How to phrase the wording of choices


#1

I am noticing that I am doing my options in all kinds of formats.

I have mostly been using a trailing-off format - ellipses, dashes, or cutting off suddenly.

Example:
You think…
You think
You think -

# that this is a great format
# If you can decide whether to capitalize in mid-sentence
# …And/or use proper punctuation.
# "I love when I can go from second to first person mid-option, using quote marks."<br>

I love when I can go straight from

“The monster lunges at you.”

To
’You lunge away’
‘Sandra helps you’
‘Your pet unicorn comes to the rescue’
‘It’s time to panic!’

But sometimes it’s just not realistic to make every option start differently, so is it better to start with “You think that…” (etc.) or to repeat wording in each option in order to not have to post half a sentence of introduction?

Do you think it is worth standardizing this throughout all of your options? Is using ending punctuation for sentences/sentences fragments (periods, etc.) and no punctuation for shorter answers a good compromise? How might you introduce variety to your introduction of options without making it seem choppy or unpolished?

This is a minor issue I may be overthinking, but it’s time to start doing some standardizing edits of my first day.


#2

I think that creating rigid rules for any part of a story is a terrible idea. Yes we have to accept that there are certain things that can only be done one way, but every rule that can be bent or broken should be if it makes the story even a tiny amount better to do so.

Several times when writing a minor change in the way the code was laid out has created an entirely different feel to a page, and also given me ideas that I might never have gotten otherwise. Likewise I don’t think you should be afraid to push boundaries, with your content. If you go back and hate it later it’s always an easy fix. That’s the joy of the word processor, don’t be afraid to be random and crazy. You could find it’s your best writing.


#3

Standard practice for choice of games is first person for the choices, second person for the main text. It’s probably a good idea to be consistent with your writing style whatever format you do choose.

Have a look at the various published games, analyse what they do, maybe you will get inspired.


#4

Depends on the effect you want to accomplish. I think I usually do ellipses, but I can imagine cases where the punctuation-free cut off gives a greater sense of urgency.


#5

It doesn’t matter what perspective you use as long as you remain consistent, you could even switch it at some point if the narrative demands it. But consistent doesn’t mean that you need to write all choices in the same manner.