Everything is going better again. I didn’t get in a ton of work on my VN, but the work I did was important. I’ve now got a rough outline – I was approaching the climax/falling action bits in my planning and realized that the story needs to branch there, because the ending will depend on which suitor the player chooses. Each suitor also has his own character arc that will need to be dealt with, so while the game will follow the same general storyline each time, the suitor the player chooses will determine what aspect of the conflict will take center stage. So I’m making notes on these now, trying to keep them distinct and balanced.
It’s kind of cool to be moving into this aspect, because as I get more specific with the suitors’ backgrounds, I recognize areas of the storyline where I can throw in hints and connections that will make it feel cohesive. Because that’s how fiction works! There’s still a lot of particulars to figure out between the characters and the setting, but it’s coming along.
Something else I realized I need to do ASAP is refine my logline and choose a title. (A logline is a one or two sentence summary of the work, describing the protagonist and the conflict in a very concise way. Having a strong logline makes your story easier to market, and helps keep you focused on a clear premise while you’re writing.) My logline is changing a bit as I get a feel for the scope of the story, but the sooner I get that nailed down and name it, the easier it will be to keep the story on track. In this case, it centers around the role of the player character – she’s [you’re] a princess being married off for political advantage, but I’m still figuring out how much agency she [you] will have and how her [your] actions will affect the larger storyline. So anyway, lots to figure out still, but it’s moving forward.