Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

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Obscura
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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#31 Post by Obscura » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:24 am

@LWR and @Cheerymoya, thanks for your well stated advice about pitches and premises. You guys are way more articulate than I am when trying to drive home the message.

And sorry about the triple post...I had to round up a bunch of responses and the single post reply was really unwieldy.
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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#32 Post by kkffoo » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:27 am

Thanks Obscura, I changed the wording to 'romantic comedy', hopefully that is clearer. (sent you pm also)
This is a really interesting topic, thanks for all your feedback.

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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#33 Post by junna » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:43 am

Obscura wrote: @LWR--yeah, I don't know what the whole deal is with these long character sheets people like to put in their WIP thread. I, for one, skip right over them. Show of hands--does anybody read them and actually enjoy them? I don't mind looking at the character art, but learning what their favorite food is, and that they're "feisty yet sensitive" is just a lot of forgettable verbiage. In sum, if you have detailed character sheets, I am actually less inclined to play your VN. Why? Because reading your character sheet feels like work (yes, they're really that boring!) But maybe that's just me. All I'd want is really just a picture, a name, and maybe a short description, like "the MC's boyfriend."
Me! I look at the characters...but I skip the personality traits. I just want to know what role they play in the story. But it seems some people do like the traits thing because that's the main thing people in the otome tumblr groupies talk about. "ooh, this guy has a so and so personality. I like it! Gonna play him!".
^^;; was influenced by that.
@Junna--I like your premise but I like the earlier one you did better because it was easier to relate to the protagonist...."wakes up in a coma into a society where men are enslaved". Whereas the second one might be more technically correct but it reads like a dry academic summary, without the feeling of being there, in the story.
LOL academic writing, coming through. Thanks for that critique! I have a better idea of what to do now.
And thank you! I loved the myth of Amazons but creating a whole society is really pushing my imagination limits.
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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#34 Post by Obscura » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:49 am

Me! I look at the characters...but I skip the personality traits. I just want to know what role they play in the story. But it seems some people do like the traits thing because that's the main thing people in the otome tumblr groupies talk about. "ooh, this guy has a so and so personality. I like it! Gonna play him!".
^^;; was influenced by that.
@junna
That explains a whole hell of a lot, thanks. I don't play otome games (other than the commercial JVN I disliked so much it inspired me to make my own VN :lol:).

I'll probably start another post one day on "I don't understand why all these characters are classified into these categories in Japanese VNs", but in the meantime, I like your premise. Hope to play it one day, it sounds cool.
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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#35 Post by Greeny » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:34 am

This is probably the most important thread on Lemma Soft in a while. So often I open up a WIP thread, or even a completed game thread, read the first few sentences and go "BOOOORINGGGG!"
No offense to anyone, or anything.

Here's how I'd pitch one of my TBA projects:
We are not alone in the galaxy. Dr. Evelyn Williams finds that out first hand when she's abducted - and they need her help.
But when the aliens look and act just like us, where do you draw the line?
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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#36 Post by Desu_Cake » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:02 am

Obscura wrote: I think your instincts are correct. I like the first one, it has my interest. I like it...it's snappy and has drama. The second one...argh. It's like the premise of about a hundred RPGs along the lines of "a dark force has taken over the land..." :lol: .
Damn, you're right.
How about:
A girl has gone missing in unusual circumstances. Meanwhile, a war between humans and demons is brewing. The answer to one may also be the answer to the other.

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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#37 Post by GlassHeart » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:08 pm

I've just started actual work on my newest project so this had to be done anyway. I've always been bad at summarizing my stories because I actively try to make them complex and I also love to ramble about every little detail. *sigh*

I think it took me about 30 minutes to finally decide what I want to say. In the end I came up with 2 versions. The first one is a bit more vague, but raises an actual question. I think I like the second one more (it's shorter too), though it's a bit exaggerated for shortness/clearness' sake. The psychologist isn't all that famous and the girl isn't suicidal (anymore). Here goes:

VERSION 1
"Making new friends, seeking comfort and sharing secrets while remaining anonymous" - transferring to a new school, Mia is required to participate in the testing of a school wide suicide prevention program that based on just that concept. Stumbling upon a secret she was never meant to uncover, she finds herself at the mercy of a faceless opponent. Will she discover his identity in time or risk having her greatest secret revealed?

VERSION 2
Transferring to a new school, a depressed girl is given the opportunity to find comfort anonymously as part of a suicide prevention program. When the secret she uncovers belongs to the famous psychologist coordinating the program, she does the worst thing possible, telling her anonymous friend.

It was good exercise. Thanks for the idea, Obscura! ^^
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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#38 Post by Greeny » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:55 pm

I likeed version 1 better. It's longer, but it conveys the originality of the setting, something which a lot of readers look for.
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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#39 Post by Obscura » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:22 pm

Greeny wrote:This is probably the most important thread on Lemma Soft in a while. So often I open up a WIP thread, or even a completed game thread, read the first few sentences and go "BOOOORINGGGG!"
No offense to anyone, or anything.

Here's how I'd pitch one of my TBA projects:
We are not alone in the galaxy. Dr. Evelyn Williams finds that out first hand when she's abducted - and they need her help.
But when the aliens look and act just like us, where do you draw the line?
I like the way you write Greeny--your cadence is appealing to me--but as for the concept itself, I don't feel there's enough info and that you're holding back information. It's very vague right now.

@Desu--same thing. I need more information, as someone stated earlier on being more specific. Like "an eight-year old goes missing during an electric storm...". I'd also like you to just go ahead and connect the war with the why she's missing...right now it seems the entire appeal of the story hinges on that single connection, which you're holding back. As LWR said earlier, if you're banking on the spoiler to be the entire appeal of the story, you've got a problem. There should at least be something else more interesting to the pitch if you don't want to give the spoiler away.

@Glassheart--I'm not crazy about the first few words of #1--"making new friends...etc". It's vague, and needs to be reworked. However the premise is a good one. If I were to redo the premise, I'd just reword it to:
Mia is required to participate in the testing of a school wide suicide prevention program that based on friendships with anonymous online identities (or something to that effect?). Stumbling upon a secret she was never meant to uncover, she finds herself at the mercy of a faceless opponent. Will she discover his identity in time or risk having her greatest secret revealed?
@all

I'll be back in this thread at some point, but I've got to bow out now to get my demo and Kickstarter ready. Thanks for participating. I'd really encourage you guys to comment on each others premises and be highly critical about what draws you in or scares you away.

In any case, I liked a lot of these premises...they sound about 1000% more interesting to me than the long intro threads I've been seeing in the WIP section (even though some of them might be for the same game, haha).

Anyways, I'll leave you with this quote, popularly attributed to both Twain and Pascal.

"If I had more time I would write a shorter letter."
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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#40 Post by Applegate » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:39 pm

So let's try this as well. I'm usually awful about pitches. No doubt the same holds true now.
Rody knows Cecile is being bullied, and thinks someone ought to step up and help her. He never follows up on that, but one day finds himself finally giving her a hand. When Cecile accuses him of being a bully himself, too, Rody is determined to change.
I'd appreciate any assistance in making that uh, more interesting. This is the pitch workshop, right? It'd be interesting to have one, in any case, since I agree a short pitch looks better on projects than a large list of characters and a synopsis half the size of the VN.

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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#41 Post by Hijiri » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:02 pm

Applegate wrote:So let's try this as well. I'm usually awful about pitches. No doubt the same holds true now.
Rody knows Cecile is being bullied, and thinks someone ought to step up and help her. He never follows up on that, but one day finds himself finally giving her a hand. When Cecile accuses him of being a bully himself, too, Rody is determined to change.
I'd appreciate any assistance in making that uh, more interesting. This is the pitch workshop, right? It'd be interesting to have one, in any case, since I agree a short pitch looks better on projects than a large list of characters and a synopsis half the size of the VN.
Those last two sentences seem a bit off to me. Hmm...
Rody knows Cecile is being bullied, and thinks someone ought to step up and help her. One day his chance to do so finally arises, but when Cecile accuses him of being a bully as well, Rody becomes determined to change himself.
Blech, I don't really know too well. Not very good at pitches.
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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#42 Post by ImmaDeker » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:28 pm

An adaptation of the Book of Enoch showing the trials and tribulations of a failed romance between a woman and angel.

A Boner College film.

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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#43 Post by Blane Doyle » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:51 pm

I thought about posting in this thread all day and... you know what, I have some ideas I have been working on, may as well run them by people here in a pitch to see if anyone will bite. Why not give it a chance?
Freelance writer and internet blogger Candice Cane has been looking for a new project to occupy her time, and it seems as if a new cooking class opening up close by may be the answer. Now she just needs to keep her classmates and teacher from finding out she has started a new blog about the class... and them. Especially when she starts to get uncomfortably close to some of her classmates.
The era of steam power is ending and a new era of entropy induced energy is staring to arise! But untimely and disastrous side effects due to exposure to pure energy that create monsters out of a mix of organic and machine components threaten to bring the ambitious country to its knees. Only a small number of people can survive exposure without side effects and that's where our hero comes into play, the newest Clockwork Mage.
What do a semi-immortality granting gemstone, a shape shifting thief, supernatural police forces, a very unhappy band of marauders, and a council meeting for probation have in common? Unfortunately for our heroine, she happens to be the answer. If she's going to get out of the mess she is in now she needs to stick with her new thief companion to his destination or be stuck running from the marauders for as long as her new semi-immortal life lasts.
... these sound horrible when I read them.

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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#44 Post by junna » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:02 am

Blane Doyle wrote:
Freelance writer and internet blogger Candice Cane has been looking for a new project to occupy her time, and it seems as if a new cooking class opening up close by may be the answer. Now she just needs to keep her classmates and teacher from finding out she has started a new blog about the class... and them. Especially when she starts to get uncomfortably close to some of her classmates.
I like this one (because I'm a traditional no-measure, no-recipe cook) because I could see its potential. Maybe...
Joining a cooking class and starting a blog about the class - and her classmates - seemed like good idea for Candice Cane. Now she has to make sure none of them know about the blog. Especially when she starts to get uncomfortably close to come of her classmates.
Does that work better?
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Re: Pitching Your Visual Novel - What's Your Premise?

#45 Post by Blane Doyle » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:12 am

That sounds MUCH better to me, actually! Thank you! (and I am glad you found potential in that one as well)

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