Tips for you writers!

I found this video to be helpful in my writing since I tend to get stuck like… every other second! DX… so I thought I would share. Good luck to you writers!! :grin:

btw if anyone else has any writing tips please feel free to share on here!!


Interesting, liked the tips. I can only say that writing is work, but It can be enjoyable if you really want it to be. Lols

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I think it’s super important to find a way to make writing enjoyable. This however can be… well… hard… I suppose part of this is feeling that your work is bad?? I guess a good way to get over that is knowing that it’s ok to be bad at first and make it better later. That can still be a hard mental block to get past since your work might be crap for a good while hahaahaha… so the question is can it be fun to write even if you know your work isn’t so good yet? Like get lost in what the story is IN YOUR HEAD at the moment and not necessary on paper at the moment… like “ok yeah all my brilliant ideas aren’t clear on paper yet but it’s in my head for now so at least one day it will be put down more clearly for others to read but the amazingness is still real” and focus on that rather than what you actually wrote. No doubt writing is a lot of work but maybe this can help writers feel like it’s more fun than work. Thoughts on this??

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I write and code at the same time so I can play my own game and see how it feels. One paper everything will be plain and simple but when you test out your work and see how others will see your game, it feels empowering.

A lot of this information is to help write a book which is how a lot of people end up writing for these games and that’s fine and dandy but I plan on completely branching out in still general story lines but still being diverse. How does writing a draft apply to a story that changes depending on the choices???

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@Mr.Miscellaneous I think the idea of writing drafts or whatever can apply to any kind of writing. I think the basic idea is focused on the writing its self, not really what happens in the story, though that can apply to writing drafts as well. Hopefully a person has figured all of that out in their outline though some changes may need to be made later. But anyway… so this draft idea can apply to writing a story that changes depending on choices because no matter how much a story branches the writer still has to write it all out (already coded or not) so as they write they have to decide if they are going to spend the time right then as they first start writing if they will try to make their writing strong and engaging or just write a sloppy first draft and make the writing better latter.

So the question is does that kind of writing help people write faster and freer and make it more fun because you aren’t worried about quality yet.

but here is another question: are most COG readers only interesting in plot and does fancy writing matter as much for COGs vs. books? How immersed do COG readers want to be in the environment of the story and strong sentences to make them feel their surroundings or do they care more about what’s happening and get lost in choices and forget about good writing?

and another question for writers: how much time do you spend on trying to make your writing good for COG stories? Or do you only focus on plot and interesting choices?

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This seemed pretty obvious to me, probably because my perspective is that of a historian and not a novelist.

If you are a historian, and you want your book to be any good, you need to get as much feedback as possible on your drafts. You don’t start with a whole chapter. You write a paper and show it to your colleagues. They tell you what they think and give you advice. Then you present it at a conference. You shake a lot of hands, buy a lot of coffees, and talk and talk and talk. It’s like a forum, but often better.

Papers eventually grow into articles, which turn into chapters, and from there into books, and there is feedback on your work every step of the way.

Games are similar. A conventional rule of design is that you absolutely cannot produce an effective game without rigorous testing and feedback (this passage wasn’t clear to me, that character is annoying, I have an idea for one of the choices, etc), all of it intended to help your next draft be a little better.

If your story changes depending on the choices, that just means you need to incorporate playtesting into your draft revisions.

I haven’t written choice games. But for me as a player, what matters is not fancy writing but tight writing. My favorite choice games are able to convey information, characterization, and mood in only a few words. The immersion comes from effective writing combined with lots of good choices. I think you need both.

I’m currently in the middle Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. If I want to read long passages of great writing, I’ll pull that up. The public domain is full of masterpieces that no one writing for COG or HG will ever match. You can’t compete on that aspect. You need good choices, and then polished writing so that the player will care about the choices.

A lot of the first drafts that get posted on the WIP thread have more prose than they need, and fewer choices. That’s where drafting can help. Giving yourself permission to write a crappy rough draft helps you get your basic story on the page. Then you go back and delete a third of it. Then you polish the rest.

Plant your garden first, let it grow, then weed it. Presto. Better story.


I know this is about tips for writing, but I want to share that there are some great advice and tips from this forum about writers block if you guys are interested. Writers BLOCK! - What do I do? or Dreaded Writers Block and Not exactly writers block?

Meh, I’m more of the if the story is interesting. I do not like overly purple prose to flowery to swallow.

Depends on my free time really and I focus on plots before making choices for the game.

@BabbleYaggle thanks for you input!! and I agree that drafts can be very helpful. Not only in getting out the main flow of your book out faster but making it much better latter on! It takes the pressure off!!

oh and I agree that what you call tight writing is better than “fancy” writing. It’s all about seeing the world and characters in a deeper and more real way and sucky writing won’t do that as well.

@boredhypocrite thanks for the links! It’s very helpful to know what to do when in a writer’s block. I think the topic of drafts that we are on now can in a large way help a lot. The mind set of “no pressure! it doesn’t have to be good now! I can make it better latter,” can really help in one’s mindset when writing and make one more free and write more!

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Alright, I would like to bring up another topic that can be useful for writers. And that is…WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU DO WHEN YOU HAVE A MILLION IDEAS AND GET DISTRACTED WITH ALL YOUR STORIES BUT YOU CAN’T WRITE THEM ALL AT ONCE? Or some thing like that. That’s basically how I am. I have so many ideas and characters and I feel more into that story or character on different days and get distant from the current one I’m working on. So what can be done about this? Is it best to just stick to one and not thing about the others? Or work on different ones at once? Thoughts anyone?

  1. Write down any ideas you have… somewhere. It might help you get those ideas out of your head simply because you won’t have to be afraid you’ll forget about them.
  2. Stick to one main project. Deciding for yourself what you’re going to focus most of your attention on helps with actually focusing on that project.
  3. Set strict rules for yourself about side-projects. For example, set a time-limit for the project, like ‘I’m only going to work on my NANO-novel during the month of November’, or only allow yourself to work on a side-project if you’ve written an X amount of words on your main project that day/week/month.

That’s what I’m trying to stick to, anyway, and this far it actually works (to some extent) :wink:


I like to write my idea’s down. Some days when I’m feeling uninspired I revisit those idea’s and see how I can use them to help with my current project. Whether it’s world building, character creation or plot twists.

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Yep—make a file, or a file folder. Put all your ideas, side project notes, and so on in there. If you have these ideas a lot, keep a pen and paper by your bed in case you wake up in the night with ideas. The next day, put anything on that paper into your file and throw the paper away.

Write down enough to get it out of your head (no more). Any idea that is not pushing your current project closer to completion is a distraction. Maybe it will do you some good later on—probably not, but maybe. So put it in your file and get it out of your head. Do not spend time on it. Once it’s out of your head, you can get back to work.

Once the project is done, you will be free to focus on the next thing, and you will be able to give that next thing the attention it deserves.

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A trick that one of my HS teachers taught me is to write all of these ideas down and think about them, how can you weave unforgettable characters, complicated but enjoyable backstories, etc. Some make the cut and sound good, others don’t, either way if you simply cannot decide if the idea is good or not, that’s what the forums are for! Everyone here is always very eager to help with your story. After that idea has gone through those tests, put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and begin to write the story, if you don’t start when you are passionate about the idea, the story won’t come out as good as it could be, trust me on that last part! :smiley:

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Good feedback everyone!! Here is another topic that I think a lot of writers wonder about: how do we writers keep ourselves motivated and dedicated enough on a project to actually finish something?

I sometimes feel like I’m not so interested in my wip, but then I go and world build. Or think about what situations I can put my characters into. I remind myself about the things I was excited to write about that I haven’t written in yet. How about you?

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Oh, I second what @Silverstone says! Also, when in a slump, I’ll do other little writing exercises (for example, we’re starting a Q & A write-in where people can ask questions of our NPCs and we respond in-character), to keep things fresh, fun, and to refocus from a new angle. Listening to music that invokes the mood or story I’m trying to portray helps, too.
Sometimes you do have step away and take a little break. But I try not to leave it for too long so I don’t lose interest! If it’s writers’ block, I might spend a day focusing just on editing and grammar instead, before trying to get back into storytelling.


I think simply letting your imagination run wild and see your story and characters in your mind like a movie can help you get in the mood and connected to the story. Also, in those times when you feel that what you are writing isn’t good, just simply know that it’s ok and you can make it better later! So just finish it!!! Sharing your work with another person can also help motivate and they can also give fresh ideas and feedback that you might have not thought of yourself.