that gave another big push to the story.
So in resume, the turning point, I think it was when I thought on make the story on the early days, it didn’t start too strong though. And the idea was growing and improving on the go, I think it still does, writing is for sure one of my weakness, and express myself and interactions with people and all that stuff, so its really hard to come up with a good plot all at once. By the way, I still haven’t finished the book.
Well, there you have it, sorry for the long rambling, thought that was the short version… I don’t know, I kind of suck at this jaja

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You just reminded me how much I’m procrastinating writing because I don’t want to fail. Thanks for that, you waffle. :joy: But in all seriousness, I appreciated reading everything you said as it was relatable and earnest. Keep going on your projects!

Same. You’re not alone, but you can get there for sure. It does suck that there’s a quarantine going on and the situation is grim, but I am hoping that if there’s anything good that can come of it, it’s an explosion of ideas and work on WIPs and what not. Writing may be one of the few jobs that can be more productive in this environment, I dunno. Either way, thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading your comment!

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The story I’m planning to write was came into my mind after a TV show, while I LOVED it I’ve found many flaws. Especially the antagonist, while he was awesome he unfortunately did stupid things for sake of “Good guys wins”.

While “fixing” the TV show in my mind, I’ve realized I fell in love with antagonist because their ideal etc was awesome. I won’t tell who are they because it’d spoil my story but I decided to give him a proper story.

That was like few years ago and until I’ve found Hosted Games I was afraid I couldn’t share it with world

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I look forward to finding out that spoiler eventually, then! I’ve never taken inspiration for original stories from “fixing” other works to align with how I would have envisioned them, but I definitely love constructing little subplots, character points or tweaks that I would have written too, and I think it’s made me better at thinking through the bigger picture. It’s a great and entertaining writing exercise. :smiley:

I’ve talked about it elsewhere, but when I discovered the contest in June of 2017 while seeking coders for an unrelated project, it was like a bolt out of the blue. All those years I had tried and failed miserably to write the novel version of my old webcomic, Nuclear Powered Toaster, and I knew this was my perfect motivation to actually finish something longform for the first time in my life, given that publication was assured whether you won or lost. I either had to finish a contest entry or just accept writing wasn’t going to happen and move on with my life, because another opportunity for this kind of external impetus would never come around again. So even though the contest timeframe was half over by the time I learned it existed, I labeled my Google Doc for the project Total Commitment, and that’s exactly what I gave. I went from someone who had never written any proper fiction above 10,000 words to someone doing up to 2 or 3k in a day at times in order to hit the 100k mark in seven months. Learning how to code was a booger, since I had no background, but the forum folk and my few but helpful beta readers got me through. Towards the end I was only sleeping a few hours a night, but I made it with literally hours to spare and a word total 60,000 over what I needed anyhow. Lost the contest, but that was never really the point

As for Parenting Simulator, that one I knew I had to write as soon as I came up with it in August of 2017, early during the process of writing Toaster. I was sorely tempted to switch over to it for the contest, as I already had a hunch it would be an entry more likely to place, but I was unsure I could finish in the few months remaining and I already had 40,000 words of text for NPT by that point. So I didn’t, which was almost certainly the smartest move as I was nowhere near seasoned enough to write Parenting yet and it would have come off a lot worse than it ultimately did (plus, I really, truly could not have written it in time; at least with Toaster I wasn’t creating ideas whole cloth, since it was a loose adaptation of a story that already existed both in comics and in my head for over a decade).


Props! Especially on the Total Commitment part. First of all, everyday badassery at its finest, naming a google doc that and then just crunching like crazy. And second of all, I have given myself ultimatums before, not on writing just in general, and still didn’t do jack, lol. So that right there, was a true “put to the test” kind of glory moment. I’m happy to know that story now for whenever I see your games in the catalogue.

I can get behind that.

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Rest assured, you’ll find many hints to that TV Show in my book.

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Thanks! I should point out that so many of my previous creative efforts fell apart because they were collaborations. My forays into webcomics failed because my artists bailed (except for one with my side strip Hellidays; he was a good egg but unfortunately was young and pretty raw so the strip never looked quite right, though I think he improved in the subsequent years), all the children’s books I wrote couldn’t get anywhere without an artist to illustrate them, and my attempts at creating my dream video game went awry because I needed coders to make it happen. I only found this place because of my desperate frustration with the latter project; some folks had suggested I try to make a simple game myself to work up to making the SRPG I had in mind, and then one of those people threw this place out as one where you could get some basic coding experience. Bless ‘em, I tried to find them after Toaster published to thank them properly for their life-altering comment, but they had left the forum I was on by that point. But all that to say this: part of why I attacked this project with such zeal was because for the first time, I had found something that I could do by myself (I mean, I could have done the novel myself, but for whatever reason it just never worked out, I always flaked on it or rewrote the bit I had endlessly). No more relying on others every step of the way. That was so freeing that I think it helped fuel my zealous frenzy during those early months.