Question for people and other writers

Hello, Hello, Hello, I’m Soul and I was curious about a few things, like how did people start off writing their own stories and what do people really look for in these types of games and some other questions.
(Also, if I’m not allowed to post questions on this category or if I am using the wrong category, I don’t mind deleting this and putting it in the right one.)

So let me start by why I want to ask these questions, 1. I’ve been thinking about writing my own stories and I see this as being an easy way to have people read my stories and get feedback and see if people will enjoy it or have no opinion about it but since I’m new to, well, making these types of games I’m not entirely sure where to start, which is why I’m making this post, obviously, pfft.

  1. I kinda want to hear what people have to say, maybe I could get some ideas from this? Maybe this could help other people start out? Or this could let people voice what they like and other writers could see what people enjoy?

  2. Curiosity killed the cat but I am really curious so I guess I should start off the questions;

So for Writers both old and new, what are your guy’s advices if you have any and what was it like first making your stories? I’m honestly super nervous and I’m not even sure if I’m posting this in the right category or something and I haven’t even wrote anything, lol.

What are some people favorite things about CoG mechanics? Like do you guys enjoy states, randomness like with abilities, if you will suceed or not, or something else? Kinda like the mechanics in Breach: Archangel Job and having the possibility of failing or suceeding.

What type of stories do you guys enjoy? Like Horror, Mystery, or stuff with action? I’ve noticed some people enjoying the romance genre alot.

How usually long does it take for some people to write these types of games? I know this could either take an afternoon if it’s gonna be short but like 10,000 words would take a long while, maybe even take half a year to maybe even a year, would make sense with writer blocks, outside forces, and even just having other jobs to do.
(Changing it from 500,000 to 10,000 so people don’t think I’m actually gonna do that, I swear I am sane and not gonna spend a couple of years to write a IF with 500,000 words)

So, I can’t really think of anymore questions as of rn, my mind is running out of ideas on what to ask sooooooo, I hope everyone has a wonderful day/night/afternoon and remember to take care of yourselves and watch out for boredom since that isn’t fun, pfft.


Tbh I would prepare for a game of that size to take much more than a year on average–especially for a first-time project, that is a hobby or part-time job, with plenty of branches and choices, coding, editing, feedback, and more… Could be wrong tho!

As for getting started, I would say the best way is to just start! :yum: :+1: And there are plenty of resources on how to code in choicescript online :smiling_face:


side note: i have not made any attempt in writing an IF. i am going to be talking about linear stories since that’s what i write a lot but i hope it still helps.

im bad at advices so ill just answer the other question. my first serious story was a fanfiction shipping two kpop idols (yoonmin if youre curious). i was very ambitious. i read a couple of good stories on wattpad and i thought, i can probably do that. turns out, i barely write like over 300 words. i quickly came to a problem that i easily lose motivation because i easily come up with ideas. its going to be awkward at the start. imo, most stories are sorta awkward at like the start. so what i would do is, ill write up to three chapters or more and comeback and reread the godawful prologue and early chapters i wrote and rewrite them. as time go by, i started to write more stories as i find more stuff that im interested in. i know im bad at advices but i suggest if its your first time actually writing something serious, create a one shot. search up prompt ideas on the internet and create something out. take a break for a few days and comeback to it and reread it. usually id be able to spot like multiple missing words, cringey writing and scenes that move too fast. thats how i usually improve my writing. another thing is to plan out what you want to happen on the chapter ur writing on before you start writing. that usually helps me block out some of the writer’s block since i know i need to get scene A inserted in this chapter. it also helps when you talk about ur story idea to someone else. i have a friend who i talk about my stupid ideas and she would ask like questions and like sometimes add to the story that helps it move forward and make me realize that i have an unexplained plot point that i need to address (usually weaknesses to my characters lmao)

i personally dont enjoy randomness. if i were to restart, itll be very hard to get the scene that i want to appear. im gonna come out and say that i dont enjoy games with dnd mechanics. i prefer having to rely on passing and failing skill checks based on the fact that my skills were able to pass the needed percent to be in.

i personally enjoy modern fantasy, rom com, sometimes melodrama? (big question mark on this one) i personally enjoy writing about bittersweet stories. stories whom are inspired from poetic lines/quotes and songs. romance usually is accompanied with the main theme for the story. i think the best approach to this is romancing someone gets you a different view of the plot of the story. the keeper series does well with whomever you romance shows how X happened and as such. (id be happy to send a couple of my very bare bones and shitty ideas. i have like two long ones but one is a nanami x ox and one is an x oc from a game i was obsessed with)

it really depends on how fast you write but yes, most of the stories that are like hundred thousands of words usually take years to write. i personally write in one sitting and its usually at very early morning. i would try to write about 3k plus words on each chapter and increase as i go on but this is from a point of a writer who is talking about like linear stories. but since this is cog, people usually write about two digit numbers on one chapter (excluding codes) because of the different paths you could go through. so one chapter sometimes takes months (taking account that real life problems suck)


Now I’m wondering how many writers who are not people this forum has. Anyway…

Think of it this way: 500 000 words in a year requires roughly 1 400 words per day, + planning, testing, debugging, bugfixing, editing, and probably something I forgot. Frankly, what is sustainable depends on the person, there’s no one else that can decide that.

For example, I can technically spout 10 000 words in a day if I don’t need to stop and think too much, but if I’m just coming up with them on the spot, I’m completely spent for the next week or more in that regard. (Been there, done that, wouldn’t recommend.)


Welcome to the community!

How did I start?


I was on Reddit spending a lot of money on a visual novel called Choices and someone there mentioned hey you should try a game called Wayheaven, it doesn’t have graphics but it’s the same make your own choices type of game. That was like 2020 I think, It was my first time ever hearing about Choices of game or Hosted Games. so I bought book one read it then book 2, and mid-book 2 which I never finished lol I was like Huh! I want to do that. That’s such a cool process writing a story and letting the reader interact with it. So I join the forum and started learning how to code with Choicescript, and two years later, My first book is in the queue for being published and I already started writing book 2.

All that to say… go for it, start yesterday, continue today, and don’t stop tomorrow. It’s not going to be easy, you’re going to feel down sometimes, and if you’re like most of us, you’re going to hate your writing and story sometimes, but there’s a Writer support thread here just for that.

It will take however long you want it to. I have a full-time job and only write on late nights and most weekends (and I don’t have a social life. There’s even a sign on my door that says, "Shoo… go away, I’m not interested.) So it really depends on how fast you write, how dedicated you are, and life-work balance thing.

It took me over a year to write 350,000 words. So again, each person is different I know some writers who can write 40,000 words in a day or a week.

As for advice, below is what I wish I knew before starting lol


Thanks for the feedback, this was actually useful and interesting to think about, especially your viewpoint on randomness like dnd. And yeah, I totally understand the whole restarting and having to be super lucky to get the same part of the story and suceeding, (I still feel salty about this one story in particular but I still enjoyed it, pfft), but yeah, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, it was really useful.


I kinda find it funny how people focused on the 500,000 part of the question. I was using it as an example but since it does help me a bit with how long some story would take, its definitely worth keeping it in the questions.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, I kinda have an idea on how long this might take to write up, so if I do shoot for the 500,000 words then I’ll see everyone at the end of the year, lmao.

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Ha. Well, it kinda was the only part I had anything to say about (and exact numbers help me).


I better start getting to it then and thanks for taking the time to answer.

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Thanks for the welcome!

Man, thinking about when I first read a CoG and Hosted game makes me feel old- But thanks for the advice, it’s really interesting hearing about when people first started making their own stories and I’ve been wanting to make one for like… 2 to 4 years? Maybe even 5- but yeah, I kinda have alot of free time on my hands so I’m interested in doing this like as a hobby.

I definitely don’t think I’ll be one of those people who could write 40,000 words in a day/week, I’ll be too burnt out before then. Kinda fun to hear about how long 500,000 words could take someone to write, My guess was a year or maybe even longer but seeing people also assuming the same thing is interesting to me.

(I still didn’t finish your post yet, kinda don’t want to forget about thanking you), but so far, it’s definitely interesting to hear about. I knew it would take alot of time and patience and even a little bit of sanity but I definitely want to start writing now. Thanks for taking your time to respond to my questions, I’ll be sure to read your stories since I’m kinda in the middle of re-reading stories now.


Yeah, I’ve described the day after a 15k day as “my brain is made of glue and sand.” Do not recommend.

However! Also on the length point, I strongly recommend writing a very short story-game in choicescript before tackling a project of that size. Come up with a short and simple idea that’s got some interesting branches/decisions in it, write that out, play it yourself a few times, let other people play it… It’s a great way to get some practice with the code and with how these things work in practice before investing in a huge project.

Before I ever started on Social Services of the Doomed, I wrote an entire little story based loosely on the Spore video game for an IF competition, and I learned lots from the tangles (and accidents) I got into with that; then more again when strangers played it and commented on things I hadn’t thought about when writing.

Don’t jump straight into the giant project, where you might discover a problem 100k in that will require a ton of editing and fixes. Practice small; then, when you feel confident there, you’ll have a much better foundation for the big stuff.


Thanks for spending the time to reply to these questions and yeah, I definitely won’t try to do a 500,000, definitely not in awhile. Maybe. Probably. Likely? We’ll see.

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As long as I’m giving (solicited?) advice: I found it really useful to put together a list of ideas that I thought I would enjoy writing, and then pick the absolutely simplest one to start with for practice. That way I didn’t “use up” one of my cooler ideas with my first attempts.

Coding can be tricky; it’s not complicated at its base, but it requires care to track how things mesh with each other, especially when reached from multiple locations. Pacing can be tricky, and doubly so when dealing with multiple routes that cross over each other. Prose itself is enough of a thing that are entire industries devoted to people explaining (with widely varying degrees of expertise) how to do it well.

So, yeah. Little games for practice, even ones you never finish or never show anyone else, are a good way to build skills and confidence before investing a lot of time in one project.


Your guy’s advices are really useful, I got to learn alot and you guys have no idea how thankful I am.

I will try to pace myself, I will definitely try.

And I know how hard coding is, I’ve done a bit of it, definitely not similar to CoG ones but yeah, I know how hard they can be and I will try to take it easy and slow and pace myself. I know the simplest of things can make the biggest mess so I’ll be sure to well, take it easy and slow.

Thanks again for the advices, you guys are really amazing and incredibly helpful, too helpful to he point that I feel like thanking everyone and not beginning on starting- Gotta love procrastinating.

I don’t think I need to mention the 500,000 words thing as people have already addressed that, but I started writing my WiP about a year ago now, and I will say this is indeed a fantastic place to get feedback and gauge interest. I put my expectations of how much people would be interested in my game at a solid like, 20 people (totally don’t have a self-esteem issue or anything) and I still decided it was worth writing. I suppose my point there is, the biggest piece of advice is to not worry about how many people will read it, but to write something because you’ll enjoy writing it! If you’re pleasantly surprised with the reception afterwards that’s just an added bonus!

Also, make sure you make use of ChoiceScript IDE and, for the love of all that is good in the world, test your game through Quicktest and Randomtest before putting out an update. They are quite literally essential if you want everything to go smoothly… I’ve learned this lesson from experience the hard way.

But in saying all this, just remember, every story is worth telling! I say do what others have said and just go for it, and if you have any questions along the way the forum is a fantastic place with many different helpful individuals!


I’ve been a spectator here for 12 months, and finally, I have decided to join here recently like you. As I far as I know, if you have any ideas in your mind about your story or you have an unfinished story that you’d like to share, you can share them with all of us here:

As I have seen before, most of the writers here start to write after they post their story/ideas in that thread and check the feedback from the others about it. I hope this is very helpful, well, I, too, new to the choicescript, but it is fun to explore anyway.

Check this out. This is CS IDE, it is very helpful and easy to use than using notepad and etc. *insert “I find it very easy to use for me, I guess”

Then, if you have demo, you can upload it in dashingdon (which is also, easy to use and most of the WIPs and older games use that website.)

I hope you will find this very helpful :grin:


I find the first 20-30k are usually easy. I can and have knocked out that amount within a few weeks on occasion. Getting past that is harder. I’ve got one that’s nearing 100k words at the moment and the time frame I thought I could complete the full draft has blown out as it just takes far longer to tie in stats, story threads, bugcheck and balance the whole thing. One of the things I think new writers greatly underestimate is that for most, is the time requried to write a game. The longer it is, the more time it takes to get the same number of words down.

Totally agree with this. You learn a heap from the first stuff you try to put together, and some stuff will potentially blind side you after release. I honestly don’t agree with most new CSG writers aiming for huge projects to try and get a best seller off the bat. Most just end up abandoned, but each to their own decisions!

Beware scope creep. If you decide on a number of words for your length, it will almost certainly blow out to far beyond that unless you’re careful.

What are some people favorite things about CoG mechanics? Like do you guys enjoy states, randomness like with abilities, if you will suceed or not, or something else?
What type of stories do you guys enjoy? Like Horror, Mystery, or stuff with action? I’ve noticed some people enjoying the romance genre alot.

The best advice I can give personally is to make your project something you want to write, and make it something you’re happy with and want to play. That way not only are you more likely to get it completed, it doesn’t matter what happens afterwards as it’s still a win regardless of if it’s considered popular or not. (There are certainly things that will make a game more likely to be popular if that’s the driving goal instead through. You can do a forum search as there’s been a number of discussions about it. Thing is though, if the game isn’t something you really want to do, it probably will never get completed.)


That is so true. Also, never say “I’ll update the demo on a weekly or monthly basis” just go with the flow because often times than not. real-life stuff happens and you don’t have the time to do that.


I have barely started writing and I can already tell it’s going to take me a long time just to know what the story is about, let alone write it. I started two months ago, and wrote a brief intro section, mostly to get used to Choicescript while still putting some actual content down. I haven’t written anything since then. But I’ve changed the story several times and I know the current intro is definitely not staying.


Yep, I made this mistake and regret it! Feeling guilty about failing to keep to a self-imposed deadline isn’t helpful, don’t be me!

But on a more serious note, there was a poll a while back where readers on the forum overwhelmingly responded that they prefer less frequent/slower updates with more content, as opposed to more frequent/faster updates with less content. So in addition to the fact that it’s probably healthier to take things at your own pace, it’s actually what some readers seem to prefer overall. It might be reassuring to know how many people understand that your project will be better if you take the time you need to work on it - and it can be deceptively difficult (at least it has been for me, as a beginner) to account for how much time things like stats, balancing, and playtesting will end up taking to figure out.

Anyway, I agree with @Jacic’s advice to make something you enjoy and would want to play for yourself. Regardless of word count or genre or anything else, it will be easier to see through a project you know you yourself can be happy with at the end.