Questions regarding being a writer

Hi I dunno if theres a thread regarding these types of questions, feel free to throw this away if it does lol but I really need an insight about this kind of topics, about writing,

  1. How many words do u guys make in a chapter? estimation is alright
  2. How do u give a backbone to a story?
  3. Regarding characters, where and how do you guys get inspiration to relate or create your … OC?
  4. Am I labeled as a writer now? If per se I write now? Or do u just get that label if u already published a book?
  5. How do you give a character their background, attitude, weaknesses etc.

Im sorry, this is my first time trying to write and I’ve got nobody to ask, any tips ahaha thanks in advance for the feedback~ im really inspired to create right now


I changed your topic tag (is that what it is called? Idk😅) to #game-development #game-development:writing-and-content.

1 Like

Hey, as long as you are writing, you’re a writer. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Being a writer means nothing more or less than being someone who is working to create a story, whether that is by doing 3,000 words a day or 30.

Unless you mean the literal label on the forum as an author, which you only get when you publish a story here.

Words per chapter, that varies wildly. My first one had only seven or eight chapters and some were over 30,000 words. My second had twenty and some were under 5,000. It’s dealer’s choice. And for backbone, I dunno. My stories are probably pretty spineless.

  1. For CS game I try to do at least 30k so they are meaty enough. But in general (I’m looking at you - chapter 2!) it just goes over that… Outline story, the message you want to send and then write. And once you are “in the zone” that outline you thought would be 30k or so…grows into a massive thing. In my honest opinion chapter should be something that holds a good story on its own. Have a start and end, be it resolved or not.
  2. Brainstorming? Dunno how to answer on this one in more detail.
  3. Again brainstorming. Reading in general and thinking this could be cooler! is a good place where to start if you are not sure. See interesting designed characters and draw inspiration from them.
  4. There was a really good quote on reddit about this but in the gist of it: You wrote something. Be it 5 sentences or 5000k. You are a writer. You published a book or CS game? You can call yourself a Published Writer.
  5. Depends on setting and story. And also… 3. point.

For a ChoiceScript game: 40,000-45,000 words per chapter is my average.

I generally do bullet points in a Word doc, outlining both the main plot summary first, then a breakdown of chapter by chapter. These threads here have good links for planning stories/giving them structure:

  1. Organizational Tools/Programs and Strategies
  2. Planning/Mapping Software
  3. What do you use for your writing?

A lot of my characters, I meet or talk to in dreams. (Which is weird, I know.) I also draw inspiration from other fictional characters I encounter in other novels or shows, and tend to incorporate tiny bits and pieces and traits from them into my own characters.

Generally speaking, if you write anything as a pastime, you are a writer and can call yourself a writer. Even people who journal or write blog posts are writers. Anyone who expresses their ideas in written words is a writer.

From my understanding, “author” is generally the title you earn when you publish something and other people other than yourself have seen your work. In other definitions, “author” is the originator and executor of the idea, while “writer” can also be used to describe someone who’s setting something down in words, even if they’re taking direction from someone else.

Gross plug, but I wrote a post here about finding your character’s voice and here about creating characters, the latter of which includes lots of character questionnaires and resources you can use to help develop your characters. The only reason why I link is because they’re both too long to fit here.

I hope that helps in some way!


Hello. I haven’t published anything yet, but I am working on a story.

My chapters are usually 5000-7000 words in length (but most people have 3000-7000).

I’m assuming that by backbone you mean “purpose.” I think you should probably elaborate more on “backbone.” I mostly explore what I want to do with my story. Is it meant to tell a message? State an opinion? or simply to make the reader have some fun?

However, you may be referring to story structure. There are many ways to build a story, but I like to put them into two categories (according to J.P. Beaubien’s “Plotting A Story - Terrible Writing Advice”) there are two types of writers: Architect and Discovery.

An Architect likes to design their stories with precision through meticulous planning with story plans and outlines.

A Discovery writer prefers to develop their story organically without a structure by writing draft after draft, with each constantly building on the previous one.

Both have their strengths and I feel like finding out what writer you are is a good way to find your story’s structure.

The characters I write are usually a mixture of people I met in real life and fictional characters. Again, there are so many ways to make a character. Sometimes I just make a character out of inspiration or random brainstorming alone.

I think that if you like to write and want to constantly improve in it, you’re a Writer and that if you published something, you’re an Author. Again, that’s just what I think.

Again, this really depends on your story and there are so many ways you can give a character a background, personality, etc.

I mostly flesh out my characters by analyzing and reflecting on them. Think of it like you’re writing an 8th Grade English book report about them. However, again, there are many ways you can go with it.


Thnks my man!


Yesss yess you did!!! Thank you very much~


Wow u guys thanks Im learning a lot right now, I’ll put all your tips to good use~ ㄟ( ̄▽ ̄ㄟ)


Glad to hear it! :slight_smile: (Just as another tip, you can reply to multiple people in the same singular post by writing @ in front of their names to tag them, or by highlighting the parts you want to reply to with your cursor and clicking “Quote”!)


No problem and good luck with whatever you’re working on!


How many words do u guys make in a chapter?
More than 100,000. But I recognize that’s a little over the top. :slight_smile:

How do u give a backbone to a story?
I start with the theme–what is the dynamic I want to explore? In my game’s case, it’s the process of rebelling against one “natural” order and trying to establish a new one in its place. That gives an overall arc to the story. For interactive fiction, there have to be a few different appealing and interesting ways to follow that arc.

When I’ve thought about what that looks like, I turn to the characters. Who would be interesting people I can use to flesh out those arcs? What would their history be like, and how might they change and develop over the course of the story?

That gives me the plot and character backbone. Then I start writing to put flesh on the bones.

Regarding characters, where and how do you guys get inspiration to relate or create your … OC?
All over the place. History books, other fiction (taking care not to openly plagiarize by being a carbon copy), real people I’ve met and engaged with.

Am I labeled as a writer now? If per se I write now? Or do u just get that label if u already published a book?
If you write, you’re a writer. If you publish a book, you’re a writer who finished something big. :slight_smile: But I was a writer for decades before I finally finished a story.

How do you give a character their background, attitude, weaknesses etc.
Usually I’ll just start writing and see what emerges. Most of the characters in my game --Breden, Elery, Kala, Calea and Hector – started as a couple of very rough ideas. I would then stumble on interesting hooks as I wrote about them, write a bit more in that direction, and then go back to revise what I’d written earlier to give them consistency.


Hey there.

  1. Well, i honestly dunno. I mean, whenever i write i just go with the flow and write whatever goes trough my head. When i started writing a few years ago i had a plan i wanted to stick at but after the first few sentences, my mind started to wander and enter in autopilot mode. Then i started to wonder what if i add that… and that… hummm maybe that too… Now it is perfect!! … Hummm what if i add a bit again? Since then i stopped keeping track of wordcount so they can greatly vary from one chapter to another in my case.

  2. I dunno. Some time, an idea strike me out of nowhere and i dive in it even if i rarely publish wips here. I guess if you put a lot of work, thinking and time on an idea you can end up with a great story plot. Unfortunately i am not good at doing all three that’s why i lose interest lots of time on my stories.

  3. Well, my main inspiration come from people around me: friends, family, or just any random encounter that was interesting. Lots of time, i draw inspirations from characters of my favs books i really liked. And then, i just ask myself “How would they act/react in this situation?”. One of the best advice i received is “Write what you would love to read.”

  4. You are a writer from the moment you decide to be. That mean start writing. Even if you write whatever you want. Even if no one read it. But if you mean here in the forum, you get it when you publish your first book with COG or HG.

  5. You know, it’s kind of hard to give a response to these kind of questions. I, personnaly, never know “How?” to do things in writing. In my opinion, it just isn’t something you can explain to another person. Like any other things, you gain experience from doing it. So, my advice? Just do it. And don’t forget to always have a pen and notebook with you. The craziest idea can strike you out of nowhere. Even in the middle of the night.

Honnestly, i have no idea where all these insight came from :joy:. Don’t mind my gibberish.


When I used to write fanfic, my chapters ranged anywhere between 9,000 to 16,000 words. As for Choicescript, I’ve yet to finish a whole chapter yet for my game, but I have a strong feeling they’ll be around 50,000 words on the low end. If I’m being conservative and just judging from what I’ve done so far! Choices and flavor text, man… choices and flavor text.

Providing backbone to a story is usually the last thing I do, now that I think about it. A vaguely interesting scenario pops into my head, first and foremost (diplomacy, but in space!) and then fun or interesting character ideas (cannibal monarchs! shape-shifting diplomats! space vampires!!). Then I refine and develop the general scenario into a plot and settings, and the general character ideas into full people (deciding on names, appearance, personality). And once those are cooking, the themes start to surface.

I think for my writing style… the plot is the meat, the characters are the blood, and the themes and tone end up being the backbone. That’s what ends up bringing the characters, the setting, and the plot together into a cohesive story. If that makes sense? I think it does…

*edit: I’m now realizing this might not be the right interpretation to backbone… whoops! It’s honestly a better answer than anything about my outlining process though, that just consists of barely organized 80-page word documents. the program Scrivener has been a lifesaver for me for that reason!

There’s some small influence of my family and friends (usually unintentional) and that can be either positive or negative traits, background, or small personality quirks.

There’s always a little bit of myself in my characters, too. I don’t think there’s a single one I’ve created that doesn’t share at least one aspect (and I do try to limit it to one or two) of either their interests, background, or personal philosophy with me. But I like filtering the parts of myself through the rest of who the character is in order to create someone I can relate to (and thus write convincingly) while still being someone vastly different from myself.

And finally, there’s often an element of wish fulfillment in my inspiration; creating characters that I want to see in media but either don’t or haven’t. I’m blessed with a vivid imagination, so why not create the characters I want to see, y’know?

Absolutely, absolutely. @hustlertwo puts it perfectly.

A lot of this is answered in what I said in #2 and #3, actually! I come up with the general role of a character, then I build upon that with some of my imagination and some of the inspiration from #3. And then the character that comes from that gets filtered through the story and setting that they’re to be a part of. How would they react to their surroundings, to the circumstances, the other characters; would they be one way or would their environment force them to be another way?

Also, character sheets. And personality quizzes when I’m very bored. And Choicescript games! All of these things help me expand and explore who my characters are, who they definitely are not, and who they could be. This is my favorite part of writing–aside from the actual writing!

happy writing @SpanishBrEaD! i wish you the best of luck and sustained inspiration in your creative endeavors :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


here come some incoherent babble lol

I don’t count words. Unlike the others nerds in here (nudge nudge), I hate numbers and I’m allergic to them. For me, I estimate a chapter like a Tv show episode. Some episodes are too long and become 2 episodes. And some are just one episode.

Some episode can end up in cliff hanger, if you can do that then its great. It leave the reader wanting more. If you can’t twist it into a cliff hanger, then at least try to give some kind of closure . Meaning, don’t just abruptly end a chapter. It can take some peoples out of the moments.

‘Backbone’ depand on the person. Some write with a theme in mind, some write things they like . For exemple , some like horrors so their works would be around horror.

I write about what piss me off lol And try to turn it into something a bit more positive…or the butthurt will never end :smile:

You have to find what you like and go for it. :wink:

There is no magic trick, no spell, no divination. You meet peoples too, don’t you ? Try to make them as you see them. Don’t try to embelish them like in movies, don’t try to make them overpowered (Cose your favorite Goku or Madara was a badass), make them like you then add some stuff here and there, throw them in a mix of action and angst and you get yourself a half decent cast.

I like to think anyone can be labeled a writer. I’ve been writing since I could walk . The difference is only between being Published or not. (I’m not, I write for my own fun lol and cose my characters won’t shuttup)

Same as above. My only advice, don’t use those as a crutch. Explore, there are many quirck you can add. See how it goes, just don’t debilitate your character by adding too much and pointing it out every few sentances .

I hope this help! Good Luck! :wink:


@Havenstone avenstone

Oh my god you guys thanks for all the tips and advice now, Im really starting to dwell and think through things regarding writing, I mean it all started when my passion for reading books like non-fiction and fiction alike struck me like a lightning when I was in HS, then COG came along and I was mind blown by how interactive it is back in college days lol ehh but anyways now that im utterly unemployed and useless my creativity urges me to make something out of my comfort zone lol, I usually paint and draw not write! Which is new for me and I struggled with it because putting my thoughts into words are very much like a puzzle lol I dunno I hope u guys can relate haha or not but yeah thank u so much now im really really determined to push through with this haha (≧∀≦)ゞ


It’s really not different from drawing. You see stuff in your head when you draw right? then you draw the outline, then add color. You erase to get it right. Writing is pretty much the same system. It just, instead of drawing…you write down the colors, you describe them. The story become full of crayons made building, you add colors to them, you add atmosphere then you draw the character and make it walk and look at everything .


I am hopefully “soon-to-be-a-HG-writer” and I’d like to answer.

I think I’ll make chapters short. Might be 20-30K each chapter?

It just comes into my mind. I’m not a planner.

Two things

  1. Controversy: When I write a character I try to make them controversial in a way.
  2. Other characters from stuff I like: Self-Explantory

I create characters that contribute overall story unless they’re temporary

1 Like