My name is Jim, but you can call me Cachinnus or Cach because username. I've only been introduced to the world of visual novels for about ... 8 months, I'd say? My wife introduced them to me through DRAMAtical Murder, which I really enjoyed. Since then, I've had quite a focus on visual novels in my schoolwork. I'm earning an Editing, Writing, and Media major at my university, and some projects have called for the creation of personal projects and studies. Last semester for a transmedia campaign (in which you had to create three different types of media to expand upon a whole), I wrote my own visual novel using the Ren'Py engine to accompany an original story idea that was my campaign. I have to say, it was one of my favorite projects I've ever done, and the visual novel was my greatest piece of it.
For my current project, I need to research professional writers in a specific niche. Again, I chose visual novels, which fits right in with my interests. If none of you mind, I'd like to pose a series of questions for anyone able to answer. You don't have to be a professional writer to answer these questions. If you consider yourself amateur in the VN realm, I'd love to hear what you have to say. I'm looking for a wide variety of answers so the more I get the more successful this project will be.
I'll start with some general questions and if this turns into a discussion, I'd love to explore the more intricate nuances of visual novel creation.
- Do you consider yourself an amateur or professional writer?
- Your answer here will not affect your influence. Since I'm approaching a community rather than a specific company, I'd like to consider all levels of writing.
- What is your background in writing? Any courses or schooling that you've taken?
- What got you into visual novels?
- What is the engine you use and why do you use it?
- What is your writing process when it comes to visual novels?
- I know this is rather vague, but as an example, I had an idea for a story, made a general outline for the paths that I wanted to take, and basically wrote the story as I was learning how to use the Ren'Py engine. My method was very chaotic. I had to backtrack multiple times to make sure I was setting my paths right, and even at the end I found I had to develop two new paths within the main storyline because there was a key question that had to be asked to affect the ending. Fortunately, my VN was rather short, no longer than 5 minutes, but a longer, more intricate VN would require more planning and care than my reckless abandonment.
- Do you have a team? Who are the artists, musicians, etc. that help you create your VN? Is there anyone else that helps you? Playtesters, editors, etc.?
- Why do you pursue visual novels?