How did you come to be a choice games writer?


#1

Hi Choice game writers (and readers), I’m relatively new to the choice games forum (Like, really new) but not to the books themselves I’ve been reading them for the last year or so and it have read as many as I can and enjoyed so many of them, but each time I read one it makes my heart ache and want to write my own.

I joined the forum as the first step to looking into how I could go about starting out, but what I really wanted to know is how did you guys start out, were you established writers that decided to write in this style or like me did you read these and then decide you like to try your hand at this?

Thanks all


#2

Hi, @Emery_Valentine! I know what you mean about the heart ache, because when I was a teenager, I felt that way when I read a good fantasy novel. I wanted to do that, and I felt like I could, but I didn’t quite see how it could happen. I wrote a lot of stories and novels in middle school and high school that now live in my basement that nobody will ever see.

In college and graduate school, I wrote live role-playing games for local conventions, which got me used to writing hundreds of thousands of words to tight deadlines, and I got a lot of feedback on my writing there.

And as a professor, I was publishing scholarly essays, so I got used to the process of professional writing, publishing, and research.

So I was “established” in the sense that I had found those two niches and was getting good responses to my writing, but I hadn’t earned one penny from either.

Then I played a Choice Of game that looked good to me on Steam, and i thought it was fun. I played it a few times, and then I realized I could do that, but better. I submitted a query in 2015, and here in January 2018 I have two published Choice Of games, and am pondering my third.

You did the best thing in starting out by joining the Forum. Write anything and you’ll get support and help and advice, and–I think most importantly–an interested audience. I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to read what you write!


#3

Thank you so much for replying, I really have to admit I was totally star struck when you replied, I’ve read Tally Ho and a midsumer nights choice and they are two of my favorite stories, and it was reading your interview on choice games recently that made me decide to join the forum and actually do something about it, especially when you talked about how it helped you with your work and how great it was working with other people.


#4

I started writing in high school more then I did anything else. I stopped did to thinking my lack of knowledge and perfection with grammar would always hold me back. That changed when I found CoG! I’ve now decided that I can rework any problems I encounter so that I may push through for my love of writing.

Welcome to the forums from a fellow newbie!


#5

Hi @Emery_Valentine - welcome to our little community here. Before I introduce myself, I’ll give you a link that should help you figure things out here:

Master List for Beginners

Here you will find links to all sorts of useful resources, including tutorials, the wiki and such.


Now that I’ve done that, I first was introduced to CoG/HG stories through Tin Star. I then read Sabres of Infinity and then came to the forums to see what everything was about.

My very first attempt at starting a project here was a flop because I was not ready - I’ve written different things in my life but nothing so demanding of my creativity. I did not plan out my project well enough and I had to give up on that particular project.

However, I did make some wonderful and caring friends here who supported my creative efforts and when they saw some of my writing they encouraged me to take another attempt. The CoG contest for this year was announced and I decided to enter it. So, for the past year, I’ve been working on completing my game which I’ll be submitting “soon” (before the 31st is over) …

If you have any questions feel free to ask or PM them.


#6

@Omegareaven thank you, hoping I can make some new friends here that can help at least get a game put together in the next year or so :slight_smile:


#7

@Eiwynn Thank you so much for the links and the welcome, they are going to be a big help. I think my biggest hurdle (no such thing as an obstacle) is going to be trying to decide what genre to make my story.

I can’t wait to see all the submissions for the contest, it really gives me something to strive for in the next year.


#8

Hey! If it helps, like you, I started out as a fan of the games and a lurker on the forums before I finally took the leap to start working on a story and become a more active member.

That’s just on CoG, though. In general, I was an avid reader from a very young age and had done some amateur short stories along with a variety of in-depth academic work up through graduate school that helped me hone my own skills. Once I became a fan of CoG, I started to realize how well my own style could be adapted (and, in this case, an idea that my co-author had been kicking around since high school) to fit this format and it caught fire for us from there.

So, while it is interesting to know and can be inspiring to hear, don’t get discouraged or fall into the pit of comparing your work to other stories or worrying about how another author achieved their goals too much. It sounds like you are already headed in the right direction. Your path will be your own and if you have an idea I encourage you to run with it. Good luck! :smiley:


#9

@MizArtist33 was an avid reader as a child and teen and I read so much but I got out of the habit as an adult, that’s something I intend to rectify.

Thank you for telling me not to be discouraged and to compare myself which I will inevitably will at some point, I’m starting off will a proper structure, that’s the first thing I think I’ve learnt from the forum, i’d also never thought about co-authoring something.


#10

I think we all do it at some point, especially when we’re starting out or feeling frustrated. It seems to somehow be indelibly etched into the creative process no matter the art form! :wink:

As far as co-authoring goes, some people find it helps. I know for us, our strengths and weaknesses compliment each others’ in a way that I think our combined efforts always come out better than what we would’ve done on our own for this series. When it works, it works great, but when it doesn’t, it can be messy. Takes a certain level of trust, communication, and complimentary goals, but it can be done. Nothing wrong with starting out on your own first, either, just another possibility. I think the same thing applies for having a good beta tester/reader when your’e starting out, if you want to run it by someone you know and trust to be honest but constructive with their criticisms before you put it online.


#11

I’m hoping that I might be able to find someone like that on the forum eventually, I’ve told very few people that I know that I am branching out into this at least until I’ve got something tangible.


#12

Part of the story is here:

I always wanted to write, and I’ve always loved interactive fiction. As mentioned in that other thread, I loved telling choose-your-own-adventures as a kid; as soon as I got over my evangelical heebie-jeebies and discovered D&D I started running games in my parents’ basement, and continued that in college with some friends who are now at CoG.

I also had a chance to write a narrative nonfiction book under my real name, published almost exactly a decade before Choice of Rebels. Unlike Gower, the experience taught me absolutely nothing about keeping to deadlines. But it meant I could pitch for the CoG brand rather than HG, and in the fullness of time I eventually delivered on (part one of) that pitch…


#13

@Havenstone like Gowers work I’ve read (or more correctly reading) choice of rebels and it’s one of the other books that really inspired me to at least try and put pen to paper so thank you.

I want to write for people so that they can enjoy my story (whatever that may be) and for myself.

With regard to scripting I work in the internet business so while I have never used choice script I’m not so concerned about the scripting part but more about trying to tell the best story.


#14

That’s what keeps me going, too. :slight_smile:


#15

Hello and welcome to the forums! Best of luck with exploring creating your stories.

I loved interactive narrative as a child and teenager - I adored the Fabled Lands books and created NPC mods for Baldur’s Gate 2. Like @Gower I ran live action roleplaying games for a while which was useful for learning to juggle a ton of different stories at once and writing a lot in a short space of time.

In the last few years, I self-published and sold short interactive games on itch.io and sub-Q Magazine. Then I applied to write for CoG, whose projects I’ve enjoyed for a long time.

Fast forward to now, and I’m working on the penultimate chapter of my game about mob necromancers! It’s gotten very complicated, but is very satisfying constructing an arm and fingers structure and creating varied climactic points.


#16

I started out in my journey of writing when I was still in middle school. But, I always had this inner world of my own – which I think is also another key factor that nudged me into having this hobby. I was a voracious reader since childhood, and alongside the fact that I’ve always been captivated by the ingenuity of video games (i.e. Skyrim, Fallout series, etc.), I picked up writing as a hobby to pass the time between my classes. I always had a natural inclination to writing about mystery and science fiction. I started out small; working on short story prompts and whatnot. Then as time went on, I just found myself slowly drawing inspiration from contemporary literature.

All in all, nothing special about me or my history. Just another lurker that likes to write.


#18

@HannahPS Thank you for welcoming me :slight_smile: , I adored the Baldur’s gate series and I read a whole lot of fighting fantasy as a child so I know this is the direction i’d like to go in. I’m really interested in what people have to write and where they get their ideas from and thats what Im working on now, I need something that someone hasn’t done before (easier said than done).


#19

@ChaoticJackal I loved and still love the narrative of some of the newer games and the directions they’ve taken and I’d love to be able to create my own world to write in someday. I’m still starting small and looking at prompts myself at the moment.