I’ve been spending quite some time trying to write speeches for my WIP and noticed that it usually ends up with huge wall texts that may easily disengage the reader.
However, my main concern with that is the fact that a speech, be it intentional or unintentional, can reveal quite a lot about the character of a person and a character.
The phrasing, the stances taken, the willingness to even talk about those stances. It’s pretty difficult to make a speech without modifying the PC’s way of thinking and creating contradictions with the character the player may be wanting to roleplay as.
On the other side, making modular speeches (let’s say, divide the speech and let the player decide what to put into each part) could end with the player trapped in a long series of choices and make the coding for the answer (or the reaction) far more difficult.
What I’m trying to say is that idk if there’s some preferred alternative between set speeches or modular speeches with interchangeable parts and would like to know what do y’all think of it.
There was a poll about this recently that I found interesting.
There are different ways of doing it: summarising what the PC is saying, having the player choose every line they say, or having the player choose a general theme of what they say and writing out the dialogue. The poll pretty strongly went for the latter option.
I like my PC’s dialogue not to be too long before a choice, because if there is a large amount of text without my input, it’s more likely for my character to say something that doesn’t match what I thought I was choosing. If you want to go more complicated, you can track personality traits that shift the tone of the dialogue that you write.
I am getting that you mean monologues when you use the word “speeches”.
The short answer I would suggest is to turn monologues into dialogues.
Interaction in IF writing usually is promoted by interaction within a game.
In my experience, providing options that reflect personality (ie. stoic responses vs emotional responses) will give the reader a lot of agency in choosing their connection to the MC.
It looks like Hannah has ninjad my last point already, but maybe stating it this way will help.
I meant it more like, well, speeches. Addressing a group of people, trying to convey an idea and or persuade them by using your, idk any other term, turn to speak.
Like being 1 side of a debate, for example. You try to present some points but you gotta chose between trying to show flaws in the opponent’s logic or focusing on showing why you’re right.
I would say monologues are far more difficult due to the fact that it’s an introspection and telling the player how they should feel is bound to have problems tho
For what’s worth, RPG games which use this device tend to go with 3 modular sections, at most paragraph-sized (so, 3 choices) with prompts indicating how given paragraph will start (and giving rough idea about the content). The 3 sections work pretty well with natural expectation a speech should have opening, main body and a closing note.