March 2023's Writer's Support Thread

I’m almost done with my visual novel that is my entry to NaNoRenO, and all that’s left is tomorrow, the release date.


So far this month has been a mix bag. Not as productive as I would like but I am still getting things done. I would share what I have written, but I’m in the climax of the story so it is a bit too spoilery than I am comfortable with sharing.

Like with most people personal life and finding time is getting in the way. I was far more productive when I was not working a second job (of course) but my prediction of how much of a hit my writing would take was wrong.

I have been a GM for over half my life, starting as a young teen. I love telling stories but missed being a player for several of those years. The WIP I’m writing now is based on one of the stories that I ran. I have removed all of the PC characters, switched the villains around, and changed some events but it is the same core story.

I have pulled mechanics from TTRPGs and adapted them to an IF format. I feel these mechanics could add game play that is otherwise missing from IF games.


Hello all, maybe I’ll give a proper introduction first.

You may remember me talking about a Creme de la Creme Mega Man X style set in 21XX in another thread.

Right now, since I have no fixed schedule and deadlines, the goal for February was to develop the prologue, “The Day of Sigma”. and chapter 1 (0?) “When Mavericks Strike,” but I don’t think this is going to happen anytime soon. Development of my own Reploids is going to be an issue, since I need to go beyond the X, Zero and Axl models. New weapons maybe? I wanted to post this on the previous month’s thread, but I pretty much hesitated.

I usually have my PC start off at a highway.

Here is my excerpt from Maverick Hunter:

Lady Renaldt briefly smiles at you, and continues. "It will be exactly one year before the whole world is overrun by the virus as a result of the collision! We have to upgrade the Eclipse Cannon before then. There are four Mavericks that have the devices required to enhance the Eclipse.

Grizzly Slash. He is a weapons broker. He has a Crystal Ball, for us to redirect the fallout in case anything goes wrong and also to double up as a storage device for the anti-virus.

Duff McWhalen. He lives in the ocean. We will have access to Heavy Hydrogen for the fusion bomb if we can secure the ocean.

Squid Adler, which I recruited. He is an ex-Maverick Hunter who now works in the civil service. He controls the energy supply. We will need his Energy Storage Tanks.

Izzy Glow. He is a laser engineer. We will need his highly accurate Laser Device.

There are twelve other Mavericks, but these four are the only ones that specifically have the devices to upgrade the Eclipse Cannon. (Player character) and your class here, you all are the only Maverick Hunters that can go toe-to-toe with these Mavericks. Split up so you can gather the devices! Prepare your equipment and fulfill your mission! I expect nothing less than the best from you."

You pack your bag, head into the teleporter and consider your options.

Who would you go with?

  • Freddie
  • Delacroix
  • Gonzalez
  • Max
  • Hartmann
  • (PC’s twin)
  • (Solo option?)

And which Maverick would you take on first?

  • Grizzly Slash
  • Duff McWhalen
  • Squid Adler
  • Izzy Glow

So I was reading my old notes, and since I cut this scene when I changed the story’s concept, I figured I might as well share it. It’s from an earlier iteration of the story, when it was meant to be a mod for an open source spacefaring game, so there’s some references to what’s been going on there, but S is an original character of mine.

But have at thee.

It takes you a while, but finally you find Sterling in a bar at the spaceport, where he has spread some kind of wave frequency charts over a table, and is having an intense conversation with… [F]. Both of them seem entirely focused on whatever it is that they’re talking about; they’re stooping over the charts and pointing different locations of the diagrams that look absolutely identical to your eyes. You’ve rarely seen [F] that enthusiasted about anything, so the subject is probably more technical than you would understand anyway.

“Good catch,” you hear Sterling saying.

“So if you strengthen that frequency,” [F] says, pointing a part of a diagram.

“And rewire the Alpha array,” Sterling mumbles, scratching his neck.


They look up from their papers when they hear you speaking. “Thankfully, no,” Sterling says. “Just a piece of equipment on my ship. Wouldn’t like having a bunch of supervillains on my bird’s nose. Well…” he seems to disappear to his thoughts for a moment, then snaps back. “Or, actually, as long as she’s in space and they are outside the hull, I wouldn’t mind watching.”

“[MC],” [F] says, completely ignoring his rambling. “Good to see you. We were just talking about sensor adjustments.”

“Readings are off the charts,” Sterling grumbles. “They’re no use to me like that. Well, maybe some use, since it’s still better than no data at all, but anyway. I need to get the sensors recalibrated, as if there wouldn’t be enough work on table already.”

“The scales are designed to readings you should be able to get in Human space,” [F] says. “This is something completely different.”

“Right. Back to the treadmill,” Sterling says. “I need a drink.” He gets up and goes to the bar.

You look at his back as he walks away, and then take a free seat around the table.

“So, you’re traveling with Sterling now?” [F] asks, now that you have some privacy for the moment.

“Seems so.”

“He sure keeps life interesting, if nothing else,” [F] says, frowning. “Sterling’s a sharp one, but messing with people is some kind of game to him. He probably had a field day with the invasion. Just be careful, that man is a trouble magnet.”

At that point, your time for private conversation is over, since Sterling comes back to the table, carrying a bottle of water. “You really do need to expand the selection of non-alcoholic drinks here,” he mutters, then drops himself into the chair and makes an excessive gesture of opening the bottle.

“That’s not what people usually seek from a bar,” [F] says.

“Right. Just what we needed. Drunken youngsters in helm of an interceptor, hitting everything that moves,” Sterling complains. “No wonder piracy’s on the rise.”

“You’d be bored to death if there wouldn’t be some kind of disaster behind a corner,” [F] grins.

“Probably,” Sterling admits. “But I’m pretty sure I could find a conspiracy or two lurking somewhere. Preferably something that’s not shooting at me.” He folds the charts on the table and hides them in his chest pocket, then takes a sip from his bottle, and finally after that, looks at you. “I think we’re all set here,” he says. “Time to hit the road.”


You know you’ve done perhaps a bit too much research for the scene you’re writing when you get called a “train Otaku” by a Japanese woman over discord.

Now that may be true, but all this research is necessary Momo! There’s too many variables on a high speed train like the Shinkansen that can affect the MC or the story, so all this research is worth it.



You can never do too much research on trains.


If you’re talking about the same person I’m thinking of… Fucking classic

1 Like

After receiving my first full paycheck, which is… not as much as I hoped, I decided that I’m going to work on a Patreon support page.


I’ve thought about it, but it seems skeevy. I’ve certainly seen examples of people on this forum who put up a patreon link in their threads that I honestly feel do not put out work that justifies it. You need evidence of reliable, frequent, high quality output, as well as all the usual internet audience engagement skills.

1 Like

At this point even two more readers and 2 more euroes per month are fine. And I’m really, really trying to build more focus and work ethic which should also help for my mental health.
Look it would give me more satisfaction than my current job (surveillance in supermarket)

1 Like

After being ill for most of last week I have surfaced to start doing some code. The next game is going to be the first game I’ve made with a cat in it! So I am enjoying making silly placeholder text - it’s part of the fun of doing code before writing for me :smile:




I, personally, will not set up a Patreon unless I am confident that I can create enough content and engage with my patreons sufficiently.

Currently, my slow writing and my lack of available time to engage properly are deterring me from making one.

I think multi-talented creators who can do multiple things for their Patreon (eg paint, draw, design, etc) have a big advantage over creators, like myself who are not multi-talented.


@Eiwynn I respect you and I don’t want to start a rant about my current life.
Long story short I must make a living and I must work on my writing life. Both.
I’m running out of option and my life has been slipping from my hand since the last three years.
What should I do? I’m open to suggestion from anyone


I think “#OMG cat” and “#Sorry I would like to pet the cat now” are absolutely perfect as written, or almost. All they need is punctuation, which obviously consists of a comma and a full stop for the latter, and exactly 17 exclamation points for the former. Also, you may want to change up the vocabulary with synonyms like “feline,” “grimalkin,” and “kitteh.”

On a more serious note, I’m glad you are feeling better and super excited to have a new game to look forward to!


So, hey, I’m plotting a sci-fi spy thriller (yes, I’m plotting multiple stories at the same time. I find that easier for my thought processes to handle. Especially when they’re connected) and I’m trying to foreshadow the existence of a double agent who everyone believes is sort of an urban legend and not real, but I have a feeling that the readers will see through that and think they must be real if they’re mentioned at all… I could use some advice.


Like the boogeyman, everyone may “know” your agent exists, but the details are what will provide you the twist that throws the reader’s assurances away.

The details can be real or not … everyone knows the boogeyman exists, but what that means is different to each individual reading your story.

1 Like

Maybe introduce them as a potential ally who is eager to join your side, to help and advice you … until they do a Heel-Face Turn and betray you, or you find out that they are not real, and it is too late to do anything about it. Make them feel as cunning as possible, to keep the intrigue high.

Edit: The above, plus do the same for the enemy side too.

1 Like

Ah, no, they actually are on your side, that’s the whole point. They’re hidden in the enemy ranks.

Snippet 1

“So you’re telling me we have a loose double agent out there we can’t identify, all just because their contact was too paranoid to tell anyone who they even are, let alone what would be the correct communication protocols?! Did he have a contingency plan at all for if he gets himself killed?”

Snippet 2

”We’re telling ghost stories now? You said you saw, what? A wraith? A banshee? Courier?”


”That’s the label Intelligence files under all the ops they’re too embarrassed to admit they screwed up—”

”Ops, software updates, broken coffee makers.”

”—as I was saying, a phantom spy, a glitch in the machine. File your reports or Courier gets you.”

Snippet 3

“It’ll be hard to beat, say, the Courier Protocols.”

“I’ve never even heard of the Courier Protocols.”

“An imaginary undercover agent, complete with all required protocols, buried into all of the official paperwork. It’s been there for years, and nobody has cleaned it yet.”

1 Like

Include double agents in your own ranks.

Most readers will think “I can’t trust anyone.”

Smart readers will think “I bet there are double agents in the enemy ranks as well.”


Let the double agent be one urban legend among many. And don’t make the other legends completely false while everything you hear about the double agent turns out to be 100% true. Let there be stories about the double agent that sound ridiculous because they’re considerably embellished, even though there’s a grain of truth at the core.

1 Like