September 2023 Writer Support Thread

Someone wish me luck, I’m waaaay behind my schedule with my Master’s Thesis writing :person_facepalming:


Oof, academic writing is a tough one but YOU CAN DO IT! :man_dancing::tada::sparkles: Best of luck!!!


Good luck! The community has your back!


Happy Tuesday, everyone: there is a lot happening this last week of September.

First, it is great to see people get their jam entries up for testing. A really awesome accomplishment, @Cecilia_Rosewood and @Nocturnal_Stillness !

@LiliArch – we believe in you!

and much more.

I am continuing to work on the character changes in Patchwerks… it looks like I will only get through the second alternative chapter three this month, pushing the third chapter three’s changes into next month.

I shouldn’t be upset at this because going through 50,000 words and improving them with changes inspired by great feedback is a good thing, right?

Yet, because I did not finish all three of the alternative chapters, I am fighting feelings of disappointment in myself.

I guess I still have four days to finish the 3rd, but I don’t want to overpressure myself, because to be successful, these changes need to be as good or better than what I had there before. So, I do want to take my time and do these changes right!

I hope everyone’s last week goes well. :revolving_hearts:

I am already planning out next month’s themes, and I’ll be reporting my month’s end results on the 30th.


Been idly musing on a possibly creative take for the character creation process in IFs, particularly trying to integrate it as naturally as possible with the story.

I’m curious to hear others’ ideas on it. I’ve considered a character creation process where the MC is potentially on a hospital bed and some doctors are going over their information. Not sure, however.


I’ve been pondering one where the MC needs to re-add their details to their user account because of a database problem, but I don’t know.


I think both sound good! For me, character creation works best if it isn’t too lengthy and doesn’t feel like it bogs down the story - so either it being fairly short-and-sweet, or some of it being saved for later or spread out over a chapter, are approaches that I find the most successful.


I wanted to reply to this separately:

@derekmetaltron – I know you have a firm grasp on gaming, so I believe you can successfully complete such a project as you envision it.

With that said, you lay out a really complex and ambitious set of goals for yourself. Planning and roadmapping will be really important for your success here. I do think you have the background and ability to pursue this if you want to.

In my Emigre project, I start with a mother talking about her newborn with the nursemaid just after birth… and it seemed to be received well.

With that experience in mind, I do think your approach would work out well.


Not bad your idea.
If it were up to me, I would reduced everything not tied to narration (background, training…) to a quick Q&A: boring, but goes straight to point.

Unpopular opinion around here, but I’ll never get the appealing of customisation when 90% of it, it’s a series of fake choices.

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Definitely, that’s what the prologue is for.

(Also, I say “database problem”, I mean “eldritch abomination crashing through the server farm”, but same difference.)

The question in there is how to make said q&a, no?

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Ok, I’m going to try to elaborate better.

Exemple of how I'd do it for a contemporary and a futuristic setting

System XXXXX
Access Granted
Subject: [choose name]
Gender: [choose gender, insert transgender options]
Age: [choose age]
Eyes Colour: [choose colour, possible heterochromia]
Hair: [choose hair style, choose hair colour, insert bald option]
Attributes: [insert series of choices]
Unique Characteristics: [insert series of choices]
Personal Information: REDACTED [use them in narration]
Select Subject: Deny [scrap character creation] Confirm [start story]

My point is to make it fastest possible to not overload the prologue.

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At the beginning of my WIP, you are on a dropship, and you have to enter your details into the main computer of said dropship, so that you can activate the skydiving system, as a mechaniloid has recently gone Maverick, and at this time I’m starting to give the outline of Chapter 0 away. You’ll have to visit the Maverick Hunter: Scandalous Mission thread to find out more!


I would say this works really well if the reason they are in the hospital is tied to the main plot or show cases a trait of the main character.

Just like Mass Effect (1).

I fully agree with this! I like a lot of stories that only establishing details when they are first relevant. This often makes it feel most natural to me. However getting all of the character creation out of the way at once is sometimes nice so that it is fully focused on the story.


Thanks, I am following a series on YouTube atm on making a game via Twine and his very sound advice is ‘make what you think is the best version of your game in its most basic version first, with no bells or whistles, and if you still like it do one thing, then the next etc’. It’s a logical approach that can help with getting past the inevitable difficulty of programming if you only learn one skill at a time.


The way I have it incorporated in my current WiP is the protagonist studying a statue of themselves and musing over the details. Though I realise that’s a rather niche application, seeing as I somehow doubt most people have busts of themselves casually lying around.


I agree with @Rinnegato here, I find robust customization a waste of pages much of the time. I’d much rather devote my time and effort into describing the MC’s romantic advances on an octopus, because I made a series of questionable artistic choices and I’m too deep into the thing to stop now.

Please send help.




I demand more characters with busts of them lying around now. Or maybe they’re just some trophies that aren’t busts of them and they’re musing about the differences?

Depends on customization, I’d say. And story. Of course, “much of the time” already includes that caveat.

…I’m sorry, I’m losing all coherence.

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Feel free to ask those questions somewhere where it won’t clutter the thread. Or wait until I update Saturnine a few days from now, I will update the game’s WIP thread as soon as I’m done.

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Good luck on this one. I wish I could figure out how to incorporate some of my stuff more actively in the story, but… I worry that if I do that, it’s gonna be a mess.

So this is gonna be awkward, but I know your stories involve sexytimes stuff, so… where do you generally see genital choices going? TAT I ask because I am ace af, and I’m having a real hard time figuring it out.

Holy shit this sounds interesting! I love anything Eldritch Abomination XD

I can’t help it, I laughed out loud at this one. oh my god. XD

Oh my god, this is such useful advice. Can you link it? He might have more information the rest of us can use!