July 2023's Writer's Support Thread

I am sorry that you were not approved, but I am grateful you shared with us this process from the very beginning. :revolving_hearts:

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I’m so sorry to hear that. But I’m glad you’re taking it as encouragement to keep trying and growing. And I still love the game ideas you submitted - I hope we’ll still get to read them someday, whether published by CoG or HG. And, like @Eiwynn, I thank you for taking us through the process with you.

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@Eiwynn @AletheiaKnights

It’s alright these things happen :slight_smile:

I’m turning 40 in September so I’ve been writing for a long time and it’s obvious I’ve picked up some bad habits over the years but these are issues I can fix and I intend to work on them. I’ve started using Grammarly recently and I’ll more than likely subscribe to it to make the most of the service.

But fear not, I’m not going anywhere. I will focus on The Graveyard Watch and cleaning up my prose and then will resubmit an application as soon as I am able.

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My WIP also has the feature of petting both cats and dogs. The options I employed are less restrictive, but I might keep your planned feature in mind for a future chapter.

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The past month and a bit have been disastrous for my writing - work refuses to let up, which means my old writing time is now life admin time. The day I booked off to try and catch up turned into a day of naps, with no writing done.

I had hoped to have a second chapter of my WIP done by now, but I’d estimate I’ve managed less than a quarter of it.

The plan going forward is to write in even shorter chunks, wherever I can fit them in. I don’t see a ten minute session being very productive, but it’s better than nothing, even if I’m only able to manage a few hundred words in a week.

It does serve to increase my level of admiration for people managing to write successfully alongside their full-time jobs, because this is real hard.

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Sometimes you need that day of naps more than anything else in the world. Ten minute sessions might not be ideal, but it keeps you engaged and moving forward. I hope things get less intense for you soon.

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I can’t decide what I’d love more.

  1. cutting my hours to a four day week so I csn have 3 days of writing.

Or

  1. being able to be a cabin in the middle of the woods to write in.

Either way work has been a bit stressful lately but have been keeping busy making notes for the three types of vampires that you can encounter in the Graveyard Watch. Namely the earthbound, the skybound and the feral.

Earthbound vampires only revive when submerged in earth/dirt and they have to Bury themselves before dawn.

Skybound vampires are dead bodies revived by a spirit.

Feral vampires are the standard aggressive vampire.

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Well, one of those is how you get Misery’d, so, uh, I suggest the other one?

Have you considered the Omnomnomicon, the eldritch cookbook, instead?

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I was more thinking of reading from the necronomicon to be fair but good point!

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Soooo the magical girl story isn’t going well. It’s on hold. I’m writing an aot fanfic right now.

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The dream of my life. If only there weren’t these responsibilities to keep me…

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Having just finished writing approximately 17k+ words within a week, I cant help but find a much higher level of respect for any IF author, because whew this was something else lol. I’ve never dedecated this amount of words to a singular project before, so its totally a new experience for me, and i hope it pays off in the end.

Now, however, comes the intricate part: coding. I really want to navigate this stage swiftly, so i can present a fully functional demo before the month draws to a close. So wish me luck friends :grin:

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Here is a little July 15th excerpt from Honor Bound. This chapter has many, many food descriptions and this is no exception:

The carriage comes to a smooth halt outside a gold-fronted restaurant whose sign reads The Lion of the South. When you emerge, you can’t help but inhale the smell emanating from it: strong and spicy, with a delicate floral undertone.

Inside, it’s tiny. The sort of exclusive place @{(hb_rebel > 50) rich people love: it makes them feel more special|you’d have little hope of getting into if you weren’t with a Field Marshal}. Much of the space is taken up with a public cooking area in the center beneath a skylight, the stoves alight with flame while chefs expertly work.

“The usual, please,” Alva says to the maître d’, who shows you to a secluded booth above which lush pink flowers hang from the ceiling. Then, as you consult the menu which does not even have prices, “I’ll pay, obviously.”
*page_break
Waiters ceremoniously bring you plate upon plate of bite-size dishes: battered asparagus, miniature tagines and spiced bean soup, crunchy fried potatoes with delicately aromatic salad leaves. Battered vegetables and kebabs are cooked in front of you on the public stove as flames shoot dramatically into the air.

Alva tucks in enthusiastically, taking morsels from each small plate to combine them on hers. Between the cooking-clatter and the talk from the neighboring guests, she has to lean over the table to speak.

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Thank you for starting this month’s round of sharing, Hannah. It is much appreciated. :revolving_hearts:

Thank you for choosing a passage that includes a simple, but effective example of multi-replace. This is a feature that many of us are intimidated by, or we are very unsure how to use properly.

Hopefully, this will help inspire others in our community to dive into multireplace use … I know it inspires me to see such examples.



Now for my excerpt. After the recent discussion on “failure” in writing IF, I decided to share an example of a failed stat-check. As I state in the failure thread: I try to make failure “as engaging as I can to encourage the reader to continue with the narrative.”

July 15th Excerpt

*else

You are overwhelmed by the task before you and no matter how hard you try, you are unable to release any of the precious air left in your lungs. Each moment you are underwater eats away at what air remains. What if you lose track of the bubbles once more? Then you will be lost for sure.

Your focus narrows to keeping your mouth shut as tight as you can make it. The pressure of the lake’s chill weighs on your chest, and your lungs start to heave with the effort of keeping in what little air you have left.

Both your ${inneroutfit} and your ${outeroutfit} twist and turn on you, restricting your movements at the same time as they weigh you down, acting like an anchor. Your lungs are straining to release your breath, wanting to exchange the old air for new air.

The struggle inside of you intensifies. Breath is essential to life, and the act of breathing is done reflexively and without thought. Yet, here you are fighting the desire to breathe, the harsh pressure of the lake reinforcing the fact that underwater, breathing leads to death.

You ball your fists and your mouth stretches into a grimace with clenched teeth grinding on each other behind closed lips. If only you could take control of this situation instead of reacting. The pressure of the lake continues to distract you with its demand for you to give in and breathe. Breathing is such a simple desire.

Accepting the fate that has set itself upon you, the decision to release your last, precious breath becomes easier. Hearing the last of your life trail away from you in a series of bubbles, you squeeze your eyes shut, at peace. Now, there is nothing but unbearable pressure, and the quiet certainty of death.

“$!{name}!” Emille wraps her arms around you as her words in your ear and the fresh air biting into your face stuns you. Is this one last hallucination? “I have you!”

“How?” You tilt your chin up as you gulp in fresh air and feel the top of your head rest against Emille’s core. She gently grasps your shoulders and helps keep you afloat in the numbing water. “Emille, how did you find me?”

“Your stitches…” Emille interrupts herself as she shifts along your body and gets out in front of you to face you directly, eye to eye. “They are glowing, quite brightly.”



Update on my monthly goals:

  1. Started and even a couple of features implemented.
  2. Started this too, but this will take a bit to complete. Maybe multiple months.
  3. Completed
  4. Started and still working on this.

I hope the next 16 days go well for everyone!

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Currently going through the weird berevement stage of a project almost complete.

The good news: Vampire’s Kiss is… getting there. There’s still beta ongoing, but thanks to the beta testers, I think we’ve got all of the critical bugs now, and (I hope) most of the typos. I’ve been adding a few ‘nice to have’ features, but it’s a tricky balancing act - implementing things in one chapter might have knock-on effects or change the continuity later.

So, after a few days working on all of the feedback (and a latest version that has even more features all ready to go), I find myself - for the first time in a year - with a weekend where there’s nothing to do. I mean, yes, there probably are things I could do, but really I have to wait for the next raft of feedback. That lull also means I really can’t take on another project.

And so there’s nothing to do. And I feel a little empty.

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Have a donut, you’ll feel better :slight_smile: :doughnut:

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Not news: Stefano told me half of the magazines are in summer vacation and the other half have still to answer him

I decided to focus on the weird hotel tale

I’ve always been skeptical on this one, no one has menage to make me change my mind yet…

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I relate to this immensely. Beta is so intense, with flurries of busyness and such a lot of reactivity to the comments - and it can feel really weird when it slows down. It’s like a cousin to the post-project blues. Hope you have a nice weekend even so, and get to do something relaxing and non work related!

Also: aww, you’re very welcome! When I’m at the computer I might post another. There was a discussion on another thread about multireplace which clarified my feelings about it - I like using it most when it’s a binary division like the one in the excerpt,as I can lose track a bit if it’s a very long one. Sometimes I’ll write it out in lines and then condense it into multireplace in that situation.

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So, this is a small excerpt of the very little I have done of the Horror IF I have in the works for the Bureau universe. I tend to work on it when I get slightly burnt out on the main series, or use it as a coping mechanism whenever I’m in a not so great headspace.

TW: Explicit Language; Mention of Masturbation; Depiction of Psychosis; Mention of Suicidal Thoughts

It sucks, doesn’t it? Feeling like no one ever believes you. Feeling like no matter what you do, you can’t escape from it all. Knowing that if you make it all stop you just proved them all right. So what do you do? You sit in your room waiting for a respite that’ll never come. You tell yourself that if you can just get past one more day in the festering void of your own nothingness that maybe the voices you’re hearing will just get bored and stop. Maybe the shadow in the corner of the room that’s sitting on that empty chair will finally leave you the fuck alone. Maybe, just maybe, your search history won’t be filled with the quickest ways on how to kill yourself… at least that’s what I do most days. Is that what you do?

Listen to me… like you can actually speak back…

Fuck it, maybe you’re in my head too. But does that make me crazy?

Think about it, no really think about it. Who doesn’t hear voices? When people walk next to you on the street, and someone bumps into you and drops their seven dollar hotdog and screams at you and calls you a fucking worthless bitch, and tells you that you should be shot, isn’t that just a voice? They say no one hears the same thing. Everything you hear, even if it’s by a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a decibel is different from literally everyone else. You’re not hearing what they’re hearing; you’re hearing something they’re not. Does that make you crazy?

What about what you see? Blue dress, yellow dress, purple dress, red dress; who gives a fuck? Why am I crazy for seeing a shadow in the corner of the room move and shift. For seeing the outline of a figureless man, completely obfuscated by darkness, sitting in the corner of the room watching me sleep, or watch t.v., or finger myself, or whatever it is I’m doing that night? Why, when someone sees music, is it considered gifted, but what I have makes me insane?

It’s not fucking fair! Why are they allowed to live a normal, happy life, and I’m stuck here being me?!

Sorry… I haven’t even let you respond. I’ve just been babbling on like a-…

Fuck…

I can’t hear you. I wonder if you’ve laughed at all during this. I wonder if anything I’ve been saying has made you snicker or chuckle under your breath.

If you have… can I ask you something?
*page_break

Are you fucking crazy?
*page_break

…Sorry… that was uncalled for.
*page_break

I wonder if I’ll be able to hear you one day…
*set noyes1 “Yes”
*page_break
*goto wakeup

Me being me, I didn’t want to make this just a spinoff book that was just a little spooky. I want to make this an entirely different experience from the main series. I have an Adult Interest Check Thread post up about it, but I’ll give the basics here too.

It’s going to be a set main character; a woman named Leslie Thoughton. While it will be explicitly stated in the IF that she is a lesbian, and there will be an opportunity to have initiate a sex scene, there will be no romance. It’s a horror IF and will strictly be focused on said horror. What I said in the last two sentences alone is going to mitigate the audience by a substantial amount I’m sure, but honestly, I just care about bringing this vision to life and creating a unique and fleshed out experience.

That being said, I’m hoping to truly make this IF different. Leslie, throughout the book, will periodically talk to you. Having this one-sided dialogue with you based on the choices you’ve previously made up until that point, constantly wondering if you’re real or inside her head. Not only that, but from a player perspective, there will be no stats. Instead, the stats page will be used throughout the book to hide hidden choices. It will be up to you when you check to see if Leslie is trying to hide something, if something else is trying to reach you, etc.

There will be puzzles in the form of text box investigations/answers, sequence puzzles where you have to choose the right answers in the right order, things you can do or items you can acquire to help her survive, and choices you can make that could either lead to her salvation or her death. There will be psychological puzzles where you’ll have to pick the correct answers in order to calm her down in situations, not to mention an option in almost any situation to take an easier route, but at a possibly greater detriment to the character.

Horror is something that people on the forum have asked for time and time again, and in my eyes, it’s something that should be innovative in some way within the medium that it’s being told through; whether that be gameplay wise, story wise, production wise, etc. That’s what I’ll be striving to do with it. And people can for sure expect lots of very gruesome, horrific descriptions of the kind of monsters Leslie’s psyche and trauma make into a reality. I’m very excited with the idea.

On the flip side, the Bureau is finally something I’m starting to get a groove on with again as well. I took a bit of a break due to mental health reasons, but I’m back into it now with over 5000 words done on the new chapter and many more to come.

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Yes, thank you! Multi-replace was intimidating for a long time, even though I knew it would be better. I saw your excerpt when you put it up, got myself a cup of coffee, and just finished redoing a whole chapter with multi-replace that was full of unnecessary *ifs.

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