Creating the Perfect Intro

Questions, skill improvement, and respectful critique involving game writing.
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Creating the Perfect Intro

#1 Post by SpeCTRL » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:13 am

At the moment I've been battling trying to create the perfect moderate intro. One that isn't too slow, and one that gives you a good introductary grasp of the MC. I've switched from a dream sequence type thing, to a train ride as the MC travels to his new city and home. Could anyone give me and tips as to start a VN, and how to introduce the MC and give way to his personality, strifes, etc, all while not going over the top or cramming backstory in?

Also, if anyone could give critique on the intro I have below, I'd appreciate it. I'm aware it isn't at all perfect, but I'd appreciate some further help nonetheless from some of the more veteran writers here, or anyone in fact.
"Rattle, Rattle."

"The carriage sways and bumps as it speeds along to the next unfamiliar station."

"And the carriage itself, no less than 7 people within what could house 80."

"THe rattling is only accompanied by the faint chattering of other passengers, tattered with laughter and exclaimation."


"I've never had to travel beyond my hometown, but..."

"Well, this is my last departure from it."


"My apartment fell through, which figures. I'm not sure how I was expected to attend both a full time education to a degree, and pay rent WITHOUT relying on government benefits."

"Fortunately, they only evicted me just after I graduated from junior high. How thoughtful."

"So, I'm being dumped somewhere else more convenient, so to speak."

"Somewhere cheap that falls within budget..."

"Or at least, that's what I would have assumed. My new apartment, waiting for me miles upon miles away, across the island,"

"A new one, amidst a new block, amidst a brand new city, wholly erected rather recently,"

"Built from cause of population overflow from several Tokyo districts - it's being thrown over an old coastal town, like an urban blanket."

"Supposedly, I'm one of the first legitimate residents."

"...That was evident enough from the lack of people on the carriage."

"Another bump catches me by surprise, and I catch myself bracing in my seat."

"Ugh... The railway never fails to be the most unsettling experience any japanese commoner can experience."

"... I've only ever been on a train three times."

"Never had much reason to stray away from my refuge."


"This apartment, nonetheless..."

"It must be modern, and since it's new, I would expect a hefty price - any normal regional market would have it be ridiculously costly."

"But the price... is cheap - that tells me something about the quality, for sure."

"I'll just have to see when I get there and draw my own conclusion..."


"... Shinjuku, huh."

"We pass yet another alien station - It's name means nothing new to me."

"I was never really a geography-kinda person, nor am I familiar to the landscape of Japan."

"The station I'm looking out for - new not just to me, but to the continent."

"Haibu City Station."

"And proceeding that,"

"Haibu City."

nvlk "I shudder under words."

nvlk "Even the semantics themselves feel uncomfortable and rough, as the word slides across my tongue."

nvlk "Perhaps that's just the nerves, and the unfathomable connotations of moving."

nvlk "I'm sure by any stretch, It couldn't be as bad as my last city, and my last..."

nvlk "School..."

nvlk "School is something..."

nvlk "That I intensely loathed - perhaps still do."

nvlk "I don't even hold a sole pleasant memory from school."

nvlk "For me, it was but a long, painful culmination of bad experiences and shit people."

nvlk "And for the longest time, I was subject to the might of social hierarchies - to children, of course."

nvlk "Soulless children, that held a juvenile sadism so cruel and almost... frighteningly innate."

nvlk "The joy of bullying... It sickens me. The way children will go any lengths to isolate their peers - make themselves feel good."

nvlk "I took the brunt of that, to no mercy."

"I gripped my fists until my knuckles turned a bright white."

"For sure, I was gritting my teeth just at the memories alone, just weltering across my train of thought."

"I try and shake these unpleasantries, but it's futile. Fucking damn it."

"Despite what else has happened in this sickeningly mundane life..."

"School had made me indefinitely scared of people."

"I'm well aware of it - my social anxiety."

"I was never nurtured in what should have been an educational, passionate environment."

"I was traumatised and torn apart back when - my childish innocence trodden on too many times to count."

"Now, i've been 'nurtured' into a fucking sleaze."


"No, I shouldn't dwell on such things."

"I am moving forward, literally."

"Moving forward on a train taking me great lengths away from such horrors and memories."

"I've been given opportunity to abandon the past. I shouldn't let it drag me back all the while..."

"I took a while to calm down. I can't let myself get negative just when I'm leaving it all behind."

"A sigh of relief is all I could muster thereafter."



"Ah... Pull yourself together Katashi, you've got new horizons to face."

"The past is irrelevent now."

"No, it's entirely relevant."

"I can't fight this. The only guide I have to life, to people, and to society, is the culmination of shit I had to endure in..."


"Hence, the mixed feelings of a new start, though."

"I feel scared - like, almost as if this will only follow me. I can't help but be worried. Is that reasonable of me?"

"I can only hope Haibu will become my refuge."

"And my new high-school, Ijo. I hope it serves to object every ideal I have been taught about school and education."

"I haven't heard much about Ijo. In fact, it's a bit of an unknown."

"It was the nearest state school, and was recently refurbished along with its new surroundings."

"I hope it gives me the grace of change I'm looking for,"

"But really, deep down, I suspect that I just loathe school - I'm expecting the same. I'm prepared for the same."

"As much as I don't like it, I have to be a pessimist for my own sake. Even still..."

"I'm trying to imagine a reality where that doesn't happen."

"Where the past doesn't repeat itself."

"A different feeling place of its own..."

"Where I can actually talk to another person - no hostility, ill intent - genuine friendliness."

"I could scoff at it... Am I that far gone?"

"But it's all I desire."

"Just... communication."


"All legitimate and genuine."

"No more malice."


"I came to that same conclusion in my head, and my rapid thoughts came to a calming slow."

"I returned to consciousness, and realised my back was arched forwards. I let my muscles and posture relax and contract back into something less tense."

"I turned my head to the window, watching countless rural and urban areas pass, letting my tired thoughts pass with them."

"All that variation..."

"... I wonder what Haibu will be like?"

"When it comes to surprises, I'm no good."

"But this is something I need to wait out."


"... Omiya."

"There goes another one."

"With another major station, we must be getting close."

"As the train rattles and sways, I feel my eyes getting heavier..."

"A small nap should be okay. I've been travelling for a few hours, and last stop is Haibu itself."

"I'm sure..."

"If I just..."

"Take a small..."



[2 hours later]




"Gah... Shit..."

"Sure enough, to my disbelief."

"I'm here."
Remind me to update this...

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Re: Creating the Perfect Intro

#2 Post by Mammon » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:48 am

Intro's are always difficult. Plenty of writers have huge issues with it because there's this strange feeling that the intro has to be perfect and reflecting everything that the story will contain in it's most perfect form. That first sentence must be breathtaking. All the things in this chapter that will always be mostly exposition must feel great instead of necessary.

They can't. You don't need to worry about making the intro perfect. You can't.
As such, I'd say that what you have here is already a good begin. Namely, you wrote it. That's always a good start. My advice would now be to leave it be as it is, and write the rest of your story. Don't go back and change other scenes until you finished the first draft of your story. A lot of people never finish their story because they keep going back and try to make their beginning perfect to accomodate what follows or because it doesn't feel right. Never do that, first see what comes out of your hands and onto the paper before adapting the previous chapters to accomodate it.
This will also help immensely with rewriting the intro above. Once you've written the rest of the story, you'll know your character better and can make the intro more personalised. If you keep trying to adapt it without that knowledge, it will never become as perfect as you want it to be.

So, don't linger on the intro. Once you wrote it, move on. Move on, and don't go back until it's time for the second draft.

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Re: Creating the Perfect Intro

#3 Post by Sonomi » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:53 pm

This is a rockstar introduction. Good job! Your writing style flows well from one thought process to the next and I felt that everything you shared was entirely relevant to the portrayed scene.

Honestly, I have nothing to critique here. So instead I'll just share my opinion of what can potentially make an intro rough for a reader to get through. (None of these things you have done, by the way.)

1. Infodump. I especially love the way you presented your information through narrative with context. One mistake a lot of writers make is they'll elaborate on 100 different things in that first scene, and few if any comprise of information that the reader needs to know right this second.

Your excerpt presents this information in a logical progression, in the order a reader would actually want to hear about it. I mean, if I know that someone is on a train, I certainly am curious as to where they're going, where they came from, what circumstances caused them to move, and why. You definitely nailed that.

2. Lack of voice. Narration in the first person is very hard to appreciate when the speaker doesn't use a distinct voice. I like the strong use of diction throughout this excerpt because it gives the reader a good sense of the MC's personality. An interesting protagonist makes for an interesting story for sure.

3. Varied sentence structure. While you do begin many sentences with a noun (such as "I") I did pick out several times where you started with a new opener and that definitely helped maintain my attention as I read.

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