How do you go from Rough Outline to actual Writing?


#1

I’ve been thinking over doing a choice-script story over the past few month. After rejecting a bunch of ideas, i’ve settled on a fantasy plot. I have the plot figured out at a high level, and have a good idea of what my setting is like, and what the player’s character (a minotaur), and the primary NPC will be doing.

I’ve spent a few evenings familiarizing myself with CS, and have a basic character set-up beginning, as well as random character generation and stats. So i’m not worried about CS basics, but i’d like a better practical grasp on how story lines branch and recombine and, most importantly what kind of story feature makes a lot of work, etc.

So I decided to do my first scene. Just the player’s character and the main NPC are involved, and there’s not too much branching in the scene (most of the repercussions happen later).

I’ve roughly outlined the scene, noted about a dozen choices that need to be given, and plot points that need to be hit, information that the player needs to receive.

And then i got stuck…

I’m a bit overwhelmed, there’s a huge number of different ways i can cover what i know i need to cover. By temperament, i’m much better at the big picture stuff and tend to get bogged down putting words to the page. (here endeth the long introduction to the question)

How do you take an outline, and fill it out into a choice-script story?


#2

Slowly.

(Says the other “by temperament better at the big picture stuff” guy)


#3

My impression, reading your post, is that you seem to be overthinking it. You’ve got the technical checklist down pat but you’re looking at it like Mission Control at the start of a shuttle launch. By the end of your post, though, you seem to be coming around to something of the same realization:

I’m a bit overwhelmed, there’s a huge number of different ways i can
cover what i know i need to cover. By temperament, i’m much better at
the big picture stuff and tend to get bogged down putting words to the
page.

My advice would be to think about your game idea for a moment, try to imagine how you’d describe the story to somebody if you’re telling them about it for the first time, and then just start writing some opening scenes. You may not like what you write, you may change it completely, but until you start putting words to paper (or screen) you’ll never know.


#4

The best way I can think to describe how I got started was thought for a bit about my story, my characters, the stories “universe” as it was, so that it’s fresh in my mind. Once I’ve done that I just start typing. That’s basically it. Just try and think about it as a story that you really want to read, but the words don’t exist yet, so you have to start typing out how you think it should go. I hope that made sense the way I put it.


#5

I had a time limit of twelve days. It helped a lot to force me to just write. It let me be absolute brutal with which choices I pruned off. It was great.

Link to the game: https://forum.choiceofgames.com/t/julia-caesar-and-the-great-fire-of-rome
Link to an article I wrote just after finishing it: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1vxrbb58674k2sf/howIwrotejulia.txt

I say think small. If you’re getting overwhelmed think even smaller. Try and create a tree not a bush. Go have a look at Choice of the Dragon and see how it’s done.

Read the article on the blog on vignettes. https://www.choiceofgames.com/2010/07/four-ways-to-write-a-vignette/ Actually read all the really old articles on the blog about game creation, they’re extremely helpful.


#6

It’s recommended that you start writing a scene that is more fun than the intro. Pick a scene with some action and just start writing till you get to the choices…and then keep going. :slight_smile: