I wanted to give you all a sample of my script to critique, specifically as far as syntax is concerned (though any advice, even creatively is also welcome of course.)
I am attempting to write in a sort of film noir style first person perspective. The premise is a visual novel with "pauses" in gameplay which are resolved through adventure game sequences...clue collecting and the like. But the one thing I was concerned about, and would love suggestions, is how to handle narration. I want it to read like a novel, but I do not want that to be too confusing to the player.
Anyhow, this is the first meeting between the main protagonist and antagonist of the game.
(MC is Caleb, antagonist is Seth, and I will write it how it would appear in game.)
The bastards pushed me to the ground hard, and I nearly blacked out when my head hit the concrete. I had made it backstage alright, but it was at the cost of a bloody nose and a pounding head.
I didn't know what to expect at first. I could see a baseball bat and a pair of pliers in my near future by the way those meatheads were staring me down. But they didn't move. Not until he came in.
Seth Fremont, age 34. Paralyzed, in a wheel-chair, covered in skin grafts, and made up of ghastly, recycled human parts. An ex-Janitor, put away by yours truly, and left for dead. Even as he rolled up out of the shadows, hunched over and frail, he looked more menacing than I had ever seen him.
"Well." he began simply, staring me down with one blue eye and one green; a prosthetic used to replace the one my bullet had put away. "I didn't expect to see you around here."
I stared up at him from the ground, while one of his thugs grabbed my collar with his filthy meat hook.
"He came in, demanding to see you. Shot the place up, and snapped poor Charlies neck out front." The thug said, pointing at the carcass they had dragged in after me, it's face covered with my jacket, filled with blood.
"And what would you like with me exactly, Caleb Lang? What little is left of me that you also feel the need to take away?"
He shook his head, and stared at the floor. And then he started to laugh. It sounded forced, raspy, and was topped off with a nasty cough.
"Is that all? Is this jaded cripple a danger in the Fed's eyes?"
"They never told me. And I never asked."
"And you were...satisfied, with that? Did you just feel the need to finish the job? Or does harassing a gimp, and trashing his establishment give you some kind of joy?"
I actually thought about that for much longer than I should have.
"Maybe a bit of both." I said with a sneer.
So, the difficulty for me is in the flow. Since I will be representing these characters with images (thus the point of a visual novel!) I don't feel it is necessary to elaborate on everything, but descriptions that are relevant to the plot ITSELF seem to be in order. My only dilemna is in how the story is being presented. Caleb is obviously the narrator here. But as far as dialog boxes are concerned, I had considered a couple of options, which I wanted advice on if possible:
1. Caleb and the narrator appear on screen as two seperate entities. That is, when Caleb is having his inner monologue, or narrating, his name will not be present on the dialog box, and you will just assume it his him. I think that seems reasonable. Whenever he actually speaks, dialog boxes would carry through as usual.
2. There will be no character names in dialog boxes. Whoever is speaking will simply be represented by their picture. The dialog boxes would as such play out more like a novel, with dialog and descriptions reading that way, as opposed to a straight-ahead script.
The problem comes in the line where Seth is speaking, but where Caleb is also narrating. I could obviously omit that altogether, and simply add a seperate dialog box for the narration, but I don't want that to hinder the story. Of course, that is up to me personally to get right since I am the one who is trying to get a message across, but there you go.
So what is the consensus on this? Any proposed direction that I maybe have not considered here?
If you made the effort to attempt to read this, you have far too much time on your hands. Good job, slacker.