How difficult is it to write a story?


#1

To all you authors out there: How difficult is it for all of you to start a story and see it through? I’ve been considering giving choicescript a go but it appears quite the daunting challenge considering my other commitments (school and whatnot) and my complete inexperience with choicescript. Seeing as there are many WIPs either in hiatus or cancelled sustained interest also seems to be a recurring issue among authors? I would really appreciate hearing your honest opinions :smiley:


#2

Writers don’t finish things. Doesn’t matter if you’re writing in Choicescript or normal prose, if you’re call yourself a writer, for every finished piece you have, you’ve got twenty unfinished ones sitting in a cardboard box/your computer/the ether.

That’s just how the mind of a writer works.


#3

I work in a team so it makes writing much easier for me. Though I can only do basic coding. But what I lack, my teammates make up for it.

@Snowpanther is good with creating characters and branching plotlines.
@NeoHeartless meanwhile is a genius when it comes to coding. He also makes sure that we don’t have plotholes in the story.

So we all work together, using our strengths and covering each other’s weaknesses. We also keep ourselves motivated.


#4

If you want to write, do it. Even if you don’t finish the story you start, it’s still good practice that will help you improve later writing. It can be difficult - it’s easy to get discouraged - but you should keep in mind that even if you can only write a little bit, or you don’t think it’s any good, it’s still better than writing nothing.


#5

The greatest skill you can learn, as a writer, is how to actually finish your work.

I’d say start small, on projects that are easy to complete. Don’t aim to write an epic million word trilogy, instead aim for something really short. Aim for something the length of Choice of the Dragon, or even shorter.

Don’t try and over-complicate things either, keep it simple. You’ll learn a lot just by doing this. Think short story to start with, not novel.

Because it really is difficult to finish things. It’s easy coming up with ideas. While coding can be tricky, we’ll help on the forum with any problems you come up with. But finishing your writing, getting a completed projected, that’s the tough bit.

Even if you don’t finish, you still learn something while doing it.


#6

Writer here and for me personally it’s all about finding an idea and sticking with it. Like a favorite topic of yours. For me it’s Greek mythology and I built up from there. Challenging yourself is good, but if you don’t enjoy what you’re writing about then you’ll lose inspiration quickly. That’s just my experience anyway.


#7

Perfectly said. Only want to add: Emotional bipolar treatment of your own work is also a hallmark of many writers - we all love to write so it is only natural to love our own writing … yet often we’ll wake up and feel our writing is no better then a child’s … yes, amazingly, even I fall to this insidious trope… I’m pretty sure every single of my friends who write also has gotten upset with their brilliant writing at one time or another … doing this often leads to inspiration to make the writing in question better …

ymmv


#8

How hard is it? Hard sometimes…
I’ve got quite a few wips on my computer, most of which haven’t even made it on here much less are any where near completion. (Out of ones with some coding from memory: Tales of the deep, metamorphosis, ensign redshirt, quintessence, earth gate). Trying to keep my main wip on track though, so new ideas get written down, some have a chapter or two coded then I put them aside and might go back to them at a later date otherwise I’d probably never get any of them finished.

Still worth starting one though, see how you go. Even if it takes a long time between other commitments, it’ll get there. If not it’s all good experience, can try again :slight_smile: if you’re worried, start small like fairygodfeather suggested, short ones will usually be quicker to finish and less tricky to track stats and the like for.


#9

Thanks for the feedback ^^

I’ll give writing a go when I have the time to spare. Unfortunately, I have a national exam (GCE O-Levels) that will pretty much decide my future looming around the corner so it might not be anytime soon T_T

On a sidenote, are there any particular genres, topics and so on that I should steer clear of in the event that I do get the oppurtunity to write? I would rather not offend anyone unintentionally through my writing or get caught up in some form of controversy.


#10

As long as you stay “mainstream” intended for all ages stories you should be fine for both CoG standards and Hosted Games standards.

The biggest hurdle to get published is Apple - their marketplace requirements and review process is a sore subject sometimes for app authors.


#11

@Zolataya Is there a clear-cut definition of “mainstream” and “all ages”? Or are the stories handled by a case-by-case basis?


#12

The best thing is to check the CoG standards … let me see if I can find the link… they spell out the boundaries very well. Hosted Games are for those stories that fall just short of CoG structure (ie gender-locked stories) … sec.

Edit: Here is the best place to begin for all the formal rules and regulations:

Writer Details for CoG


#13

Thanks :slight_smile:


#14

Hmm. I think that I’d like to add that a factor in how difficult it is to churn out a CS game is how wide the story goes. I mean to say, a lot of factors that end up changing the story somehow make for a lot more writing: not a bad thing, but certainly a lot more work. Writers who publish their works seem to find a happy personal balance between workload and engaging story.

Coding also does play a big factor. How a game is set up can make the game easier or more difficult to finish; this is personal experience. Thing is, at the beginning, chances are a writer will make things more difficult for theirself with their coding than it needs to be because they haven’t learned how to be more effective, yet. Adapting to personal progress will help save a lot of time in the long run.

And… yes, creative minds can have trouble with long-term projects. It’s about like the difference between sticking with one D&D character for several years opposed to writing up a new one when the idea comes. Or playing a video game to the end even when a new one comes out that you want to play.

Writing can, also, be like exercise. By this, I mean, the hardest part of exercise is to start exercising each session, whenever that may be, rather than putting it off to do something else. It’s easy to -be- writing. It’s hard to -start- writing… pretty much every time (but not always). But the more you exercise, the easier it is to start and the more you enjoy the feeling afterwards of being fit- it’s like that, except that you enjoy the feeling of being a writer… and having stuff to be read. I think that’s a big part of the WIP aspect- it’s a massive boost for a writer, or any creative person, to have something they’ve created be talked about and discussed. : )

Writing itself isn’t a problem, per-se… as in, it’s not difficult. Although there will be times when it is more like work than play- a section of writing drags, or it feels like something is taking forever that shouldn’t. Coding can be therapeudic, too, once you figure out how. Mixing writing and coding, though, can sometimes break up the creative process and slow things down. Well, in a sense. Wide writing feels like more work is being done for less gain (though that’s only because less is seen on a playthrough). Narrow writing feels like more is getting done, but there’s less diversity and thus replayability. Narrow writing feels more like writing a novel- wide writing takes a different thought process thinking about possible outcomes and exploring them. Both are different types of fun and different types of frustrating.


#15

I’m going to frame this and hang it above my computer.


#16

just my opinion from the title of this topic, the difficulty of writing a story all depends on your writing,coding, and literacy skills


#17

agreed.
if you are using more than one characters view in your story then things get complicated, trust me, I know too well :sweat_smile:. but still, using a variety of writing skills does help you to develop your writing skills and hopefully they can help you to land a good job :smile:…you could even say that the writing takes care of the author :laughing: !


#18

Am not an author, but I do feel that singin’ in my veins giving anxious urges to get writing done, else die in a hole.

I agree with everyone tellin’ that finishin’s a hard to do thing. Between muddy self-depreciations and failing pep-talks, shit’s like trying to win an uphill battle against a fucked up boulder.

But you still try to get things done. It’s like something’s missin’ if you don’t manage a stroke, or a step forward.


#19

I wrote about 130k of my game before posting some on the forum, and even then I only posted because I didn’t want to shock CoG with a completed game on their doorstep. Took me over a year. I’ve got a very good reason to be writing. For me it’s not just about how much I love my characters and enjoy the process of writing. I’m also invested in the ambition to write professionally in the future, and so I believe that it would beneficial to me to put a completed piece of work on my resume.
However, it’s always been weirdly easy for me to be motivated to write. When I was 13 I wrote my first novel and completed it. Not that it was any good - I was thirteen. But from the ages 13-15 I wrote a novel every year. Superlatively long ones. Never showed them to anyone outside of my family. I wrote them for myself, not for anyone else.
I think the most important thing is that you love your characters. Treat them like your children. They deserve to have an ending and closure to their brief lives. And plan the ending at the start, so you’re excited to reach it, and feel like it’ll be the best part of the story to reach.


#20

Hoo boy.
I’ve been writing since I learned how to, and I have finished a grand total of zero novels and like, 5 shorts stories? I start and stop (and cancel) things almost constantly - I am imaginative and I jump around. A lot.

And I like to do super complicated things. Because apparantly I can’t write a short, simple story when it comes to any games (I’m working in ChoiceScript, Renpy, and RPG Maker). And then I can’t work on just ONE idea at once, and I’ve never gotten that whole “FORCE YOURSELF TO WRITE X AMOUNT A DAY!” because I don’t even write every day, let alone on ONE thing.

I’ve learned various coding languages, for both different game makers and in general, and I never stick to one thing.

FINISHING a story? I really hope I manage it, because I’m a mess.