Making sure different paths are balanced?

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Empish
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Making sure different paths are balanced?

#1 Post by Empish » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:04 am

I'm currently working on the script for EH and had to restructure a bit because one boy's path was way shorter thematically at least than the other's.

My questions are twofold:
1: What do you do to avoid such problems occurring the in the first place?

2: If such a thing does happen, how do you go about fixing it?

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sonnenblumen
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Re: Making sure different paths are balanced?

#2 Post by sonnenblumen » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:03 pm

1. In some cases, one of the routes being shorter is reasonable (narrative-wise). To drag it out anymore would probably leave players bored or annoyed with plot fillers. The best way to avoid it would be detailed planning: make sure that both characters have a broad narrative/character arc, even if it’s not involved in the overarching plot.

2) Again, sometimes I think it’s best to simply leave it be. Unless the difference is so drastic that one route will leave the other feeling lackluster. Filler scenes (particularly if it’s a romance) are one option.c but finding a way to incorporate a side-story or side-quest (preferably related to the overall narrative — even if only the themes) would be my personal preference.

Anyway, that would be my way to approach it. Good luck! ^^
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Re: Making sure different paths are balanced?

#3 Post by Yolo400 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:18 pm

I think sonnen said most of it, but filler isn't filler if it develops your character.

IE. before 'filler', character has no dog
IE. within 'filler' character gets dog
IE. after 'filler' character has dog in bedroom occasionally seated in different poses on the bed (or whatever)

and then if it's still too short

you can create an arc around the dog going missing or something horrible happens to it, and then invoke tears in the reader by getting them attached to the dog and it dies.

and you've successfully become filler again. (especially if you never reference the dog again)

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Re: Making sure different paths are balanced?

#4 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:26 pm

sonnenblumen wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:03 pm
1. In some cases, one of the routes being shorter is reasonable (narrative-wise).
...
2) Again, sometimes I think it’s best to simply leave it be.
I agree with sonnenblumen - all that matters is that each arc and path is thematical and narratively satisfying. You shouldn't force a story to be something it is not, just for the sake of parity with another story. That can easily lead to bad storytelling and can destroy pacing.

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Re: Making sure different paths are balanced?

#5 Post by Zelan » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:19 pm

I agree with the other two here that you shouldn't force something to be longer just for the sake of it; that usually leads to the writing being really forced, and the readers can tell. That the story is complete and well-written is the most important; if one story is 40k words and the other is 30k, everything's probably fine if you think you've done well.

On the other hand, if one is 40k and the other is 10k, you might have a problem. Here you'd want to think about how deep the character with 10k and their arc is - maybe it's complete based on what we know about him, but, like you said, lackluster compared to the other character.

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