November 2023's Writer Support Thread

Here is an article about the importance of pronouns to identity that I recommend:

The takeaway for authors in this article should be how language can define a struggle and how it can be used to explore dynamics between characters and who your characters are.


I was just joking Niki. I mean---- I could say playing a video game was research, but really I was escaping and taking a break. The short, two day break was good. I still felt guilty for doing it. But I just felt like I was starting to hate the process and needed to cool off.

I also love villains. And I often find the good ones have an important challenging message to convey---- Often about morality or the nature of human behavior. Although I have read and loved stories that have that detestable pure villain, the stories where the villainy is a little harder to determine are the ones that really stick to me. Some of life’s biggest revelations are often about the de-villainy of some idea or concept. We often search harder to villainize than we do to de-villainize. The “villain” can often challenge us to be more open-minded. These are the villains I love. Just as so many like their morally complex “heroes”… why not a “villain” with moral complexities?

I just spent a number of days cleaning-up the dialect of one of my characters. Very boring but important. As I went along, I was unknowingly strengthening it. It’s my first time playing with dialect as a defining character trait, so I’m bound to struggle with it a little. I’m liking the idea---- Really easy to know who is talking if you do it right.

I hope everyone keeps writing and finds success in it.

I’ve been listening to online conversations about difficult subjects. Just to get an idea of how the modern conversations go. Of where they go.---- What the sides are saying. Do you think you have to force change? And what could be the ramifications? I think this has become a big central point to a lot of arguments on either side. Do we give up trying to use logic and force what is “best” because we know “best”? This is my thought for the day.


I love playing with scenes where you can’t tell who’s supposed to be a “hero” and who’s supposed to be a “villain” out of context.

As far as writing goes, I’ve tried out a new character, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.


Here it is the 15th of the month, and I am going to share an excerpt from what I am working on, and invite you to do the same.

One thing I want to reiterate is that this tradition is one that is designed to ease a writer into sharing their work with the public, and as such, is designed to overcome shyness and imposter feelings.

Due to this, I ask that the focus be on the excerpts themselves with detailed feedback and critique offered through DMs and not through public posts in the thread.

With that being said, a friendly word should always welcome, so I do encourage posts of support!

This month I thought I’d share a part of the “scripting skeleton” I am currently working on:

Scripting Skeleton Sample

*comment === start of work === === start of work === === start of work === === start of work === === start of work === === 
*comment === start of work === === start of work === === start of work === === start of work === === start of work === === 

*comment   *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_1
*comment post-feedback goal 1: Rewrite Spike into expanded role of Emille (as Nightingale).
*comment everything is going to need some reworking to fit together

*comment skin1 = complexion: opaque, translucent, and transparant
*comment skin2 = color: black, brown, beige, white and pink 
*comment skin3 = undertone: jaundiced, waxen, and ashen
*comment skin4 = texture: mottled, leathery, and abraded
*comment skin5 = complexion and texture (skin1 + skin4)
*comment skin6 = undertone and color (skin2 + skin3)

*comment stitches1 = color and pattern (stitches 2 + stitches3)
*comment stitches2 = color: blood red, midnight black, golden yellow, and porcelain white
*comment stitches3 = pattern: continuous, interruptible, and cross-stitched.

*comment Emille's eye color: Iron-gray 
*comment Titles: 'Chute Mistress', 'Nightingale', 'Shadow Angel' 

*comment @{gender1 he|she|they}

*label chooseagain_1

"Let's go visit..."
    *disable_reuse #"... Elle and Daniel."
        *set meeting1 true
        *if (meeting1) and ((meeting2) and (meeting3))
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_25
            *goto emille2_4b
            *gosub elle_4b
   *disable_reuse #"... Paige."
        *set meeting2 true
        *if (meeting1) and ((meeting2) and (meeting3))
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_25
            *goto emille2_4b
            *gosub paige_4b
    *disable_reuse #"... Emille."
        *set meeting3 true
        *if (meeting1) and ((meeting2) and (meeting3))
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_25
            *goto emille2_4b
            *gosub emille1_4b

*goto chooseagain_1

*label elle_4b
Daniel and Elle Meet n greet Placeholder text. The honeyed treat slowly caramelizes and I watch it slowly change color with interest.

How do you greet them?
    #I greet them emotionally.
        *if emotional >= 60
            Placeholder text.
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_10
            Placeholder text.
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_11
    #I greet them stoically.
        *if emotional <= 60
            Placeholder text.
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_11
            Placeholder text.
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_10
    #I greet them proudly.
        *if proud >= 60
            Placeholder text.
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_10
            Placeholder text.
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_11
    #I greet them humbly.
        *if proud <= 60
            Placeholder text.
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_11
            Placeholder text.
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_10
    #I greet them manipulatively. 
        *if manipulative >= 60
            Placeholder text.
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_10
            Placeholder text.
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_11
    #I greet them sincerely. 
        *if emotional <= 60
            Placeholder text.
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_11
            Placeholder text.
            *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_10
Can there be more to the catacombs than your deathsight shows you?
    #Yes, the deathsight clearly does not show the entire picture.
        *set confident %+ 10
        *set flexible %+ 10
        Placeholder text.
        *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_19
    #No, the deathsight shows me exactly all I need to see.
        *set confident %+ 10
        *set stubborn %+ 10
        Placeholder text.
        *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_19
    #At this point, I have no way of knowing.
        *set uncertain %+ 10
        *set resilience %+ 10
        Placeholder text.
        *gosub_scene crypt_levels_shared shared_19

I’ve been asked what this looks like before, so I thought there might be others than the brave souls who asked that might like to see what I mean.

I also hope this helps others as well.


I don’t do any form of scripting structure and only sometimes map out a given chapter. While I do have an outline, some of the finer points are rather pantser of me. This might change going into the second story, but for now I have gone too far in this project to approach things any different.

I will instead show how I often write long stretches of paragraphs in a section instead on constantly making sure that the paragraphs are the correct number on indentions. I also make use of Variables to automatically direct the text to the correct *label instead of using a series of *if statements to figure out where to send the story. In this example the Variable SubStory1 tracks which route the player is on based on a choice made back in Chapter 3. It can equal the following values: Aegis, Breaker, Camouflage, Genesis, and Lugh.

Dawn of Heroes Chapter 24 Lugh Route Spoilers
With no one for me to pair off against I can sway any given battle.

*goto {SubStory1}

*label Lugh
The clash between Lugh and Antiquity gives the appearance of two dueling with flamethrowers in melee. Every time an attack misses, ash and soot is left in the wake. Every clash result in a surge of fire to sprout from each weapon. The fight shifts back and forth as both warriors twirl their weapons with practiced flourishes and strikes.

This is not the Clara that we had seen before. While I missed her sword fight when she first acquired the weapon, I had not expected such skill. The fact that she was wielding fire and matching Lugh blow for blow is more of a surprise. Her speed and reflexes are superhuman.

Lugh mentioned that the weapon is a Chinese blade belonging to the gods. With attunement the wielder can gain abilities and power stored within it, like Lugh gains when he acquires his own gear. It has been a couple of months since Clara acquired her weapon and it seems that she has attuned to the weapon. She has already demonstrated the power to control animals, grow roots from wood planks, and now fire manipulation. Has she reached the limits of her weapon's powers?

If the weapon is the source of her powers, then the first step will be to remove her from it.

	*if Ferrokinesis
		#I try to pull her weapon away using telekinesis.
			*goto TelDisarm
	*if Blast
		#I attempt to disarm her with a ${BlastName}.
			*goto BlastDisarm
	*if (P1Speed >= 40)
		#I use superspeed to take it away.
			*goto SpeedDisarm
	#I get in close and wrestle the weapon away.
		*goto Disarm
*label TelDisarm
The two clash and Clara slips in close as Areadbhair's head is overextended in the thrust. She keeps her blade between her and the spear's shaft as she slides in close. The force of her palm against his chest is enough to force the deity back a step, even with his new armor.

She spins under the spear and Lugh sweeps it around. As she pulls her weapon back in preparation of a thrust I reach out with my hand and grasp onto the blade telekinetically. Her thrust is stopped before it can do damage.

*if (P1TelStrength - 10) >= AntiquityStrength
	*goto Disarmed
Lugh takes the opportunity to gain some distance again as he thrusts his weapon forward. Clara sidesteps the attack at the last moment before pulling the weapon with more force, breaking my grasp from the weapon.

The next two thrusts and swipe she parries with her sword as she makes her own distance before turning her attention to me.

*goto ArmedRetally
*label BlastDisarm
Another example for the Variable to draw text

I’m not sure how many people also do this. Instead of having one massive file that has every major route, I split them into different files and use code to know which one to grab. Example:

*gosub_scene {"Chapter16"&SubStory1}

In this case it’ll pull files like Chapter16Lugh or Chapter16Aegis depending on route.


I don’t know if share my snippet or not It is really awful.

1 Like

Isn’t that part of the point?

1 Like

I know I know, but still being hard.


Well, here’s my character practice.

Furcifer ex machina

“Here, kitty-kitty-kitty.”

Your mentor’s blood still fresh on your costume, you do your best to try and hide from the killers on your trail. If there were too many for Nixie, you have no chance, so you huddle behind a row of trash bins to stay out of view. The sound of approaching footsteps brings with it heavy smells: cigarette smoke, gunpowder, sweat, whiskey, and ozone.

…why do you smell ozone?

The crack of a lightning is deafening in the narrow space between the buildings, and the overheated air stings your skin. But when you blink the afterimage from your eyes, you realize you’re unharmed.

Someone screams. And there’s a new smell… burning. You hazard a look.

A gleaming black armor blocking one end of the alleyway, a sabretooth blocking the other - both crackling with electricity. As if the hitmen weren’t enough, now Volnad’s on the scene.

He’s attempted to take over the world multiple times before you were even born, although you haven’t head of that happening since he got a power upgrade. That never made much sense to you - wouldn’t someone be more likely to take over the world after they get supercharged, not less? - but you consider yourself lucky you haven’t had to meet him until now. And doubly lucky that it’s the hitmen keeping him busy right now, not you.

Of all the people you didn’t want to meet in a dark alley, it had to be Volnad. Take-over-the-world supervillains are so much above your street-level-vigilante’s-sidekick’s paygrade.


Mara, perhaps an excerpt from the retired detective racoon series? Up to you of course. So I would first like to say that I made small changes to my Prologue based on a brave response from a reader last month. Thanks Niki. I am now more careful to not use words that distract from the sentence----- the building tension. And I think that is the lesson I learned there---- sure to repeat the mistake again---- But more aware of the potential threat to the story. I do not want people pausing in the middle of a building scene to wonder about an obscure word. Unless of course that is the point---- you get what I mean. I mostly just want to reiterate how important it is to show your work. Is it often uncomfortable and can lead to unexpected critique? ---- yes. Does it make you a stronger writer? ---- yes. I also just enjoy seeing what people are working on.


I don’t either and if what you are doing is working for you---- don’t change. I am trying to get more organized as to speed up the process; and so, I appreciate seeing this in depth scripting---- But at the end of the day I discovery write and likely will go off script. I see crypts and levels and “death sight” and think that I should read this thing. It looks cool.

I thought I would share some of the dialect-dialogue I have been working on. I still am settling it down for inconsistencies.

From Ch. 3

You give Ursus a direct look. "You see my silent friend, The whole reason we ended up here was due to the…

“Aye.” Liam adds.
"Et wes a Frumentarii ${relation}. Noh-one cares about yur ${the_other_thing}. "
“Maeybe en unwelcomed guest fer yuu.” Liam adds.

“We arrived back at Facland from a long whaling hunt–” Liam snorts.

“–Et wes more like
*if reading = 1
an aepic book club. Weh saeled far teh the north.”
*if climbing = 1
a hunt for the aepic climb. Weh saeled far teh the north."
*if swimming = 1
a nice dep en the ocean. Weh saeled far teh the north."

–Well whatever it was, we returned home to a deserted Port Logos and not a soul in the main tunnels."

“Well, weh dednt maek et faer. Weh tuk a way nap.”

Ursus gives you both a strange look.

“I thought et wez a geft from the geads.”

“yeah, no pups about asking you where all the whales are.”

“Whaer r the whaels Liam. Why noh whaels Liam. Yu r a shite whaeler Liam. Yu never haer the end-of-et. They jest set ehround and aet the maet-- esken questions.”

“Exactly-- well-- the children don’t say ‘shite’---- But all the reason to give Ursus a break brother.”

“True waerds.”


Ironically, by sharing this skeleton snippet, a bug in the code was found, and I was able to deploy a fix now instead of in 2 weeks …

One constant lesson I learn over and over, is that there will be bugs, so it is best to accept that fact and just deal with them as you can.


Thank you, Drew! It is feedback like this that help keep me going on the project.

Once the final pass of this editing/change round is finished, hopefully, you and others will want to read Patchwerks .


This is the current scene I am working on that introduce the main villain and a companion kinda of.

House of Mirrors intro

“It hurts,” Madame Racoon whimpers, shutting her little eyes and covering them with her chubby hands.

She finally looks around

There is a beaming aura covering the open space assembled by endless mirrors.

Wow! Con blurst as her eyes wide open A wall of mirrors in all directions she can see! glistening like the full moon.
Amidst these reflections a figure takes shape. Translucent it is a image? an Hologram?

A hairless cat in a polka dot tuxedo with a enormous smile and with that I mean He has a row of sharp teeth like meat grinder blades. And by big I mean that the mouth reaches from one jaw to the other almost as if it were a surgical mask.

“Time is a chimera that consumes all. Only the mirrors linger. Welcome to my Carnival,Con”

He bows hissing and purring with his deep masculine voice. A violent smirk floating in. There is nothing polite in the pink skinef cat.

But… There is no fun withot a little of Terror! This is a House of Mirrors after all, and you are my guess of honour."

“Who are you?!” Madame shouts as her hear beats heavily in her chest like a tambourine.

The image flickers and vanished only the smile lingering for few seconds bodyless until nothing remains.

Silence… Real silence she could even hear her eyelashes beating.

But that is not the big issue. Madame tries to focus and find her way as all is pitch black. Even the mirrors become invisible.

The darkness is overwhelming the space with its supreme emptiness, “but I should not fear it. Dark is simply the lack of light, I am safe.”

Con open her tiny black eyes until she could perceive a dim light glistening through the void like a firefly…

Wait! This is not just a common firefly; It is a Light-butt one. Con thinks for his t

The creature shouts and groans with a sharpy voice. It reminds Con the shrieck caused by a rusty nail scratching over and over a board.

“Hey! Hey! Listen, listen, Con!”

Madame clenchs her fists over your long, rusty claw-like nails… It is just in the point of her tongue the light-butt’s name. She has meet this annoying creature before.

“Finally!” She replied to the keep shouting HEY listen creature. I find your name familiar but I don’t know why

“Are you nuts? You met me in the Capital city… Racoons are a very stupid low species for a reason.” The tiny insect babbles, almost chanting one of those cruel bully songs

“Navi? Is that you?! But you vanished 20 years ago?!”


Cat in a polka dot tuxedo! :smiley:


Do you mind if I ask what is meant by a “scripting skeleton”? I haven’t encountered this term before!

Here is my excerpt for this month’s 15th. It is a scene where the MC can choose whether to improve their martial, scientific, or artistic education stat, that I am hoping also adds some color and worldbuilding to the imperial palace.


The sun drifts lazily in the west as the blue celestial canvas welcomes the first shades of warm yellow. It is near the end of the afternoon and you have some free time before dinner.

Where do you wish to spend your time?

#Visit the palace training grounds to refine martial skills

Outside the gardens, the training grounds is the only place in the palace complex with vast areas of uncovered natural soil. The necessity of a stronger control over balance and reflexes to maintain one’s form on an open, uneven terrain provides tiring but effective sparring sessions for those wishing to improve their martial competence.

The sharp clashes of fine steel blades are the most vivid sounds you hear as you practice strategies of attack and tactics of defense with other students your age. Out here, you can use heavier swords in addition to the blunt staffs trained with in the strict setting of lecture halls.

You feel more in tune with the martial discipline.

*set martialStat +20
*if (showStatChanges)
  *gosub_scene startup oneStatChangeNotif "Martial knowledge"

#Visit the imperial library to study the sciences

Located in the quiet northern sector of the palace complex, the imperial library is a building of colorful archways and domed roofs. Stairs lead up to three floors of interior balconies high above the low tables of sandalwood spread across the vast central area on the main floor. Students and courtiers alike sit or kneel on woven rugs either in work or study.

The warm glow of afternoon sunlight, softened through bronze latticed windows, provides a cozy ambience as you flip the delicate pages of logical proofs and experimental theories. In the serenity of the library, your remain focused on texts detailing the applications of science for the stars, the land, and society.

You feel more in tune with the scientific discipline.

*set scienceStat +20
*if (showStatChanges)
  *gosub_scene startup oneStatChangeNotif "Scientific knowledge"

#Visit the Tower of Crossing Winds to practice the arts

With twelve floors, the Tower of Crossing Winds is one of the tallest buildings in the palace complex. Great columns of marble swirling with inky black and cotton white, carved with reliefs of the patron animals of the twelve months, support each floor above as you climb the spiraling stairway to the top. Holding on to the banisters between the columns, you can see the entirety of the southwest sector of the imperial grounds.

Bottles of paints, dyes, and ink of artists and writers are strewn across tables along with reeds, brushes, and paper. You ignore the mutters of the overly meticulous as they scratch out lines of beautiful calligraphy while you refine techniques of composition and theories of color.

You feel more in tune with the artistic discipline.

*set artStat +20
*if (showStatChanges)
  *gosub_scene startup oneStatChangeNotif "Artistic knowledge"

A lot of what I’ve been writing this month so far is either very spoilery, a bit risque to put here, or so branchy that it isn’t very readable. Or a combination of all three. So I thought I’d share the original paragraph concepts for my released games. (The Honor Bound one contains some pretty big plot spoilers so I won’t share that!)

Blood Money

Blood Money
(At this point I neither knew that it was going to be a crime family, nor whether it was going to be fantasy or cyberpunk-flavoured. As my first project, this went through a lot of iterations once I started developing the outline.)

You’re the resident blood-magician for the city’s most powerful crime syndicate. This morning, your boss was murdered. This evening, you’ll interrogate the corpse. Caught in a power vacuum, everyone wants a piece of you. How will you keep the law off your back: hush money, blackmail, or a suggestive smile? Will you indulge in hedonistic vices now you have greater freedom, or will you keep your head clear? Who will you back as the new leader, and what favours will you extort in return? Will you remain loyal to your own syndicate or embark on dalliances with their rivals, and who will you risk trusting? To keep your magic sharp will you continue offering your own blood, or start using other people’s? Claw your way to the top in the ruthless, tightly-packed streets of a heady tropical city.

Creme de la Creme

Creme de la Creme:
(At this point I didn’t know how far I was going to lean into supernatural/cult elements. In the end I dialled it back a fair bit, though I kept some of it via Delacroix. I ended up handling gender differently than I originally considered too.)

As a young socialite, you should have nothing to worry about but riding skills and the correct way to address an earl. But your family’s political disgrace makes for a more complicated set of obligations. Your parents have enrolled you in an exclusive finishing school to polish you into an eligible beau or debutante and regain the family’s good name. College life is as unforgiving as it is glamorous, and rumours of occult secret societies bubble beneath the surface. Will you maintain convention or throw yourself into scandal? Will you delve into the dark secrets of the college, plunge into scholarly pursuits, or navigate the political spheres? Will you set your cap at a crown prince or princess, have a love affair with an unsuitable but passionate townie, or leave a trail of broken hearts in your wake? Build your reputation amidst the murky waters of cults, backstabbing and political diplomacy in this sparkling, brittle world of high society.

Noblesse Oblige

Noblesse Oblige:
(At this point I had very little idea what was actually going on with any of the characters, although I did have ideas about who they were. It wasn’t until I started writing the first chapter that I figured out making the PC someone who’d failed university.)

Having left school in Westerlin with neither a rich spouse nor money for university, you have found employment as a live-in conversation partner for a lonely aristocrat living with their cousin in an aging mansion in Jezhan.

When it turns out that your naïve conversational companion is not only your own age, but also far more important than you anticipated, will you start digging up secrets? Why is their terse but steadfast cousin keeping them away from court life? Does the housekeeper know something you don’t? Will you succumb to the charms of a flirtatious visitor who promises a way out of tiresome employment - if you feed them information?

Life in the foreign mansion can be exciting - or claustrophobic. As relationships grow in strength and intensity, will you take your first steps into dangerous games of power and influence? Who can you trust, and can you find love far from home?

Royal Affairs

Royal Affairs:
(In another universe there might have been assassination attempts on Javi and/or the PC, but I very quickly discarded that idea. I had a pretty good idea about which characters would appear when I wrote this, though.)

As the youngest child of the Westerlind royal family you live a charmed, if sheltered, life. But now it’s all change. You’re headed to Archambault Academy, where you will study leadership, rhetoric, and politics and be moulded into the perfect royal scion … with a perfect royal betrothal on the horizon.

Or so your parents hope. When the foreign royal they have pinned their hopes on turns out to despise you, how will you deal with them – swallowing your pride, trying to build a relationship with them, or taking them down? Will you look elsewhere at Archambault for a suitably respectable spouse, or will your eye turn to a less prestigious, but highly talented student from Gallatin College? Or might you even form scandalous attachment with your bodyguard?

And as well as romance, you must choose where your leadership talents lie – with the theatre group, as captain of the polo team, or as head of the Student Council – and balance your extra-curricular activities with your studies. As revolutionary ideas stir, will you strengthen the status quo, or use your royal sway to buck tradition? And when you unearth deadly plots to bring your rival down, whose side will you come down upon?


The term is used to describe a type of programing: Wiki Page on skeleton computer programing

I use it to describe the way I set up the scripting first, before anything else in a scene I am writing.

I script(code) the skeleton of the scene first, so I can run Quicktest and Randomtest and find any issues or bugs prior to writing the actual scene.

I do this especially when rewriting or changing a scene, because it is easier to find and fix problems before I get lost in the writing details.

So, in the sample I shared this month, before i write the choice bodies and the narrative text, I would run the tests and Randomtest would say something like: “You can’t fall out of an if statement on line 100”

Because it is all script, I can locate the actual issue and fix it easier than if there was a lot of copy everywhere.

That is why I use “placeholders” and comments and all that stuff you see inside the script. to act as dummy writing.

I hope this explains it.


here is my excerpt for this month from A Familiar Magic this particular bit of code is from the part where you start to teach the young witch the basics (and allows the reader to learn more about the world).

*label first_lesson

You lead the young witch back to her house although you have no idea how you knew where you were going. Callie throws herself on her bed.

"That was so scary," she whimpers. "I thought the Elder Witch's magic was going to crush me."

"Calm down," you stop her. "It is only us here ${title}. Now we are bound you should feel my power augmenting your own."

Callie frowns but closes her eyes and they snap open. "I'm stronger? I thought the binding was only to make sure you couldn't disobey me?"

You chuckle. "It does do that," you agree before adding. "The other role of the bind is to share a familiar's power with their master."

"So, we should begin our first lesson," you announce sitting at the foot of her bed. Now you just need to figure out where to start.
*temp questions 6
*temp magic false
*temp coven false
*label lessons_learned
*if (questions < 1)
    *goto interrupted
    *hide_reuse #Tell her about magic in general.
        You explain to your young ward that magic is a gift from the [i]wytchkin[/i]. The sentient source of all magic and the one who gifts witches their mana. You follow up that by revealing that the mana from the wytchkin is naturally negative and that is the reason why witches need familiars to cast magic as it is the familiar who filters the negative energy and turns it into positive mana which is what witches use their spells. 
        *page_break Spells
        Next, you begin to talk about spells; specifically how they can be unleashed spells that require no name and affects anyone the spell comes into contact with or leashed spells that require a name and only affect the named person. You also explain how most witches use a person's given name but this name can be protected by a witch's spell. However, when a witch is bound to their familiar, the wytchkin also whispers a name to them. This new name is their wytchname and this name must be kept secret, kept safe, because if another witch knew of this name any spell they cast targeted to your wytchname would be sure to hit and could never be blocked. 
        *set questions -1
        *set magic true
        *goto lessons_learned
    *if (magic)
        *hide_reuse #Tell her about the different branches of magic.
            You've already explained the basic of magic so you shift conversation to the various branches of magic available to witches. You tell Callie that there are ten different branches of magic which are split into primary branches, that all witches can use, and secondary branches which a witch must choose to dabble in. So every witch can use each of the primary branches and up to two of the secondary ones. In your subconcious you know that there are actually more than ten, if you include the more frowned upon tertiary branches but something stops you from mentioning them.
            *page_break The Primary Branches
            Firstly, you mention the most obvious of the branches, the elemental branch of magic. Every witch is born with an affinity to one of the four primary elements; fire, earth, wind and water. As well as a second element of their choosing. Once the second element is chosen, the other two elements will be forever lost to the witch. Secondly, you mention the barrier branch of magic. Which allowed a witch to cast a wall or barrier that could either reject, stop or absorb incoming spells or attacks. Thirdly, you explain the recovery branch of magic. As a young witch, you know that Callie will end up hurting herself during her training and knowing about the spells that could heal her wounds was practical. The fourth and final of the primary branches is the door branch of magic. This spell allows the witch to travel between two points simply by stepping through a door. It was also used to invite people to places as you simply had to cast the spell with the name of your guest and the moment they stepped through a door they would appear exactly where you wanted them to be.
            *page_break The Secondary Branches Part One
            The secondary branches of magic offered a more specialised range of spells. Starting with the creation branch of magic. These spells revolve around creating an object through mana manipulation and is the branch responsible for creating familiars. Next, you explained about the evocation branch of magic. These were a set of summoning spells that allowed a witch to call upon spirits of the fae for guidance and trickery. The language branch of magic was popular with the witch scholars as it allowed a witch to now only read but write any language as long as you knew the name of it. Callie herself mentioned the location branch of magic and explained that her mom would use that to keep a track of her when she went out. This particular spell allowed a witch to track someone as long as they knew the name of the one they wished to track. So obviously being such a good role model you immediately told her she could use barrier magic to stop her mom from tracking her.
            *page_break Secondary Branches Part Two
            The last two branches you tell Callie are the binding branch of magic which is usually only taught to Elder Witches is the magic used to bind young witches to their familiars, and lastly the hex branch of magic. The hex branch was unusual as it was often thought of as solely having negative affect on their target but the truth was hexes could be beneficial if cast with care. You try and remember the tertiary branches but their names elude you for now.
            *set questions -1
            *goto lessons_learned
    *hide_reuse #Tell her about the Coven itself.
        Covens, you explain, are the names given to each group of witches that live in the same area that is protected by four Elder Witches who create a protective barrier using a combined spell from each Elder Witch. The coven has regular meeting to talk about witchkind and they often are in competition to produce the best and brightest of the next generation of witches. A coven is constantly moving its home throughout their designated area and its witches find their way to the next home through careful use of the door branch of magic. 
        *set questions -1
        *set coven true
        *goto lessons_learned
    *if (coven)
        *hide_reuse #Tell her about the Witch Elders
            It is these four witches who hold the power in the coven and are often the strongest witches in the Coven. It is them who bind young witches to their familiars and them who declare when a witch has gone rogue and who goes after the rogue witch. The Elder Witches are the best each coven has to offer and the title is revered even among other covens. It is because of this that if an Elder Witch went wrong it would be the Elder Witches of the coven who would go after her. 
            *set questions -1
            *goto lessons_learned
    *hide_reuse #Tell her about familiars in general.
        A familiar is a soulless vessel forged into the form of a cat, and in your case a ${cat} cat. The familiar gains live by binding a witch's soul to it. These souls come from witches who have broken one of the seven laws of witchcraft. This act is to allow the rogue witch to redeem herself in the eyes of the coven by teaching the next generation of witches.
        *page_break Bound And Weakened
        As a familiar your magic power is halved and you can only use the element you had a naturally affinity for. It was still possible for you to cast spells and by forming a bond with your young witch you will be able to temporarily regain your human form for short periods of time if your ward is in danger. 
        *set questions -1
        *goto lessons_learned
    *hide_reuse #Tell her about the seven laws of witchcraft.
        You explain the Seven Laws Of Witchcraft;

        1) Thou must never reveal the Witchname of another.
        2) Thou must never divulge the location of a Coven.
        3) Thou must never mess with mess with thy Coven's barrier.
        4) Thou must never raise the dead.
        5) Thou must never harm or kill a familiar.
        6) Thou must never cast a spell on a witch unless in training or a sanctioned fight.
        7) Thou must never kill another witch unless in self-defence.
        *set questions -1
        *goto lessons_learned

Thanks for sharing this! It’s a great example for using *comments too.

Here’s a excerpt of a scene I’m currently editing. That festfate line with all those parentheses is my downfall.

As the week of the festival finally comes to a close, the starry paths of Heaven disappearing behind growing thunderous clouds, you 
*if (godnomia = "Ilatsal")
	*if (godfestival != "Sarpet")
		*if (toldharja = false)
			*if ((((((((festfate != "changed failed") and (festfate != "gloom failed")) and (festfate != "nightmares failed")) and (festfate != "peace failed")) and (festfate != "strike failed")) and (festfate != "siege failed")) and (festfate != "help failed")) and (festfate != "criminals failed"))
				*if (godtrait = "Good Luck") or (godtrait = "Priest Outfit")
					hear a knock at the door. $!{nameh} went to get water from the well, but when you open the door you instead see it is Sarpedon.

					"I will be brief, as the storm is nearly upon us and it would look strange if I stood here chatting while everyone else is rushing home," says the god. "You may have not told $!{nameh} about our conversation, but you failed to change the festival from honoring $!{godfestival} to honoring me. Do you really think I would let you keep the good fortune I have granted 
					*if (godtrait = "Good Luck")
						*set godtrait "Good Luck Removed"
					*if (godtrait = "Priest Outfit")
						*set godtrait "Priest Outfit Removed"
						you, or give you the gift bestowed upon my loyal followers? 
					Be glad I do not curse you for your arrogance, and pray that your folly in supporting $!{godfestival} does not bring your city's ruin."
				*if (godtrait != "Good Luck") and (godtrait != "Priest Outfit")
					realize that the festival is over, but Sarpet has not yet appeared at your doorstep to restore what has been taken. You cannot ask $!{nameh}, as that was one of the requirements, yet you suspect that the God of Dreams has not forgotten that you did not change the festival in their favor and so will never appear.

					*if (godtrait = "Good Luck") or (godtrait = "Priest Outfit")
						#"That wasn't what we agreed!" you exclaim angrily as Sarpedon leaves your doorstep. It's not fair that he can change the rules on a whim.
							*set sarpetship %- 5
							"That wasn't what we agreed!" you exclaim angrily as Sarpedon leaves your doorstep. It's not fair that he can change the rules on a whim.
					*if (godtrait != "Good Luck") and (godtrait != "Priest Outfit")
						#It's not fair that he can change the rules on a whim. That wasn't what you had agreed to!
							*set sarpetship %- 5
							It's not fair that he can change the rules on a whim. That wasn't what you had agreed to!
					#You've heard the stories of agreements between the gods and mortals before, so you were expecting your good luck to be taken from you somehow.
						*set sarpetship %- 5
						You've heard the stories of agreements between the gods and mortals before, so you were expecting your good luck to be taken from you somehow.
					#You're not surprised he took your good luck away, but you understand why he did it. It's not like you increased his clout in the city at all.
						*set sarpetship %+ 5
						You're not surprised he took your good luck away, but you understand why he did it. It's not like you increased his clout in the city at all.
					*if (godtrait = "Good Luck") or (godtrait = "Priest Outfit")
						#You watch Sarpedon leave your doorstep in a daze. Why didn't you change the festival to honor the God of Dreams?
							*set sarpetship %+ 5
							You watch Sarpedon leave your doorstep in a daze. Why didn't you change the festival to honor the God of Dreams?
					*if (godtrait != "Good Luck") and (godtrait != "Priest Outfit")
						#You look out the windows toward the thunderous clouds in a daze. Why didn't you change the festival to honor the God of Dreams?
							*set sarpetship %+ 5
							You look out the windows toward the thunderous clouds in a daze. Why didn't you change the festival to honor the God of Dreams?
				*label weekfour16

I don’t think I’ve ever shared an in-progress excerpt here before. First time for everything :slight_smile: This is from a side project of mine:

The trees stretch high and their leaves cast dappled shadows across our path, alleviating some of the heat. The sunlight falls through the cracks between them like liquid gold. I reach out and catch a puddle of it in my hand.

It tastes like lemonade.


I was having a difficult week where it felt as if I wasn’t really hitting my goals and my focus was poor. After a pep talk from my lovely girlfriend yesterday, I rebounded successfully today and comfortable met the word count I was aiming for, surpassing a milestone along the way.

Bit of a random excerpt but it’s where my scroll bar landed:

    *if (guts > 50) #"Musclehead? Really?"
    He smirks. "What else do you call someone who spends all ${mc_his} free time lifting weights?"
    "Exactly, musclehead."
    "Keep this up and I'm using these muscles to break you in half."
    *if ((dated_grant) or (pastcrush = 4))
        Grant pauses for a moment. "Hot." 
        @{dated_grant You groan. "Of course you'd say that."|Your cheeks immediately heat up. Why did he have to say that?}
        @{dated_grant He shrugs, then smirks. "My ${mc_boyfriend} can literally bench press me. Sorry, $!{mc_name}, but that's objectively hot."|He hesitates, an unfamiliar look in his eyes. "$!{mc_name}? You alright? That was just a tease you know?"}
        @{dated_grant You roll your eyes, but can't help the smile on your face.|No. Nooo. This isn't happening. "I'm fine!" you blurt, hurrying up your pace.}
        @{dated_grant Fending off Grant's comments about your strength occupies the|You keep your eyes studiously focused on anywhere except Grant for the| remainder of the walk to your destination.} {@dated_grant |You pretend not to hear any of his bemused questions.}
        *goto grantask
        Grants laughs. "This is how you treat your best friend?"
        "Only when he's being obnoxious. So yes, I guess it's how I treat my best friend."
        "Ouch! Take it easy on me!"
        Tapping your temple, you slowly allow yourself to grin. "Musclehead, remember? No room for nuance in here."
        Grant regards you for a moment. "…well played," he says finally.