Help with Keeping Track of all the Branching Paths in a Story

Hello everyone!

I’ve been on CoG for awhile now, and wanted to try my hand at writing a story. I’m currently planning out the general plot, but I’m a little stumped on how I will keep track of where every choice will lead the main character. How do any of you write out all the paths and different choices without getting confused? Is there an engine you can use? Do you use Google docs? Any ideas would surely help me! Thanks in advance!


You can use Twine to plan your stories. I don’t know how exactly, but I hear it’s a good way to do it.
I’m not really good with tech things, so I jot down all my tags and variables on a sketchpad.
That may be impractical for most, but it does the job for me.


Excellent question!

I struggled with this myself, and I still occasionally do. What I’ve found to work for me is the old fashioned way of journaling. Just excessive journaling and a secondhand white board, Pepe Silvia meme style.

There are other ways too, like keeping word documents on general branching plots and skill checks with a dedicated word for a quick Ctrl+f search, but what I’ve found most valuable while scouring for a good tracking method is this reddit thread. There aren’t many replies (and it might be a bit dated), but they have mentioned great ways to stay on track, like Twine that was mentioned earlier!

Hope you find the most suitable choice for you :grin:


I use flowcharts for branches, and spreadsheets for variables, but that obviously isn’t for everyone. I also keep files with random notes, that I tend to lose and find them again years later :sweat_smile:


Some people use a program of some sort to visualize their workflow and this thread could help you find one you’ll like.


Thank you for your kind suggestions so far! You have given me a lot of ideas and sites I can look into and try. I appreciate it! :blush:


my main method is very unhelpful: i simply suffer because of how many slight variations i give myself to write! :smile:

but seriously, i usually try to plan out a basic idea of what happens in a scene and start writing a little bit so i can see how different choices make the scenes flow in action. as i work, i keep a document where i make notes to myself on what works and what doesn’t/needs to be changed (ie, X character reacts differently to dialogue choices depending on like, 4 different variables. diligently keep track of these variables and write out what each combination means so they’re more than just numbers on a screen.) things feel very overwhelming at the start but once i’ve talked to myself about what i’m doing i always feel way better

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I will preface this by saying I really only plan the base scene structure in each chapter before writing, so a lot of it is free flown as I go. But when I do think a choice should have affects later on, I usually add the variable into the game right then and there, and if need be I have a notes section on the startup page made entirely of *comment commands so I can remind myself what they were for. Worst case scenario, you don’t use the variable and just delete it during the editing process!

I also split my variables up into different sections in the startup page. So I have regular gender and name commands under one section, then hit enter twice and title the next section for myself with a *comment commands and set up that section. So it looks like:

*comment Names/Genders
*create name
*create surname
*create etc.

*comment Player Choices
*create hitreporter
*create actedcringe
*create etc.

*comment Notes
*comment this thing happens
*comment This should effect this thing
*comment etc.

It ends up helping me a lot to separate things into different sections under the startup page. These have been ramblings of how a person that barely plans a story keeps organized and up to date with choices they’ve created and how they remember what they do.


I know that this gonna sound totally unhelpful, but whenever i write the plans, layouts, characters descriptions, branching and everything else it’s inside my head. I don’t know why but i hate sitting down to write the backbone of my stories. I just start the actual story and things pour out slowly as i move forward.

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