I'm currently working on a horror story game. It's focus with you as the MC. I'm at the point right now of just outlining how I want everything to go, so the sentence structure is pretty basic right now. It's pretty much "you did this" or " you do that" and I just wanted to start changing those less boring sentences. if anyone has some helpful advice or creative ways to get away from the basic you+verb sentences; I would appreciate it big time. Thanks in advance!
Ah, I find this to be one of the challenges with writing second person.
Obviously, having all the sentences (or most) start with 'you' can be pretty repetitive.
Generally, I find I can shuffle things around a bit so that the 'you' isn't always the first word, but it does depend on the sentence. I'd say, try to think about what the scene is about, and in what ways you can go about conveying that.
I find that if the reader is a new location, describing relevant things doesn't usually require 'you'. Also, when the player acts, the thing that happens in response/in consequence also tends to not require 'you'. This does all depend on the context tho.
What type of things is your MC doing? Cutting out less important things will not only remove some of the 'yous', it'll also tighten up the story and improve the general pacing.
So, I guess I'd advise seeing if you can rewrite sentences to be more engaging. Also keep an eye out on sentences you can split. ie. You ran up to the truck, and kick it. vs You run up to the truck. Delivering a kick leaves your foot in pain.
This might be a bit more about style, so don't worry too much about my advice, but just consider it. Also, be mindful of the tense you are writing in. I find being actively aware can help me with writing sentences that are more successful. You also don't really want to be switching tense, generally speaking, but that's not what you asked about.
Anyway, I'm curious what others peoples' thoughts on this are, as it is something I struggle with.
I appreciate the advice. Every time I write the "you" I think of those old text RPGs like Zork or something. Speaking of which, looking back at those games might actually help out writing like this. It seems the quick fix for it right now would be to rephrase my sentence structure. The parts I've written right now are literally bland and boring. I know I'm not anywhere near close to even being done but this advice will help me out once I come to the point of reorganization. Thank you!
You don't know how long you have been living on your own. You don't remember how long it's been since you've even seen another human. It all had happened so fast you are hardly sure how it even happened. You were inside by yourself. You could hear the city outside alive with the daily routine of its inhabitants.
You spent the first few days yelling over and over calling out for any response. Your voice would echo as it bounced off the skyscrapers in the city. No response. You yelled until your voice cracked and throat ran raw. You started to give up hope about finding anyone. As your hope starts to wane, your mind starts to drift towards the now. You are still alive. You need to worry about yourself.
Oh yes the story right now is a literal thought-train of whatever flew into my mind during my 24hr shift. I think most of the story so far was written at about 11pm-1am. It's no where near what I want it to be. I was mainly curious how the set up on the website was for building these. As I go through it now, there's so much I'm looking at and saying "what the hell was I thinking".
You're advice is something I'll keep in mind once I get to the point of rephrasing everything. Right now the writing is pretty direct and boring. I'm using it almost as an outline of what I want to go towards as far as choices and all that. Once I feel that I'm ready to sit down and pretty much rewrite all the boring sentences into something more appealing all this advice will be super valuable. You've also given me several ideas to enhance the story so thank you!
I'll express my vast knowledge here: since I am an ape that can't talk good, I refer to Gower's guides on sentence creation.
Basic Sentence Structure: Additive Sentences
Cumulative Sentences, Part 1
Semicolons and Advanced Additive Sentences
Now for my two cents, which I will try to make helpful. Most of the time you can switch up the order of a sentence to vary writing:
You go to the bathroom and someone knocks on the door right when you sit down.
Having just sat down to go to the bathroom, someone knocks on the door.
Usually, this method involves a comma. Also, avoid speaking like Yoda.
The other methods I use are combining sentences (see additive sentences) and implying things. For example, I rarely ever say "You ate dinner. Then you got ready for bed. Now you are going to sleep." However, I might say "With a full stomach and a pair of comfy pajamas, you close your eyes to sleep."
I hope some of this helped! If you post an excerpt of your story, we can give more specific advice.
Ah, I should copy that link! Thank you!
Yeah, the example is strange in general. Just something random off the top of my head... Hopefully, it got the point across that you can change the order of a sentence!
You have to keep the antecedent consistent. So the person sitting should be doing the action in the second clause.
"Sitting on the counter, the sorcerer polymorphed into the shape of a coffee mug bided his time."
I actually read those right after making this post. It was an awesome refresher and literally reminded me of what I learned in highschool/college. I'll be using reading through those over and over again I'm sure.
Thanks for the advice!