Writing process

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ScarletKnives
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Writing process

#1 Post by ScarletKnives » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:53 pm

So, I will start to write the plot of my personal VN; however, I still need to learn to make VNs (obviously xD) and creating all the assets. So, when writing; its better to write it like a script (as will be shown in the VN) or should I write like an actual novel?

Example; there is a script writing:
"Me and my sister are out for a walk... there is a heat wave today so it's not a good idea to be outside for a long time"

Kouki: Sure is hot today, hmm?

Azusa: Yeah...
And here is a novel writing:
Me and my sister are out for a walk... there is a heat wave on us so its not a good idea to be outside for a long time.

-Sure is hot today...- I asked to my sister, while covering my face with my own arm.

My sister nodded.
So Im not sure which one to use... because I hope to have all the novel and every route written before hand (and then editing up a bit when coding the VN so I can add choices and extra scenes) and first one seems more convenient... but I wonder if its the right way...

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Re: Writing process

#2 Post by Dovahkitteh » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:52 pm

It's pretty much up to your preferences. Some VNs are 100% dialogue, no narration at all. Personally, I prefer a blend of both, like such:
[Character Name] “Thank you, doctor. I’ll let you get back to your… work.”
[Narrator/Unmarked Speaker] The doctor rose from his chair to bow slightly to Solomon, his glasses flashing as they reflected the light.
[Character Name] “Any time, my dear. Do feel free to seek me out again with any other questions you might have.”
I don't recommend blending dialogue into paragraphs, though, if you want it to be easy to convert to Ren'Py script. Having everything on a separate line is much easier, and if you're coding it yourself, it'll save you a boatload of hassle later.
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Re: Writing process

#3 Post by nangke » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:02 pm

It seems to me that writing your visual novel's text as close as possible to how it will appear in the VN is the way to go. Why would you even bother doing it the alternate way?

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Re: Writing process

#4 Post by SilentMonkey » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:13 pm

ScarletKnives wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:53 pm
So, I will start to write the plot of my personal VN; however, I still need to learn to make VNs (obviously xD) and creating all the assets. So, when writing; its better to write it like a script (as will be shown in the VN) or should I write like an actual novel?

Example; there is a script writing:
"Me and my sister are out for a walk... there is a heat wave today so it's not a good idea to be outside for a long time"

Kouki: Sure is hot today, hmm?

Azusa: Yeah...
And here is a novel writing:
Me and my sister are out for a walk... there is a heat wave on us so its not a good idea to be outside for a long time.

-Sure is hot today...- I asked to my sister, while covering my face with my own arm.

My sister nodded.
So Im not sure which one to use... because I hope to have all the novel and every route written before hand (and then editing up a bit when coding the VN so I can add choices and extra scenes) and first one seems more convenient... but I wonder if its the right way...
There are many different ways to approach this. To describe things that are happening without directly telling telling the reader you have an option to naturally blend it in with your characters dialogue. An example would be Kouki- "Man this heat is unbearable" Azusa- "I hear ya. I didn't expect this heat wave to arrive so early though." Koiki-"Should we head inside somewhere for a little while?"
Or you have the option to take the reader inside the characters first person perspective; into what they are thinking instead of having them say something out loud that would just be awkwardly stating the obvious. Example: Kouki- My sister and I have been out walking for some time, she heard about a new drink they are making that has everyone in town talking. If I knew about the heat wave ahead of time I would have suggested we take the bus instead.- Azusa-" Kouki stop wiping the sweat of with your shirt! Mom would be so disappointed if she saw how you're handling yourself right now."-

I would suggest to move away from narrating the scene and have faith in the reader to use their imagination. You already have the advantage of having a background that shows where the scene is without having to explain in too much. Then there is the music to set the tone for you. And most importantly you have the sprites able to express their emotions without having to say a single word. I hope this helps a little on the many different directions you can take your scenes and wish you the best of luck:)

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Re: Writing process

#5 Post by Mammon » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:50 am

I'd say, learn the general writing to coding mechanics and make the script in a way that already incorporates some of those. You'll still need to code some things but spare yourself the time of doing all of it. And if you immediately write it in code, you can also spare yourself a lot of time trying describe what you want to do in that part. I myself tend to write it like this:
#scene out_for_a_walk
#with dissolve
Me and my sister are out for a walk... {w=0.5}There is a heat wave today so it's not a good idea to be outside for a long time.

K Sure is hot today, hmm?

A Yeah...
Things like which scene (background) are being used I add while other things such as the music and sprites I don't yet. The former you can already guess the name of and which assets you'll get, the latter not. And after writing and coding one project I know tricks such as adding a pause by adding {w=...} but that's probably something you don't have to worry about yet. One other thing is to take a look at the names: thing, in Renpy you can shorten it to any point (it's capital-sensitive so don't mix K and k) so writing out the entire name and : takes up a whole lot of time both during writing and after writing to remove it. (I think the : at least cannot be part of the name?) The ' isn't something to worry about because (at least on my computer) the ' ' of Word and Editra are different from one another and thus not compatible. Not sure if the same goes for " ".
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Re: Writing process

#6 Post by Scribbles » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:14 am

I write in editra with the code so I don't have to worry about converting it all later. In the few times I have written script outside of editra I write in the same way with all the code aspects.

When you write a VN script you have to keep in mind sentence length, staging (characters showing emotion as they speak and where they are.), variables, conditionals, and menu options

there are also a lot of descriptions that can be redundant if the images are seen on the screen.

I know there are ppl that do the opposite and then convert everything over though, so i guess you can just find something that works for you. Before writing a giant script though you should familiarize yourself with VNs, because visual novels and novels are very different in structure.
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Re: Writing process

#7 Post by ArcialIntegra » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:42 am

I like the idea of blending actions with speech. While it takes more work creating this, it can actually work pretty well if done correctly. The issue is the sheer amount of images you need. For instance, to indicate it is hot, you can have your characters sweat. You can have them fan themselves. You can even have them pulling at the collar of their shirt to let some fresh air in and to help pull their sweaty clothes away from sticking to their skin. Sure, these things are a minimum of 3 additional images for each character, but it adds more depth to the experience. When it comes to writing, it depends on the story. If I'm going to be using a lot of dialogue, I prefer writing it like this:
Narration
Speaker 1:
Speaker 2:
If it's meant to be more narration-focused, I prefer this:
Narration
Speaker 1:
Narration
Speaker 2:
Narration
Generally, I go with something more along the lines of a blend of the two. I try to use narration whenever the environment changes, dialogue whenever the characters have something to say, and visual cues whenever there is a change in the characters that can be expressed. I find that this makes the story have more depth and immersion.

I feel I should mention that there is no right way of doing things. Whatever works best for you is what is best for you. Don't try to push yourself to write in a way that doesn't feel natural to you just to fit some kind of standard. In the end, what matters is that you are happy with what you made.

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