Skipping chapters

Anyone else find that sometimes particularly with long, branchy chapters you end up getting bogged down or just throughly sick of it, and skip forward to the rest of the story for a while to move everything forward again?

If not how do you deal with “choice game branch fatigue”?


I have definitely done that. I write first and code later, and if a story path is wearing me out or wasting some of that very finite resource called time, I punt it to work on during the coding step (which also has been serving as my second draft) and go on to the part of the story I really want to tell at that moment.


I assume you mean while writing? If so, YES.

As a matter of fact, I found a place where I did that about a week ago and I forgot to go back and fill in what I skipped. I face-palmed at myself …

When I start experiencing fatigue, I usually write: baba black sheep says: babababababa within the text box I am working on to tell myself I need to go back here and fill it in.

Usually, if this happens, I will end up working on the related mechanical structure to revive my interest and if that fails, once I’m in a “safe” place, I take a break for a bit.

There is a couple of things I do when I start bababaing

1st - I take notes on what I’m thinking at the time this is happening - storywise, characterization, etc which I can use to refresh my memory when I come back to it…


2nd: I keep a journal where I try to keep note of the lines I do this on. Which sometimes I forget to do anyways.


Yes, I definitely get bogged down, or sometimes distracted, in the morass of long, branchy sections.

I’m the opposite of @hustlertwo, I code first and write later. I try to map out a whole section, and I use ‘jkl;’ to remember where I left off because it’s handy to type and handy for a quick search (and ‘asdf’ to mark my place if I get up from the keyboard or am interrupted)…so it ends up looking something like:

You round the corner of the garden, a bad feeling creeping up into your bones. To the right is a wild flower patch; to the left, some roses. Directly ahead, you see a fountain.
  #Turn right and explore the wild flowers.
    Killer daisies come after you jkl;
      #Luckily, I have weed killer.
        Or do you jkl;
        *if ((science > 60) and (haste > 50))
          Yes, my weed killer is mighty jkl;
          *goto chemicals 
          Actually it was just mango crush that'd gone off, not weed killer, you lose jkl;
          *goto captive_of_plants
        *if ((haste > 70) or (wings))
            You get away, woo jkl;
            *goto cloud_land
            you lose jkl;
            *goto captive_of_plants

That way I can just follow branches that I’ve mapped out and writing is a lot quicker…and it’s (slightly) less tempting to rabbit trail into next Tuesday. :D


I’m writing a WIP, The Magician’s Task. I got writer’s block at Chapter 5, so I went and wrote Chapter 7. Still had writer’s block for 5, so I started on 6. I’m halfway through that chapt at 20k so hopefully a few more weeks of writing this one will help me finally get back to chapter 5. :stuck_out_tongue:


I sometimes skip forward, but usually because I’m really excited to write one particular chapter. I do get really sick of particular chapters sometimes. (Chapter 6 was a real challenge for me on my current WIP) but I just force myself through them. :yum:


I’m glad I’m not the only one then :smile: I just find sometimes it’s like: I’ve already written this chapter from 2 angles already, writing gets slower… losing inspiration… Trying to write…Oh look shiny!.. Ok, I really can’t do another 2 versions of this chapter right now… *skip (And hopefully remember to come back and write it later). lol @Eiwynn I’ll have to remember the Baba black sheep trick.

@Fiogan- yep I tend to do the same with sketching out choices and then come back to fill them in. By the way, did you write that example just for this thread :laughing: It’s got a kind of little shop of horrors x with starship adventures thing happening.


Yup! Not just you.

In my own writing, I do tend to skip around completely out of order and reassemble things later, but for SYP, my co-author is quite strictly a chronological writer, so I don’t tend to get too far ahead (except maybe a paragraph here or there that I might hope to fit in once we catch up to each other again later on in the story). So, instead, if I get to that saturation point or even just feel I can’t articulate properly that day, I will focus on reviewing the code, editing previous chapters, proofreading/spellcheck…anything that keeps me immersed in the project so I don’t lose too much more steam, but that allows my brain to tackle it in a different way for a break until I feel ready to pick up where I last left off again.

Good to see it’s so common, though! There’s something reassuring about that. :sweat_smile:


I sit down and write the game completely in order without skipping around, hammering at the keys at a maddeningly clicky touch-typey rate for hours on end until I rise from my chair light-headed and disoriented five hours later. This is how I’ve always written ever since I was writing my first little stories on my Apple IIe on the “Bank Street Writer” word processor program.


I definitely jump around too. Sometimes I am “just not feeling” a scene, even if I’ve outlined it.

And I’m still a newb at all of this, but I’ve learned this statement is true, at least for me: if you’re not enjoying writing it, people won’t enjoy reading it.

So I’ll move to another scene, one that has me excited about writing it. And you know what usually happens? By the time I’ve written the new scene, a great idea for the “not feeling it” scene has popped into my head.


I absolutely start feeling bogged down with some of my more… branchy-scenes. Especially with conversations. As a result I do tend to skip around in scenes because I find when I write one and I’m feeling slow it can help to jump to an entirely different scene with an entirely different feel to it and get a lot done there before moving back to the other one. It helps a lot for me.


I’m very envious of you. Perhaps it’s because of my ADHD, but I’m only able to write for about an hour at a time, and that equates to about 1k words. After that, my efficiency starts to go waaay down. So it would take me like 2 more hours to write 1k words, then 4 more hours to write another 1k words, etc, haha.


Ditto! Due to my reduced free time (work and my daughter… which is essentially work and work!) I’m limited to about 7 hours a week where I have time to write. The first 20 minutes of that is usually procrastination!

I have averaged 500 words a day for the last 100 days though, so that’s not too bad.

Like @Eiwynn and @Fiogan, I too use a bookmark code to tell me where to go back to. My code is a simple xxx. It’s easy to search for and I can’t mistype. Important when you have some 50-odd occurrences…


Yes, that sample was just for this thread off the top of my head. I always enjoy writing up sample snippets, and I try to make them fun. Beware the daisies.