Writing an organized script

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Fisseha
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Writing an organized script

#1 Post by Fisseha » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:42 pm

Hi! It's been long since I've worked on my Visual Novel , and I finally made a decent(?) outline of my story :o

However, I'm having trouble in organizing it. Specifically, how am I going to translate it into an organized script, with branching, notes etc.

Do you have any methods of writing your scripts, or even small tips that help you organise it?
I'm an artist, and probably a weaboo.

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Re: Writing an organized script

#2 Post by nerupuff » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:41 am

Hi, Fisseha!

Congrats on finishing your story outline! A lot of people have different methods for organizing their script. I have my own way of doing it, but I feel it's far from ideal/perfect.

A lot of people use programs specifically catered to organizing your notes for the script. I have Scrivener, and it is quite useful, though I haven't explored it as much. I very much prefer using Twine as a tool to organize the branching dialogues and plot-lines that I have for my story, and I find that it is also pleasing to look at when it's done, especially since you can move things around and make it look easy on the eyes for tracking what items go where.

I also utilize Google Docs to write the script before I re-work it into RenPy coding. It also helps to place labels and comments on GDocs to remind you of this you have yet to add to your script. I make sure to indicate if I need to place any point system/default values using a comment so that I can keep track of stuff (especially if I have multiple routes that depend on the choices you make.

Finally, when I'm placing the complete script into a text editor (like Atom or Sublime), I make sure that my labels and jumps have consistent names, like "label chapter1choice1result:". It gets long, but at least I know I'm straight to the point and can easily pinpoint if something is amiss, unlike if I choose to name a label something simple like "label partA", where having a lot of letters can be confusing! Using "#" to add in-text comments also help me keep track of things.

In the end, it's all up to you how you decide to manage your script, but I'm hoping you'll try out Twine (it's free! and easy to get the hang of). Wishing you luck!
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Re: Writing an organized script

#3 Post by Katy133 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:14 am

On of the challenges to writing VN scripts is organising the branching paths into an easy-to-read document.

I used to use Word (I'm not sure which version, either 2010 or 2013?) to organise my scripts, because Word documents allow you to add collapsible headers. Collapsible headers can hide/show extra text that is placed under each header. That way, you can organise branching paths like this:

Scene 1
-->Choice A
---->Ending 1A
---->Ending 1B
-->Choice B
---->Ending 2A

I've recently switched from using Word to Scrivener, and I love it. It lets me keep all my notes (the script, research notes, etc) all organised into one document, and lets you split the screen (so that you can look at notes while typing your script) and organise the scenes in different Cards that you can re-arrange.
Last edited by Katy133 on Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Writing an organized script

#4 Post by RocketAdriftGames » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:26 pm

My small tip for organizing branches: Map out your scenes and routes in Twine.

It let's you see a visual representation of the diverging and connecting story threads. I don't write the whole script in Twine (I use google docs because it is easier to share with a team) but I make twine passages for each scene and decision branch.

It's a free program and I find it helps a lot, especially if you are a visual person. Hope that helps and good luck on your project :)

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Re: Writing an organized script

#5 Post by jdhthegr8 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:04 am

I just reached this point in my own project- Finally having a completed outline of the overall story and starting with actual script.

For me I'm a total sucker for spreadsheets and stat-tracking. It serves several important purposes to me: keep track of my progress, give a visual indicator of which areas of the story I've written the most of (as in, if I felt like I wanted to space out my writing then where have I written the most scenes already and where have I written the fewest?), remind me of individual scenes I may need to go back to and revise, and also keep track of both versions of any file when I've uploaded it to Google Docs as well as Word.

For some of the more vague columns,
"Type" has 4 choices: "Main Story" (meaning the scene will always be played), "Fluff" (optional conversation scenes not tied to any major plot changes), "Branch" for a scene that only occurs in a specific plot branch, and "Romance" for scenes that only play for a specific romantic relationship (or specific scenes leading up to one).
"Dependent" is mostly intended for "Branch" scenes, to make note of what decision or scene they require to have had happen
The "Minor Variation" checkbox is used to make note of it there could be minor, non plot-impacting changes to the text based on a choice in the scene or a prior one.
"Branch" may seem redundant after Dependent but due to the number of potential variables and scene changes I needed to have it as its own column
"Version" options are Wordvomit (I'm just trying to write out a full script of the scene without regard to minor details, character voices, etc), then others for First Draft, Second Draft, Final Review, and Done
"Possible revision?" means I may need to rewrite the scene or make a major change to it as a result of later decisions

That's how I keep track of my work now. Everybody has their own way though
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Re: Writing an organized script

#6 Post by LexBit » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:37 pm

I'm currently writing my script in Google Docs for easy editing and version tracking. The 'suggestions' option makes editing very easy and comments help others edit my work. I've used the Suggestions feature to keep track of changes in the script that I would edit in the code.

I have it organized it by using Headers for chapters, so I can easily navigate using the Outline view. The way I've organized options in Google Docs might not be the prettiest way, but it makes sense for me. I use the indent feature with the greater-than character (>) to visually show where menus are located, as well as the associated options. A single > means that the following text is a menu option. >>> means the option has been chosen, and the text below is the response. Below is an example:

Code: Select all

Example text of the story so far. A menu is separated with an enter.

Here is the text that shows when the menu appears.

> Menu Option 1 
> Menu Option 2

>>> Menu Option 1
	Here is the response for clicking Menu Option 1.

>>> Menu Option 2
	Here is the response for clicking Menu Option 1.

Text that appears after the Option has been chosen, and continues the story.
Granted this works for me because my story is very simple so far. I hope it helps if you're considering Google Docs!

jdhthegr8 wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:04 am
For me I'm a total sucker for spreadsheets and stat-tracking. It serves several important purposes to me: keep track of my progress, give a visual indicator of which areas of the story I've written the most of
I, too, am a sucker for spreadsheets and want to compliment you on such an organized way of doing this. I never considered using Google Sheets as a way to keep track of scenes, versions, and wordcount. The "Type" column is a very interesting way to keep track of that. I'll be experimenting in Sheets now too! :D

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Re: Writing an organized script

#7 Post by Hellboy » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:54 am

I´ve been trying tons of text editors but I can´t find one that does what I want.
I´d like something that lets me write and add labels and jump to links across documents. Pretty much like RenPy works, but purely text. Closest thing I´ve see is Google Docs, except it handles single documents only.
Surely something like that must exist? Any idea?
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Re: Writing an organized script

#8 Post by 磯七ラスミ » Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:33 am

I would rather start the organization right from the start. But if I was to organize some old project notes, I would search for keywords among my files.
Check the date, filesize and get your categories ready (grouping apart dialogues from narrations and these two from notes or reminders for you, the developer).
Hellboy wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:54 am
I´ve been trying tons of text editors but I can´t find one that does what I want.
I´d like something that lets me write and add labels and jump to links across documents. Pretty much like RenPy works, but purely text. Closest thing I´ve see is Google Docs, except it handles single documents only.
Surely something like that must exist? Any idea?
Twine works just fine, I guess.

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Re: Writing an organized script

#9 Post by jdhthegr8 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:18 am

Scrivener is a very good program for that functionality. You can import documents, put them in separate tabs and link between them as well as notes, references, etc. You can get a free 30 day trial. It can take a bit to learn all of its features but once you do it can save a lot of time with organization

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