January 2023's Writer Support Thread

I’m a chronic insomniac, and this happens to me regularly.

Sometimes, an idea for a scene or a way to write it comes to me when I’m lying down. If it persists, I’ll get up and spend three or four hours writing whatever pops into my brain. It’s usually a bit after that sudden writing frenzy that I’ll be so exhausted that falling asleep is more like passing out.

Case-in-Point → I did this last night. While I was working at my night job, I was thinking about having a scene shift I’m currently working on reflect prior choices in that scene. That way it would be more organic where each choice does change how things play out.

Once I got home, around midnight, I began coding for it. Four in the morning, I passed out.

I now have a scene in my WIP where there are four locations the MC can visit, and you can visit all of them. To further illustrate: if you go to Location 1 first, all the following locations that come after it will have entirely different text. So if you go to Location 1 first, then go to Location 3, you’ll have entirely different text than you would if you went to Location 3 first and then Location 1.

More work for me? Sure as hell, it is!

And I adore it!

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I’m in mental, emotional, and all other forms of pain after realizing I missed something pretty important in terms of believability for the story, that means I get the * joy * of completely restructuring my second Chapter! Which also means its doubtful I will be able to finish Chapter 2 before the end of the month, which is quite sad.

Huzzah!

At least it means it’ll flow better, and feel a bit more dynamic with the singular addition choice that will be the root of all my problems… Hopefully? I just can’t believe I didn’t think of it beforehand, like, it’s that massive of an oversight.

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The green knight has always been a fascinating topic for me, ever since I read one of the poems with them in it.

Inspiration can be found in many different places.

I get ideas all the time, awake or asleep.

Some of them, I do need to write on, before I can return to my current projects. This last time, I had to work on a magic system for a day, before I was able to put it aside and return to my current projects.

Personally, I prefer a toggle for CoG/Hosted games. If the style and/or execution of the art is discordant with the way I am relating to a story, that artwork may take me completely out of the story.

Usually, I’ll look at the CoG artwork, only after I finish my first couple of play throughs.

I do think consulting with the artist to make sure they are okay with the toggle mechanic is a wonderful suggestion, and one I will be broaching with any artist I do end up using.

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Currently 9k words in on my project (it may not sound like a massive improvement from the last time I posted, but it’s not terrible considering I went on vacation+had to resettle into my job). With that being said, as I’ve come up on these 9k words, I’m beginning to get a bit antsy about exposition and railroading. As I’ve made my way through the prologue, I’ve had a twofold problem: it takes a LOT of exposition to lay out the basis for the story (“why don’t you show and not tell?” -elements of this story can get highly technical, and some exposition is necessary for a foundation) and thus far, the story has been extremely railroady- through 9k words, there’s minimal variation between paths. Obviously, there’s a hell of a lot more work to do, but how should I be feeling right now? I want to write a branching narrative, but I’m still at a point where I’m write an expository railroad.

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What’s up, friends, I’m here to give you another fun PSA about repetitive stress injuries! Trigger finger is real, and I lost two weekdays to it before it started to get better. These stretches helped me a great deal. So did my stress ball, ice pack, and topical pain cream.

I am gently easing back into work, but I thought I’d just drop in and remind people to take breaks and do stretches, before things get bad enough for medical intervention. Later, I will post a photo of my new finger splint. It’s similar to the wrist brace that I normally use on my right hand.

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hi guys, I’ve been using my break to develop like a maniac, so my first chapter has really taken form now. which bears me the doubt: prologue or no prologue.

the intro is about 5k-ish words with character customization and a little background, and I’m estimating that the actual chapter will be around 20k by itself, maybe more cause it’s 10k now and there’s still ground to cover.

in your experience, is it best to separate and do a prologue or I just dump it all on the first chapter?

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In my case i wrote my 1st chapter all at once, and then realised i preferred how it flowed when i seperated the introduction/customisation section from where the ‘action’ really began. It just felt right to have a seperation there to really indicate that the story had properly started, and that the setup section had ended, especially since there was a slight tonal difference between them. I ended up with an 8k word prologue and a somewhat longer chapter 1, and I was pretty happy with how the pacing felt, but of course it’s different for everyone!

Ultimately it’s totally up it you, but if you’re torn it might be worth playing it through with a seperate prologue and chapter 1 to see how it feels pacing-wise. I also don’t personally mind reading a fairly long first chapter, so if the length is the main thing you’re concerned about I don’t think it needs to be seperated just for the sake of keeping the chapters shorter - that’s just me though, you might feel differently!

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As @toeditishuman says: it comes down to what works.

So far, I have found a “prologue” type of introduction a good way to take care of all the housekeeping things (like name, etc) and also as a way to show how stats and other mechanics work.

This thread should help you:



@Hazel – I have a friend who suffers from trigger finger (ofc she is also a writer) … a reminder to take breaks and allow for stretching and such is very important for us all, whether we realize it or not, so thank you for reminding us every so often.

@toeditishuman – welcome to the community. Thank you for choosing to participate in the support thread as your first post. :revolving_hearts:

@Jjcb – Remember the dress shoes and accessories to go along with the dress :wink: In all honesty, you are doing great… so please keep doing what you do.

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@toeditishuman @Eiwynn thank you so much!! i’ll do the prologue then. :heart_hands:

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I’m briefly surfacing from beta testing to wave hello. @Hazel I hope your hand recovers soon. I’ve learned the hard way through a lot of pain, physiotherapy, and upgrading my desk setup that my shoulders can’t deal with writing without breaks and I’m always here for telling people to take the time they need. Getting into a writing flow is good but not if it comes at physical cost!

Beta testing is a weird state to be in. I’ve been really fortunate to get a ton of feedback, and really high quality feedback at that, and there’s a lot of thoughtful weighing up being sure in the choices I’ve made and saying “actually I’m happy with how this is” vs taking a hard look at something and realising that it needs changing. I usually end up on the latter end of things but it is quite a delicate process and I hope to write about this more when I do a retrospective.

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That is very sweet validation for the strength of your literary vision. :revolving_hearts:

The approach you take: using the feedback to determine if you are on the right track, or if a rewrite/change is called for is very rewarding, but it can also be very hard on yourself, mentally and with spoons/willpower.

I look forward to your retrospective, and would love for you to post a link or copy it here in the support thread that is active when written.

I am sure it would help many of us to read your thoughts and analysis.

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Went to a nice writing group the other day! The organiser’s a bit manic but has his heart in the right place. Everyone in the group was hand selected by him and they’re all insanely talented. We’ll meet up again in two weeks!

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So far I have written about 18k words this month. There is a strong chance that I will reach my 1k a day goal for the rest of it. However, I’m about to get a second job and I fear that I will suddenly not make the wordcounts and my projected dates to enter private testing and beyond will hit massive delays.

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As promised. The finger brace is much less convenient for basic day-to-day functions, compared to the wrist brace. However, I can wear it in my sleep. I’m starting to feel like I’m growing a carapace.

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Ugh. Less than 3 weeks into the new year and my decision to make sure my scheduled writing time doesn’t go out the window is already… out the window. I really, really just need to get Raishall and Phantasmagoria finished. They’re been both almost done for months and it’s bugging me to no end. I really need a few extra hours in the day or to take up coffee drinking if I’m going to try and write after 11pm. (Green tea just isn’t cutting it, needs more caffeine :stuck_out_tongue: )

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I have 3 scenes left of chapter one of WIP #2. The first 2 will end up having a good amount of variation. Then the last scene will give the information setting up the romantic plot of the book, the kingdom management that will matter more over the course of the series, and the mystery of the first 2 books. Despite the important set up, there won’t be much variation.

Also, what do you think of the title “The Crystal Palace”? Does it sound like a royalty romance with management and mystery elements? Or does it sound out of place?

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Titles are complicated. I’ve been working on my Patchworks project for years, and I still do not have the title firmed up.

I usually chose a “temporary title” that helps remind me of my theme for the story … Emigre, Patchworks, etc… they all remind me my core themes of the story.

So my question is: Does “The Crystal Palace” tie into your story that will evoke the themes of royalty, romance, management, etc?

The Crystal Palace prompts images of royalty and romance for me … not so much mystery, if this helps.

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so you will see a Palace made of crystal and you won’t be curious how is that possible? There is your mystery!

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Might need a few more words.

‘Mystery and Intrigue in the Crystal Palace’?

‘Lose your Heart in the Crystal Palace’?

Just ‘The Crystal Palace’ doesn’t sound descriptive enough.

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I feel like it depends. “The Little Prince?” What about a little prince? (the book has sold 200 million copies)

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