How to shorten character interaction


#1

Good morning everyone. I need help big time. I am trying to write a game.but even my first interaction of a few character’s with MC goes over like 40000 to 50000 words. Bigger issue is it doesn’t has much choice. Some parts are like i feel where i am living there .they go on and on.i could write 100000 words on a chapter but without any good wording. JUST natural conversation. Rest of game i feel like i have to push to get at certain points.

My biggest issue is how to shorten then interaction and how to add choices in there while interacting.it is like my real life i guess. To most people i rather not talk at all. While a selected few i keep on talking. Yet i can not use any good stylish wording.

Any suggestion please. I badly need it.i have whole story in my mind.little bit of story is my real life actually. Just turned in different type of.but story doesn’t has much choice .it’s like reading a book then a choice game.

Mc is a young child as character’s first meet.so mc asks them about certain things or i am stuck at or i can not think how to add more options,choices,spiceing it up.
Reader’s will definitely not like it if first 40000 words do not have much choices.i personally wouldn’t. Who would stay to read so long.whole book first part is easily 400000 to 600000 with bit different side stories. Even after 300000 to 400000 words in each story .THE actual chapter’s are no more then 15 to 20. By chapter i mean different things happening in life. I am sure for such long one you guys would have maybe 40 or more different things that mc does or happens around.

Basically too much of interaction just like this post.how do i shorten it.


#2

One thing that really helps me with short film scripts is taking the literal words that a character says and working out how to get across that feeling, mood, or information through action rather than words.

Every conversation/scene also has to have a purpose. It could be simple (figure out if this person is trustworthy) or complicated (work together to brew the international standard cup of tea). Having purpose and intentionality helps a lot with preventing your dialogue from wandering around in circles.


#3

If what you mean is. How not to make a convo stilted? Or is it just general “why I need to talk to this person?” Kind of thi g

What I do is watch a movie or a TV series. Point is, observe the flow of the conversation. If the conversation you want is not stilted or something

Anyways, follow your heart or whatever


#4

If you can, show rather than tell as you go through the story to help prevent info dumps occuring. Also go through each part of the conversation and ask if it is vital to the storyline. If not, consider getting rid of it to bring a tighter focus on a particular story to tell. (Not saying that’s what happing in yours, but 50k of conversation with a single scene seems like a lot!) It’s kind of difficult to say though what’s happening, maybe post a demo and ask on the forum on how it could be tightened up?


#5

Yes, a demo would be best :thinking:


#6

Also, don’t be afraid to break up dialogue into shorter lines. It might seem like a waste of space, but conversation does flow a little better. Here’s an excerpt from an unreleased game I wrote as an example (code removed)

Summary

Madison walks past you, briefly bumping your shoulder, and retakes her seat in the armchair pulled towards the table. You drop your voice to a whisper so only Kelly and Adrian can hear you. “She’s in a mood tonight, isn’t she?”

“Unfortunately for you, it just started,” Adrian shrugs. “She didn’t know you were coming until about five minutes before you got here.”

“What? Olivia didn’t tell her?” you ask, turning towards Kelly for confirmation. She shakes her head. “Christ. She’s probably pissed.”

“It’ll be fine,” Kelly reassures. “Eventually we’ll get so drunk that we won’t remember a thing.”

“Or we’ll bring up the things we do remember…” you warn. “Let’s all just agree to keep her in line tonight, okay?”

With a collective nod, you all return to your seats. Moments later, Olivia returns and hands you a bottle of colorful alcohol with top popped off before taking her seat next to Madison.

“Okay, so, who went last? It was Kelly, right?” Adrian asks, taking a sip of his drink.

“It was,” Kelly replies. "Hope you’re ready, Cheryl. I play to win.

“Great,” Madison chuckles. “I’m sure Cheryl’s done so many horrible things.”

You ignore her and turn to Kelly. “Give me your best.”

Kelly winks at you. “You asked for it. Never have I ever hooked up at the school.”


It doesn’t fill the screen but it feels like a natural conversation between people. Long responses typically don’t sound realistic. Even between two people, responses can be short.

Summary

You take in a deep breath and then rap your hand on the door, three knocks in quick succession. At first, it seems like no one is coming, but then the door suddenly swings wide open. Standing behind it is Madison, her short, bright pink hair almost illuminating the dimly-lit room behind her. She drops the smile from her face once she sees its you.

“Oh, Cheryl,” she mutters with an insidious smile. “I didn’t think you were coming. When Olivia told me she invited you, I thought she was joking.”

“Oh yeah? Why’s that?” you ask.

“Well, you know, this doesn’t seem like your kind of scene. We’re a bit upscale, after all,” she replies, pursing her lips.

“Oh, this is upscale?” you chuckle. “I guess it depends on the scale you’re using.”

She laughs. “Leave the insults to the big girls, hon.” She steps to the side. “Please, come in. You’re letting bugs in, and not just the ones that trail your rotting carcass.”

You roll your eyes and step inside, the door slamming shut.


#7

First of all, you need to know what the goal of the dialog scene is that you’re writing. If you don’t know where you’re going, you will end up waffling (I know I do). Every dialog scene should have a goal (even if it’s just to get to know the characters more), and you need to figure out how to make that goal a reality.

Second of all… augh, this is hard to describe, I’ll just try to a simple example instead. First,a normal book scene, with very little choices (which is what it sounds like you have). It’s a discussion between two new people in class and the purpose is to let us get to know them, and to have them meet up after school so they can have a weird encounter.

A) Talk starts with discussing the fact that the teacher is late, then goes to some glassmate gossip, switches to the school mystery everyone knows about, comes around to talk about the videogames you know and ends with agreeing to meet up and play sometimes.

In order to switch this up, we can use some of the major beats as choices.

B) Start with talking about why the teacher is late, then either talk about classmate gossip, or about video games, then the paths reunite to talk about the school mystery (the central plot of the game), and you can agree to meet up for a number of reasons, to play videogames, to stalk the school after hours, to try to find out why the teacher was gone, or to spy on a weird classmate. All those four encounters would start differently, but end in the same weird encounter.

You would then be able to use the discussions you have already written in the various paths, it will be shorter for the player to read, and it will lead to a lot of variation in replaying things.


#8

First of all i humbly apologies for such late reply. Please forgive me.i could not.my sister had came home and i had to go with her shopping 3 times.then Gym and all.

I didn’t expect to get so much valuable help.thank you so much.please stay with me a little while.

I wanted to post demo myself. I have written twice but both time i deleted it.

Let me Explain it.as i said i am trying to put some of my Real life things in this.making it of old Medieval times then today.

Now turning even a little bit of our life into a game part that has some meaning is not easy.i can write book. I can keep talking as i just need to remember what happened. But that just makes scene too long.as been said above use action.

A real example. In my child hood at 13 my father’s friend came and they went for Wild Boar hunting.they took me too.i couldn’t do anything but just for the experience.watching from car. There were hunting dogs and guns and all.
I wanted to see what and how dogs do.that was why i went.
In old times that would be spears and axes.swords are not good for hunting.it must have been a huge deal to hunt wild boars in those times.

So turning that scene into a old time where were no cars.you got to go on horses.a child could just sit quietly and watch.obviously it was bit more then i wanted to see.

But turning a scene where you are just a viewer into something that actually teaches you some sort of skill* or lesson where you are not even part of conversation most of time. So obviously there can not be much choices either. Just sit and watch. Unless you want to ask something.

Now fighting scenes are normal for me. I have spent my life training in such.so i can make even the weakest people fighting like legends. At least in my head :stuck_out_tongue:

Easier way would be to just ignore this scene. But i want to make it on my life a bit. So what could a child ask if he/she wanted to ask something at all.

Also could a scene like this.where not much choices can make reader close the game ?

Can someone please write or post few lines where qt the place of writing how someone feels or there thinking or something as such. You can show with action with less words? If possible please


#9

Writing is 50% typing and 50% deleting. Write as much as you want, then go back and edit it. Don’t think too hard when you’re writing your first draft, or you’ll never get over the first chapter. It’s the editor’s job (the future you) to find out what to cut out of your prose, or even rewrite whole dialogues. The point is, when you go back to your text, with a rested brain, then you can start taking away whole sentences, replacing words that appear too much, and deleting things that you have told the reader before. Just relax! Writing is hard work, but it should be fun, too.