How to Flesh Out Plot for Storyline?

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How to Flesh Out Plot for Storyline?

#1 Post by VintageCivet »

Apologies if this topic has been covered already.

I have a premise for my VN, as well as four endings planned. The problem is that I am unsure on how to flesh out the premise to have a proper plot the player can follow, other than a vague notion of what the plot is going to cover. In other words, I am unsure of how to construct scenes and events stringing together the plot. The VN has everything else, such as characters with backstories and a planned points system for the choices.

For context, the main plot is about two women in a small town who end up in a secret and troubled romantic relationship. The subplot that carries the structure of the story is that a family who runs a church is looking to expand their social reach at any costs necessary. The antagonist wants to achieve this by having the love interest to marry the son of any of the town’s economic head figures for bigger social reach. Meanwhile, the love interest wants to keep her role in her the church, instead being forced to quit her job and become a housewife. For the main plot, both the protagonist and the love interest want to have a relationship that works out, but they have some unresolved issues with key figures in their separate pasts that keep this from happening in a healthy manner.

How would I go about forming key scenes that form this plot?

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Re: How to Flesh Out Plot for Storyline?

#2 Post by YossarianIII »

A good first step is to create a rough outline outside Ren'Py. If you have branching plots, you might want to use something like Twine or draw it on a sheet of paper or something.

Then, when you work in Ren'Py, it can be helpful to create a new .rpy file for each major chunk. Even if you have variables or choices that affect the whole story, it can be helpful to think in independent chunks. Also, at the top of the script or in a new .rpy file, be sure to set the default for any new variables you use that are important in multiple scenes. You might want to keep the variables open in a separate window the whole time, just to keep track of all the different possibilities.

(All of the above is just for organization and not mandatory. You just write it all in one big script file and try to keep track of things in your head, but that gets complicated for larger stories. Basically, you just want to break things down into parts that ARE small enough for you to hold all the options in your head.)

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Re: How to Flesh Out Plot for Storyline?

#3 Post by Meera »

Seconding creating an outline! It can really help in giving the tools to overcoming 'writer's block', having a general direction to fall back on. I'd also recommend creating an overarching theme for the story as a whole or for the characters themselves to represent themes, which can provide motives and natural conflict. For the actual scenes themselves, I'd start with asking "what kind of scenario can get the theme or conflict across?" That way it can be written showing these elements naturally, avoiding exposition. Scenes can generally be broken down into two categories: building up a character with things like backstory, motivations, personality, and so on. And the second, advancing the plot - the story that's actively taking place.

Good luck!

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