In what form do you write?

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sayuri
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In what form do you write?

#1 Post by sayuri » Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:52 pm

I'm about to begin writing the script for my visual novel, but I'm having difficulty figuring out how I should write. My instinct is to write in novel form but I know that is going to get cluttered very quickly. So what exactly do your VN scripts look like? Is it purely dialogue with the characters names and then text, do you write descriptions in between as reminders? I just want to know what works best organization wise. Please show examples :).

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Re: In what form do you write?

#2 Post by kinougames » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:59 pm

I write a script because it is best suited to me. I find that, because so many VNs have a very huge dialogue/art disconnect, I think about the art as I write it, and sometimes leave myself notes in between the script pieces to remind myself what I was thinking at the time and what might be good to go there. I also try to fill in sounds as I go.

I also prefer script format over novel format because descriptions are less important and novel format makes me write way too much as far as descriptions...pieces that I'll have to eliminate anyway because they come off as repetitive. The sounds do the same thing, keep me from writing unnecessary, repetitious descriptions.
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Re: In what form do you write?

#3 Post by Topagae » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:00 pm

We use wiki script. Nice to organize.
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Re: In what form do you write?

#4 Post by chelxoxo » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:22 pm

Same as you; I'm more accustomed to writing in novel form than script form. And I can't use renpy, so...
I find that I make a rough guide of the effects I want in my script, something like this...
[] = text colours, etc.
() = sounds
<> = visuals
<< >> = CGs
>> = scene in general
~> = choices
~~ = result
Character <sprite expression>: speech
Character <sprite expression>thinks: ~~

And so on and so forth. Because I haven't sorted out my artwork yet, I imagine the scene and write down the background in a great big < > at the start of each scene. Then I write it a bit like a playscript, for example...

>>kaboom
(quiet rock music playing background )
<black fades to scene of hotel room, facing a window with a balcony outside. First floor. Side view of a black leather sofa; a television is playing a rock concert (hence music). Pop cans and snack wrappers litter the floor.>
(sound of things being moved about, drawers opening)

??? [red text]: Hey, Eli. Have you seen my phone anywhere?
Eli [purple text] <bored>: Nope.
<Phoenix -mildly annoyed- comes into view on right>
???: Any other help?
Eli: <still bored> Look under all this crap.
???: You could, I don't know... GET UP AND HELP.
Eli: You lost it, not me. And Blue Night are on. So wait.
Elithinks: God, what does a girl have to do to get some peace around here?

and

Elithinks: What a strange little charm. I've never seen anything like it.
What should I do?
~> Put it back ~> Put it in my pocket

etc. :)

I hope that's helpful... I don't really know how anyone else works, hehe. :B
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Re: In what form do you write?

#5 Post by Morhighan » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:30 pm

First I write out the story in a roleplay format with my friends. Then I edit it so that it becomes a cohesive, traditional novel styled piece. Then I turn it into Ren'Py script.

Example:
Rough Draft:
Richie nodded and smiled a bit as he walked towards her side. He wished that he could’ve placed his arm around her shoulder to walk with her but instead just kept his pace with Eva. “I do know you were raised in hell. If I didn’t I would be quite stupid and oblivious to the fact.” He stated.

Evaline chuckled. “Sometimes you have to remind people,” she said, adjusting the bags in her hands. “It’s easy to forget that I’m not human. Though, truth be told, I have no idea what it would be like to be so...weak.” The smile faded a bit. “No offense, or anything.”

Richie went to take the bags from her hands. “ May I?” He asked hopeful and then suddenly stopped and frowned a bit as he listened to her. “ It’s alright, I’ve heard worse ....” he admitted as he tried to take the bags once more from Eva’s hands.

Evaline nodded, handing one of the bags over. It was only fair. “Well, at least you’re a vampire. I mean, I like humans. I like vampires. Hell, I even like angels--though they can be a pretty boring lot.” She shrugged, continuing walking. “I don’t know why there has to be dislike between us. I suppose it has to do with trust. But think about humans! They can’t even stand to trust each other, just based on genetics.” She shook her head as if it were the most mad thing she’d heard in the world.
Edited:
Richie nodded and smiled a bit as he walked by her side. He wished that he could’ve placed his arm around her shoulder to walk with her but instead just kept his pace.
“I do know you were raised in hell. If I didn’t I would be quite stupid.”

Evaline chuckled.
“Sometimes you have to remind people,” she said, adjusting the bags in her hands. “It’s easy to forget that I’m not human. Though, truth be told, I have no idea what it would be like to be so...weak. No offense, or anything.”

Richie went to take the bags from her hands.
“May I?” He asked hopefully. He stopped and frowned a bit as he listened to her. “It’s alright, I’ve heard worse ....” he admitted as he tried to take the bags once more from Eva’s hands.

Evaline nodded, handing one of the bags over. It was only fair.
“Well, at least you’re a vampire. I mean, I like humans. I like vampires. Hell, I even like angels--though they can be a pretty boring lot.” She shrugged, continuing walking. “I don’t know why there has to be dislike between us. I suppose it has to do with trust. But think about humans! They can’t even stand to trust each other, just based on genetics.” She shook her head as if it were the most mad thing she’d heard in the world.
And Once I get it into Renpy, it'll look like this:

Code: Select all

    n "Richie nodded and smiled a bit as he walked by her side. He wished that he could’ve placed his arm around her shoulder to walk with her but instead just kept his pace." 
    nvl clear
    r “I do know you were raised in hell. If I didn’t I would be quite stupid.” 
    n "Evaline chuckled."
    nvl clear
    e “Sometimes you have to remind people. It’s easy to forget that I’m not human. Though, truth be told, I have no idea what it would be like to be so...weak. No offense, or anything.”
    n "Richie moved to take the bags from her hands. He stopped and frowned a bit as he listened to her." 
    nvl clear
    r “May I? It’s alright, I’ve heard worse...”
    n "Evaline nodded, handing one of the bags over. It was only fair."
    nvl clear
    e “Well, at least you’re a vampire. I mean, I like humans. I like vampires. Hell, I even like angels--though they can be a pretty boring lot. I don’t know why there has to be dislike between us. I suppose it has to do with trust. But think about humans! They can’t even stand to trust each other, just based on genetics.” 
    n "She shook her head as if it were the most mad thing she’d heard in the world."
    nvl clear

With VNs there are generally two ways of writing. The characters have dialogue in 1/3 screen boxes, which are followed by narration--or it is written "NVL"--that is to say, "novel" style--the words take up the whole screen and are written like a novel. For my VN I am doing a mix--the dialogue is in its own box while the narration is done in nvl style. If you have any questions on what this looks like, feel free to ask. Also, because it's a visual novel, you don't have to include "he said, she said" or "they smiled, they frowned."

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Re: In what form do you write?

#6 Post by Enigma » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:38 pm

I write novel form, or more like Fanfiction form. In reality I already have a habit of never describing any location or any character's apperance, just because I don't like to.

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Re: In what form do you write?

#7 Post by TyranX » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:29 am

I essential write most of my stories in renpy form and use the renpy comment symbol '#' to make notes on the smaller things that go on during a conversation. Those '#' also remind me of things I need for that part, such as a character pose, music, or even scene transitions.

Code: Select all

Tyran: "This is basically how I write it." "For me this is a simpler way to do it because I can both organize my thoughts, have it somewhat nice to look at, and after some quick 'ctrl+F' replacing, I can have everything ready for Renpy in literally a few seconds."

#Business room(day),Smiling, triumphant music playing.
Tyran: "Thats how I use the comments as note holders/reminders"

#Neutral face, music stops
Tyran: "You can adapt this in many ways, but imo, this type of way is superior, Muahaha! >:D"

#Undertakers theme music starts playing, scared face
Tyran: "Aaand that would be my cue to leave. D:"

#Leaves, scene fades to black
Essentially, me and chelxoxo do it the same way.
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Re: In what form do you write?

#8 Post by Aleema » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:49 am

I write straight into Ren'Py. Huh.

When I write in word programs, I go novel form, which isn't really easy to read in Ren'Py games. I find I rarely read huge chunks of sentences at once and will just skip to the next screen after the first. So when I'm writing in Ren'Py, it gets me into the right state of mind of what I prefer to see in each screen. Quick playtesting is also a huge plus.

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Re: In what form do you write?

#9 Post by LinWest » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:44 am

There was a thread similar to this a little while ago. Hopefully you'll find something useful in there:
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... f=4&t=7605

Generally its best to work in script format. Novel format can work fine if you're doing it like a children's book, illustrate specific scenes have have text appear in NVL-mode.
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Re: In what form do you write?

#10 Post by Topagae » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:07 am

It's really just a preference + experience thing though. It's hard to say what's better. I gotta guy who just can't on anything but Notepad
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Re: In what form do you write?

#11 Post by papillon » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:43 am

I write something that looks like a script, containing directions for what things should look like, but not direct code. The code version is derived from the script. It's useful to keep them separate not only because there's the chance of putting it into different engines, but also because it lets me (in writing mode) focus on what I want it to look like as opposed to what's easy to code. (When there are special effects and such involved.)

I keep a bunch of art files open with all the character expressions while I'm writing so I can flick through the expressions I have available and see what fits each line, if it's not obvious.

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Re: In what form do you write?

#12 Post by Meems » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:47 am

I write directly into RenPy. I've tried writing in regular script format and then converting it and it was annoying. (Most of my dialogue could be copied and pasted in, but then I had to go back and manually fix the indentation. Grr.) I comment out bits of code that would need art assets I don't have yet (scene changes, etc) and I use the comments to add notes as I go on what I might do re: special effects, music. Commented-out lines are also very useful for adding quick notes on plot points, character motivations etc.

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Re: In what form do you write?

#13 Post by Jake » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:03 am

Personally I'll use a regular text editor somewhere first, to write out a very vague outline and try and make sure that the overall story works. Then I'll expand it a couple of times, writing more detail in and switching stuff around until I've written loose descriptions of scenes; at this stage I'll hvae some descriptive stuff, but only so much as is necessary for the story. So if the protagonist visits the big city for the first time and is awed by the tall buildings and urban sprawl and so on, then descriptions of how the city appears to them is pertinent; if they're walking around the village they were born in, it's only worth describing it briefly so that if I leave the project for a while and come back later, I know what I was thinking when I wrote it.

After the scene outlines, I'll copy and paste the whole thing into my script editor (right now I'm using Ren'Py, so it's JEdit or SciTE) and turn everything I've written into comments; then I'll take stock of all the sprites I think I need and do brief mockups of them, and write my first draft in Ren'Py script from beginning to end with character and BG changes and everything as I go. Nothing complicated, though - any complex animation or special effect stuff gets a TODO comment that I'll go back to later.
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Re: In what form do you write?

#14 Post by KimiYoriBaka » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:25 pm

I write into renpy. I find it pointless to try to keep my thoughts organized with less messy methods because my thoughts are too random for it to make a difference. Plus, I find it easier to review by running the program as it is and checking how it feels thus far.

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Re: In what form do you write?

#15 Post by Aoyama Ryuu » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:26 am

I write it in novel form, using only descriptions for actions, the MC's personal thoughts and dialogue. I just can't get a grip on writing in directly in Ren'Py, I'm usually distracted from the writing itself.
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