I'm starting a VN alone: How should I go about this?

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dartbored
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I'm starting a VN alone: How should I go about this?

#1 Post by dartbored » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:24 pm

I'm working on a visual novel and I can code it, but I feel like I'm lacking on the writing and art side (don't even get me started on the music). I have the overall idea for the story, but I don't know how to incorporate that through the dialogue. I want it to feel natural, not like I'm constantly spitting out lore.

As for the art, I'm an amateur digital artist with very little experience drawing refined, full color art. Any advice would be helpful, but I would prefer to keep the project to myself and not have to add more people if I really don't need to.
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Re: I'm starting a VN alone: How should I go about this?

#2 Post by parttimestorier » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:15 pm

What might be helpful is writing your first draft of the story without worrying about whether the dialogue is natural or not. If you want a character to explain a certain facet of the world or backstory, just write them saying that directly - it's a draft anyway. Then when you have a full draft, you can go back through it and work on editing it to make the conversation flow better so that it seems less like an infodump. That will be easier to do once writing the whole draft has given you a better idea of what all the characters are like and what's important in the story.

For art and music, you could consider using creative commons resources. There's plenty of that in the relevant section of this forum, and on other websites like itch.io. Even if you really want to have all original resources eventually, you could use those things as placeholders while you're working on the writing and programming. That will help you figure out exactly what you want for those resources, so that you're less likely to waste time creating things you don't end up using.
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Re: I'm starting a VN alone: How should I go about this?

#3 Post by dartbored » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:16 am

This is some great advice! Thanks! I've started some story planning, and I feel a lot better after getting it down on paper.
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"Your talking robot brother?"

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Re: I'm starting a VN alone: How should I go about this?

#4 Post by Mutive » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:25 pm

I'm going to echo the "don't worry about the writing too much" early on. It's going to suck. That's the state of most rough drafts. :)

Also, while you may want to do the VN 90% alone, it might be worth seeing if you can find someone to beta it once it's finished. (Especially if you continue to find the dialogue to be lacking.) A good beta really can make something entirely better.

A final thought - there are a LOT of writing resources online that can critique stuff. Most focus on short stories or novels, but getting some experience with different forms of writing might help to make your dialogue read more naturally and to get a sense as to how to divulge information without it feeling exposition-y. (Even if you don't do this, I'd strongly recommend reading critically and seeing how others do it. How, for instance, does GRR Martin explain his world without it sounding like an encyclopedia? He's got a lot of clever tricks if you read closely!)
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