Minimizing extra writing

Questions, skill improvement, and respectful critique involving game writing.
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Minimizing extra writing

#1 Post by Fluxx » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:02 pm

I've been tightening up the outline to the common route of my VN and I noticed something. When I had started out I had a section of choices that would give you points for a particular route and love interest but the characters hadn't been introduced in the route yet. They would be introduced after you made the choice. Luckily, I realized that would be a problem. Since if you didn't pick a choice that leads to a certain character but the next time you did, an introduction sequence would have to be made for every choice, along with the variables thereof—lest you end up with something that makes no sense. You could end up confusing the player as the MC acts familiar with a LI they haven't talked to before.

It seems the only way to stop this from happening is to introduce all characters before there are choices that lead to distributing their route points.

What other things help you guys mitigate a lot of redundant and unnecessary writing?
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Re: Minimizing extra writing

#2 Post by Imperf3kt » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:58 pm

Proper planning is key.

What I usually do is write a draft. This is usually a half jotted half drafted jumble of thoughts. I build upon this until I have a rough plot, then I break it apart.

Each "part" has a clear beginning and clear objective but the content is not created yet.

In this way, I know what comes when and exactly where it ends up, before I even begin writing.

Here's an example.
I want to make a story about a man baking a cake.

The rough draft says:

Go to shop
Buy ingredients
Go home
Bake cake
the cake is a lie
Eat cake

This is already segmented. From here, I'd add a few things and some challenges along the way to fill it out a bit, then break the entire thing back into these clear points of interest and treat each like a chapter.

Warning: May contain trace amounts of gratuitous plot.

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Re: Minimizing extra writing

#3 Post by Katy133 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:29 pm

I've begun using a story grid to plot out my visual novels.

Basically, you divide different characters/arcs/plot points into different columns, and divide each chapter or scene in rows. The link above uses one of JK Rowling's story grids as an example.

It's useful because you have to take every event and look at how it effects the story as a whole. You can remove, change, or rearrange any element more easily because it's all laid out in front of you in a visual way.

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