What have you improved upon since writing your first Hosted/Choice of game or other story?

The infamous first story is a milestone every writer must cross, one way or another. Especially with all the opportunities for excellent advice and feedback in the forums, I think that initial threshold is far more obtainable and fulfilling here in particular than through many other avenues; however, it is still a truth universally acknowledged that one’s first story is not exactly likely to be an absolute masterpiece compared to later work.

What was your first game or story and what failings do you feel you have since improved upon? Basically, how did you get to where you are at now?


where did you get that? Ever heard the ‘‘Yeah, X Game 2 was good but damn…the 1st was so much better!’’ :smile:

if anything, usually the sequel is the one that has a hard time to fill them shoes .

well I dont write games (Can’t code to save my life), but my improvements went like these…

1- write fanfic in frenchhhh
2- translate said fanfic in english and learn engrish in the process
3- shitty stuff happen and years pass by…when I got back to writing, the goal changed to actually FINISH at least one story. Which I did, just for it to die when my old potatoe pc died too…that killed the inspiration for a couple of years…
4- Write mostly in engrish…nowdays its all about trying to give a fuck about my spelling and getting the hang on ‘‘How to tame your muse so she show up more often!’’



Fair enough! Maybe not a truth universally acknowledged then, but a truth universally felt by writers, editors and the publishing industry? Not all first works are series though. :wink: If they aren’t, then there’s usually less “the first was better!” At least in my experience. I could be blind to reality. That would not surprise me at all, haha.

Your potato dying and leading to a great writing depression is remarkably similar to my potato ALSO dying (my first computer was a refurbished dinosaur, never again) and leading to a great writing depression! I lost my favorite games (until I bought them back on Steam) and a couple fanfiction WiPs to that crapshooter desktop so I get the feel. RIP.


I think the biggest thing I learned is when it is and isn’t good to change your mind. I was too unyielding in a lot of ways with Toaster. It was a non-choice story being molded into being in a choice format, and I didn’t want to change enough to accommodate self-inserts with my main characters. With Parenting I incorporated more feedback elements, and made sure customization was in there because customization is the essence of choice, and choice is what leads people here as opposed to conventional games and stories. But I also had a vision for what the story needed to be, and in places where I felt it was important I did not compromise. Perhaps not all of those were wise from a commercial standpoint, but the end result is a product I feel so much better about then I did with NPT overall. It was a much more realized iteration of what I wanted it to be.

Of course, there’s also little things like how I understand coding better and such, but that kinda goes without saying.


I admire that. I have a similar situation going on right now and it’s interesting juggling writerly vision vs. reader expectation as you clearly already know. I’d like to think I will take your lesson to heart before I realize later on that I was too stubborn (but I probably won’t as a “learn the hard way” kind of chick, lol).

Side note, but I also admire how active I’ve seen you in the forums. You’re always among the first to jump into these kinds of conversations. I’m sure other aspiring writers really appreciate your answers. Just wanted to say I’m one of them.


For me its cleaner code. When you first start you dont realise how much writing you actually waste and how much unnecessary text that simply pads the word count without actually adding to the story

A lot of the time it is possible to have less words but still end up with the same amount of story.


That damn bastard, she’s so wild! Coming unannounced and then fleeing too soon. But I love her still.

J’adore le français. Je essayé de l’apprendre jusqu’à ce qu’on apelle “vie” m’a frappé et j’avais beaucoup de responsabilité et peu de temps pour autre chose :weary:.

Up until now, I have written only really short stories (maybe three pages long or something) and some ugly fanfic I hope will never see the light of day :joy: — though I do go back to read them from time to time to pat myself on the back on how much I have improved so far.

And now I’m trying to write a fully-fledged novel. But wait! It’s an interactive fiction novel, so I have to account for multiple scenarios and outcomes and deal with code syntax. But wait! It’s written in English, which is not even my first language :joy:. Sometimes I just wonder why I did that to myself.

I had to abandon my first project because of that. It was not meant to be interactive in the first place and I was unwilling to make the necessary changes. So now it rests on the proverbial drawer. At least I got to learn CS while at it, so it wasn’t a complete waste.

Hopefully, I’ll do better with the current wip. But I do put the plotter in plotter. I have heaps of spreadsheets and detailed bullet-point lists with every point in the characters’ arcs and all the different possible plotlines. I keep tweaking it but the actual word count goes up sluggishly.

It doesn’t help that every time I learn a new trick from some writing guru I want to test it, which leads to more tweaking. I don’t mind it, planning is more fun than writing for me. Wherein lies the problem, I suppose :joy:.


That’s the double-edged sword of stubborness. It keeps you going where others quit, but when you’re prone to just setting your head down and charging forward, sometimes you ram into a wall others would avoid. As someone like that myself, I have often described being immensely stubborn as being simultaneously my superpower and my Kryptonite.

And I appreciate that! The secret is to be in a big writing slump and use talking about writing as a substitute for actually doing it.

I kid, I kid. Kinda.

looks at dust accumulated on laptop with wistful longing


That’s always a danger. Part of the reason I could never get Nuclear Powered Toaster to work as a novel for so many years is because I loved coming up with plot ideas much more than actual writing. My document with notes and dialogue tidbits with about 6,000 words longer than the document containing the actual novel-in-progress. I became much more of a pantser as I wrote here; for Toaster it was out of necessity due to time constraints from the contest, and with Parenting it was just because it had worked for Toaster so I kept it going. I’m not saying that works for everyone, but for me plotter was writing death and pantser was progress, however imperfect that might be.


Nice topic, would love to what other writers here feel about it. So many hours spent to ead many paths of stories by so many talented people.


I hear you. But for me, it was the opposite. I used to pantsy a lot but then I would spend a sinful amount of time staring at a blank page, or just backpedaling after a couple of paragraphs because it just didn’t feel right.

Then I realized I could spend all that time actually preparing before writing. Planning ahead turns a huge leap into small hops, from point A to point B to point C and so on, and all the while I know what’s the final station in the itinerary. I say my word count increases slowly, but that’s because I don’t have a lot of free time (or I didn’t before these crazy times), and when I had some free time I would rarely spend writing. But when I do write I am a lot more productive. Whenever I feel lost I take a look at my spreadsheet and remind myself where I was going and I just fly. It’s not quality writing, but it’s something nonetheless. And it’s easier to fix something that actually exists :joy:.


Sincerely I have not noticed at all any improvement. However, everyone is telling me the difference is like night and day. So no idea.
A difference of all of you that are so planning based and all tidy and disciplined. I am not. I have the story and the process in my head I can outline now and have a schematic diagram. But is something I use more to show others that for myself.

I have a story in the head and the only I done is jolted it down. I barely rewrite and I let that to edition phase.


I hope I get to that point soon (Narration: She won’t). Coding is definitely not my strong point! Of course, can’t skip all the hard work and tears all of you put into it, even if I wish I could, haha.

Planning is terrifying and stress inducing for me. But I still overindulge in it because procrastination of actual work is the name of the game. Don’t hassle yourself over the sluggish progress of your word count too much. Aren’t all our word counts a struggle? We’re named “writers” because writing is so impossibly mysterious to us apparently. :joy: You’re doing just fine and will keep improving!

You can’t fool me. The struggle. It’s too real. :sweat_smile:

Tell your friends, lol. Doesn’t matter if it’s two years later, I definitely want to hear the thoughts of whoever wants to share them!

We need all types in the world! Personally, I don’t even know what I am. Scatterbrained with the compulsion to plan even though I find it endlessly frustrating? Whatever that qualifies as.