VN Progress: Update 7

I did really well this week! I worked on the story for three or four days in a row! One of those days I happened to wake up before my alarm, and instead of going back to sleep, I got up and wrote for half an hour before getting ready for work. I’m so proud of myself, haha.

I say I’ve worked a lot, but that doesn’t mean I’ve written a lot – unfortunately that’s not how it works for me. But a lot of writing is just chair time, isn’t it? And I find (as I knew already) that the more I work on a project, the more I’m thinking about it, and that makes me work on it more. Steven Pressfield talks about this phenomenon in his book The War of Art (one of my favorite books) – how getting started on a project induces outside forces to help us, and that our brain keeps working at it after we stop actively working. I love that. (Seriously, check out that book. I try to reread it (or re-listen) every couple of years to get myself back in gear.)

Anyway, I’ve come to the point where the PC (Player Character) leaves on her mission with her party. I’ve introduced both of the suitors you begin with (though you technically haven’t met one of them yet), and there were a couple of subplot tidbits that happened without my planning them, which were delightful. Also, now that the PC has a father AND a brother, the odds of a customizable look are decreasing. It would be way more work to have the rest of the family match the player character, when that in itself would be a lot of work. But we’ll see. Some otome games I’ve played do not have a visual for the PC’s family members – minor speaking characters don’t get a visual aid – but we’ll see how important the king and crown prince end up being, whether they’ll warrant drawing or not.

So now I’m working on what happens next. My original plan was to force the PC and her suitors to send the rest of the party away as soon as possible, but I don’t think that’s going to work. The PC’s lady-in-waiting is rather loyal and would never agree to it, for one, especially after having made a very impassioned speech about joining them, and also it would reflect very badly on the suitor in charge for things to get that out of control so soon. So it looks like we may have a period of status quo first before things can start falling apart. I’m looking at my rough outline and thinking about what needs to be altered. But also, how to keep the “status quo” bits from being boring? Will have to twist it somehow to make it interesting. Maybe the party banter will suffice, maybe not.

I’m trying to do all this with a “good parts only” approach – you know how you go back and reread the parts that make you giggle? (Just me?) Well, I’m trying to make the story full of those bits, really keep it enjoyable for the player. So if I’m bored writing it, then it needs to change.

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