Sooo…Hi. I’m the guy that made the WIP of The Strongest Weakling, a game where your character is a powerless character in a school for superheroes. And, I think I did…decently well with it. But…I fucked up with it. Big time.
Basically, one of the key plot points was that the MC has a split personality, caused by their traumatic past. Sounds cool, right?
Weeeeeell…after introducing that plot point, I tried writing a bit more…and I had discovered that I pretty much made an entire CHAPTER without giving the player any choices. Then, I thought about it for a while, and I started thinking about the plot points I had in store, and…well, to put it bluntly, this IF book was too much F, and not enough I.
This is a 100% my fault, since I was an idiot who saw this as just a format for writing regular books with extra complexity if you want, and didn’t realize how much I fucked up until after the fact. Plus, I feel like I was too trigger-happy with some of my ideas, like the split personality thing? Good idea on paper, but to enact it, I’d have to take choice away from the player. Again. Like I said, more F than I. I might bring this idea back, if I ever try to go with something like Webnovel, but…I dunno if I can make it work in an IF setting.
I’m considering scrapping this idea, and doing something else for IF. I wanted to say this in my original thread, but that got closed down due to inactivity, and I don’t wanna go through the process of opening it up again just to tell people that I’m considering scrapping the idea.
I will make a new IF novel if I do end up scrapping this concept, but maybe not now.
I hope that some of you can give me advice on how to move forwards, and to those who really liked my WIP, I’m sorry for being a shitty writer who didn’t know how to continue the story.
Instead of scrapping your WIP (Seriously, don’t do that. Leave the thread locked, but keep it up there. You got enough guilt as it is, without adding any potential future guilt of ‘Oh no! I changed my mind, and I could’ve changed it and now I can’t cause I asked them to delete it and they can’t restore it’), so yeah instead of scrapping your WIP, put it on HIATUS and write it as a Novel-Story.
Take me for example, when I think of writing a WIP it feels like someone flipped my brain backward. It is a different format from writing stories. In stories, I don’t have to stop and think about what X character gonna say. It just comes to me and they say it. In a WIP, I have to stress ‘Is this okay? Is it a boring choice? Is it good enough? Evil enough? emotional enough? Does it feel like it matters?’
Of course, my biggest problem is learning to code, which may never happen. But I decided to write the story first then change it into a choiceofgame.
Shrug I can’t write and code since I can’t code. So I thought if I write it, at least it is done. And from there, I can outline the scenes where choices can be inserted and tweak them here and there to fit the new format. Maybe I’m doing it backward, who knows? But that’s my plan as soon as I’m done with my other projects lol.
Maybe once it’s written you’ll have new ideas or a better view of the whole thing.
if I recall, the Fallen hero was a book before it became a WIP. That gives me hope it can be done, for those who are used to writing Novels (and suck at coding, and won’t be writing&coding).
now you are just being hard on yourself. Seem to me what you need, is a break from the story. That will do you some good when you start seeing where your story is supposed to go and get stuck cause ‘Uh I kinda put a giant Boulder here and don’t know how to get rid of it and because of that…uh the story can’t advance! HALP!’
Take a step back, and breath in. Your idea kinda reminds me of the mechanism that exists in the game series called ‘Geneforge’ from Spideweb (worth playing if you haven’t). In later games, you will find ‘Canister’ that give you free knowledge. But they have a price, the more you use, the more control you lose over yourself. Take enough, and at one point a scene where you could use diplomacy will be scrapped because you had too many ‘Canisters’ and went banana and attack everything that moves. So the game has a system that tracks your consumption of Canister and Triggers Points for the scenes. Sound to me you were maybe aiming at something like that with the Split personality?
You can use this time to see how these things are done in other mediums and games, it may help you come up with something that works for your own WIP.
Take some time off, and regroup. Let this feeling of guilt goes away, and tackle either a new project or your old project with a clear head.
And never write off a project as a ‘Failure’, because it still has the potential to be fixed, it isn’t a DOOMED to failure thing. And if you can’t be assed to work on it anymore, you can take stuff from it and add it in a news story, new WIP. Don’t discard your work that easily, writing is hard enough as it is. Cherish what you were able to write, be proud of being able to put something in Public View, Thank the peoples who supported you and leave them with a note of ‘‘I shall learn and Improve and work harder and come back with a vengeance’’. You did gain experience points from this, didn’t you? that count for something
Anyway, I wish you all the best no matter what you decide to do from here on.
I see. Thanks for all your advice, and, yeah, I might pick up something new as a project. Maybe I’ll actually redo this WIP instead of completely trashing it, too…Thank you for the kind words, now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll figure out a way to sort all this out.
Don’t erase your work, even if you’re not happy with it. It’ll be useful down the line later whether you revisit it or not. You might end up using sentences or other parts of it in newer works.
Put it on the back burner for now and write something else. You’re not the first person in the forum to start writing something and realize it wasn’t as good as you thought it was. You’re not a shitty writer. IF is a new format you’re - and arguably most writers - aren’t used to. It makes sense that the first time wouldn’t be successful; that’s what practice is for.
Here is something I found useful; I hope you find it equally as encouraging and helpful as I did.
Don’t be too hard on yourself! Running into an issue with the plot and concept of a story you’re writing doesn’t make you a bad writer! It’s just something that comes with writing.
Regarding this, I think many players are more receptive to stuff like this if it is established early enough in the story for them to understand that it’s apart of the storyline and not a choice. Maybe you could consider how and when you introduce this to the player?
There’s nothing wrong with deciding that a different medium fits your story better, but try not to ever completely scrap an idea! You never know when you’ll work on something that fits that gem of an idea perfectly!
All this is to say, keep your head up! It’s called a work in progress, so don’t write it or yourself off as a failure! Whatever choice you make in regards to where you go with your story, you got this!
I repeat: If writing is hard for you, it does NOT mean you are a bad writer. If your story is difficult to write, it does NOT mean your idea is bad.
It mean you have a complex vision and you haven’t developed the skill to pull it off yet.
Is something that needs to be said more often, because it really hit at the core of ‘low self-esteem, self-doubt-self-loathing’ writers and other artists are plagued by. Like, put it in a freaking T-shirt, or on a Wall! For all to see, and remember it!
Thank you for sharing that , I have been writing for years and this is the 1st time I saw what I always thought worded in actual words that I wanna keep and Tattoo on my own skin so I don’t forget them.
I have been where you are I have a 150k, plus game coded and completed I had it for 4 years now. If you aren’t ready, just erase it and keep going or the results will be worse when people hate your game.
Sorry if I am not hug loving but sincerity beyond all. And if you know something will be bad received just erase it
Thank you for the kind words, everyone, but I wanna clarify one thing.
When I said “Scrapping this idea”, it was more a fault of bad wording, but basically, I’m not giving up on the entire thing, I was considering not keeping it as an IF novel and instead making it into a normal book. But still, thank you for the advice.
I would still leave the WIP and the thread locked though. So in the futur, and whatever you come up with, you can look back at that humble beginning fondly. And maybe even laugh, how you stressed and felt ‘Stuck’ back then.
I deleted stuff years ago, and that leave you with regrets that just won’t go away, like a scare. The thread has your Unfinished demo true, but it also has imprint of peoples feelings that watched you work, their wishes and thoughs and feedbacks. It’s a bundle that is worth keeping.
I hadn’t done much research on the topic before, but I did vow that no matter what I did, I wanted to stay away from the cliché plot point of “Second personality is always evil” and visualized it more as “What would happen when two people who have distinct personalities, and one of them has justified hate for the other, have to cooperate in order to pilot a giant mech?”, where the two people are the two personalities, and the mech is the person in question.
None of the authors on this forum could possibly get any of their IF stories done if they didn’t make executive decisions as the creators of their stories. That’s a normal consequence of being a book, even one that can be interacted with.
I may not know what your final goals for “The Strongest Weakling” were, but even if some aspects of the story were hard to make interactive, fake choices, and flavor text can somewhat compensate for a more linear direction in the places where the story can only move in one direction; it’s up to the quality of your WIP’s feedback to help you decide if there are things you might have missed, or could reasonably take into consideration. It is very important that it be reasonable, after all.
Still, it is always okay to shelve something when you feel you can’t make it work. I’ve got dozens of just regular books (not even IF) that I started, but never went anywhere with after a chapter, or few. Given I like your writing, I think it’s safe to say that I’d be willing to look at future projects you want to do whenever you feel like sharing; as ever it is up to you.
I really thing that we as writers have to learn to accept that projects should be discarded because or don’t work or are simply a step for further steps later on. One friend of mind, studied art and she is always let drawings. When I joked about that with her. She gave me a great response They aren’t unfinished, They are studies of how objects, animals, people are in concrete situations, there aren’t others to see is for me to improve my craft for future works. That goes for sculture too.
It is a wise way of seeing it, it is not a wasf learn lot stuff for the future. I still reuse some ideas and mechanics so I didn’t waste my time. We have just to learning to accept is part of the process.
My first caveat, I have not read the WIP (I don’t have time to do that these days). But I do very much recognize the issue.
I would advice you to sit back and think about what a choice really is. If you look at FH (who started as a normal book) it’s pretty railroaded, especially at the start. Things that happens will happen, the player has no choice. What the choices are is how you react to them, and how you feel about them. A choice doesn’t have to be things like “I attack the village/I go to the local bar/I stay in the wilderness” it can just as easily be “I attack the village because A/B/C” Same events, different motivations, and a lot easier for the author.