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Toss around ideas and brainstorm your story.

Resources Help

one month ago

I'm the type who can come up with an idea - somewhat of a beginning and somewhat of an end. I just have trouble with the little in between plot points to make a story game more "meaty" so to speak. Also I struggle to come up with meaningful choices as well. I don't want too much of a linear story.

Does anyone have any resources, i.e any websites or articles for me or anyone else who struggles like I do? Thanks all.

Resources Help

one month ago
The was a recent thread about software to help with planning here:

I'm not sure if there's really a lot of guides out there for writing branching stories specifically, but with the number of authors here I'm sure someone can give advice. Maybe someone really prolific like @ninjapitka or @Gower.

Otherwise, the elements that make up a good story are the same here as for any other kind of writing. And you don't have to plan out some gigantic epic. Maybe plot out just a regular short story and then think about the points where things could happen differently and what would change. (I always see short stories as being incredibly good for forcing a person to think in terms of the mechanics of a plot, you have to be more deliberate about what events lead to what and why, and in identifying what info Is necessary to establish and when, if you're working with a restriction of telling a complete and satisfying story in under 2000 words or so.)

Resources Help

one month ago
Commended by mizal on 5/15/2021 4:52:00 PM
Wow, what great company Gower keeps. I'm the type who can come up with an idea - somewhat of a beginning and somewhat of an end First things first. There is one beginning and several ends when it comes to storygames. I personally start with the main character. I'm not a world builder or loremaster. Unbroken doesn't even have any nations named, not even in my notes. It's my strong belief that a good story falls apart without a strong protagonist, even in the second person (self insert) format. If the cast of characters are interesting, I find they make the story interesting. Next. What you're actually asking. There's been discussion on branching stories, whether choices should drastically affect the story i.e. faced with walking out the front door vs sleeping in makes aliens attack or not. I'm not a fan of those. I think the character's choices should affect the story realistically, like the way our everyday choices affect our lives (although they are dramatized in fiction). That said, I like to have a world set in motion. Grand, epic things are happening, and the reader is lucky enough to find themselves in the middle of it. No matter your decisions, a world leader is going to invade his neighbor, there's a horde of savages building in the east--that sort of thing. Unless you're directly influencing those events (advising or assassinating the world leader, for example) then they're going to happen no matter what. The character gets to choose how they respond to such events. In terms of filling the middle, there must be logical steps to get from your beginning to end(s). Without knowing exactly what you're thinking, I would keep an eye on pacing. If you're finding the middle section, the main bulk of the story, the scenes that build towards the EPIC ending, then story events may be moving too quickly. Take a breath and find the hole in the page. Place yourself in the setting, notice the tone of people's voices and the way a small inflection can cause embarassment. Notice the sounds, or lackthereof in awkward pauses, suddenly sending an otherwise overlooked detail screaming in the character's mind. A good pause and describe can make the difference between two dullards drinking Folgers or two people, unforgettable and quirky, sharing a good ol' cup o' joe, spurred by a rush of caffeine and hazelnut aroma, reminiscing on the past and telling stories of lost lovers, all the while throwing light jokes and wily, flirtacious attempts at their too-good-for-them waitress.

Resources Help

one month ago
Commended by mizal on 5/15/2021 4:59:37 PM

Dang, I wrote a nice rambly post and I somehow didn't submit it.

TL;DR before I forget everything

Google 'how to write the middle of a story' and read the articles, there are heaps. A good starting point.

Finish bad stories too (finishing anything, even skinny storygames with meaningless choices, will help you improve).

Try planning more. Different people plan different amounts, so experiment!

In a similar vein, if stuck, go back and plan more.

Write some short stories. Writing the middle for these can still have you learn a lot.

Come up with choices by thinking of:

  • What choice would cause this consistent setting (as Ninja mentioned) to change?
  • What choice would impact character relations (insult a king vs praise a king, tell your friend you hate them vs care for them)?
  • What themes is your story about? What choices would push the exploration of this theme in other directions?
  • What would be cool to do in this situation?

Write! Force yourself to write even for 30 minutes during your free time (write or plan if you must). Revision can fix bad writing that might happen when you write and are not in the mood. Not writing = no middle, ever, so write!

Read and think about how things would be different if a character made a different choice. This way you can focus on just this without needing to do anything else. Reading in general is often said to help one write better too.


Maybe this shorter version will be more helpful...I think I missed some points, but there's heaps here anyway. Feel free to ask questions too, since I might've not explained some things properly.

Resources Help

one month ago

What you need is time to to let your mind drift without interruptions. All you have to do is think of a scene with your characters, and take your time imagining where things go from there. Then afterwards write it down, treat it like a dream journal. Eventually you'll start seeing connections and themes and can make any additions to the plot to make it all hold together and have structure and enough conflict. The human brain is always making stories, you don't need to force them.

Resources Help

one month ago
Open every cabinet and container in the house to make the ideas pop out more freely, and crack an egg on the side of a glass.

It's not totally necessary to sacrifice a chicken on a full moon, but I've heard mixed reports. Typically I just go to Popeyes instead.