Experienced writers: do you ever get faster?


#1

I’m not that experienced of a writer, I haven’t even published my first story yet, but I’m jumping straight into the advanced coding. I can do it, but it takes me a while to get everything in order, being the perfectionist that I am. It’s both a curse and a blessing at the same time.

I was just curious - do you ever get faster? I feel the need to preview as soon as I fix even the slightest issue and it really slows me down. I guess what I’m looking for is some motivation and assurance that it won’t be like this for every episode that I write.


#2

I’m not super experienced writing with episode’s script language but I can definitely tell you I am much faster than when I first started (~2 months ago). You DO in fact get faster with time and experience. The more hours you clock in working with the code, learning it, sometimes by heart, the faster you get. Don’t worry about it. Everyone’s a beginner at something at some point in their lives. With more practice comes more fluency and efficiency with the code. I also try not to hit “preview” with every little bug I fix, unless it’s spot directing. I try to get the lengthy dialogue out of the way first so at least its there and I won’t forget any good lines I randomly thought up of.


#3

That’s great to hear, thank you!


#4

Eventually, you get faster because you begin to memorize all the actions and even the spot directing numbers. You can estimate appx where spot 1.280 100 0 is for example and get close.

What works for me is planning out the chapter and adding the scenes first with hashtag notes in between and placing the characters in basic spots on each scene. For example:

INT. BLACK - NIGHT

&CHARACTER1 stands screen left in zone 3 AND CHARACTER1 faces right
&CHARACTER2 stands screen left in zone 3 AND CHARACTER2 faces left

#in this scene, Character1 will blah blah blah

then I’ll begin the dialogue and add #directions like this:

        **CHARACTER1 (talk_mindblown) **

**I can’t believe you did that! **

**&CHARACTER1 is arms_crossed_angry **

        **CHARACTER2 (talk_arms_crossed_angry)**

**What did you expect me to do? **

#Character1 runs to the back door and Character2 flies off into space

So when I have all the bones of the chapter put in, the last thing I do is go through each scene and direct. It seems to go a lot faster that way. When I first started, I did everything for each scene and it was tedious and it made me frustrated so it would take me weeks to publish. After a 7 month hiatus (due to college) I jumped back into it this way and was able to publish the next chapter of my story 2 days after writing it. Now the only thing that delays me is writer’s block. I just finished a chapter and am almost done with another in the span of 4 days.

Hope this helped you a bit.


#5

Yeah, you definitely get faster. Not only do you start to memorize the code and what animations there are, but you also start to make fewer coding errors, so there’s less you have to fix.


#6

I’m working on my first story for a couple of months now and I know exactly how you feel. I’m a perfectionist as well so I keep changing things and improving scenes. But it does get easier! I could say I’m already advanced but I probably still don’t know everything :slight_smile: and you feel tired just get a short break! PM me if you need help with anything :slight_smile:


#7

This is super helpful, thank you so much! I’ll begin scripting my episodes this way as well and see how it works for me.


#8

Nice to hear, thanks!


#9

Thank you, will do!


#10

I agree with the others, you will get much faster.
At the beggining I had so many things I had to check out that it took me forever to finish an episode. Now I know most of the animations by heart and don’t waste that much time with spot directing either. Maybe it’s just me, but I only write the dialogues first, then add all the directing and as others have already mentioned: I check preview only when everything is done. Like this, all you have to do is fixing the bugs.


#11

Thank you, I’ll have to try the dialogue first method and see how it works for me!


#12

As someone who has been learning code for at least six months, I can tell you that it becomes super natural to you. It took me awhile before I liked my directing skills, so I didn’t publish my story until I was satisfied with it. I know almost all of the animations by heart, and know how to do branching and advanced directing with overlays, etc. You learn a lot as you go along. Some of the advanced stuff takes A LOT of time, and I don’t think that anyone is very fast with that. It once took me maybe three to four hours to write a scene. However, I used to finish an episode in a few days, and depending on how inspired I am to write, I can finish it in a few hours! (Most of the time I can’t publish right away though, because a background or overlay needs to be approved :joy:) Anyway, I hope you find what I said to be helpful! If you need any help with directing you can message me here or on my instagram (@cateyedgoddess_episode)
xoxoxo Cat


#13

I do get faster, because once I know how something works, it goes quicker for other stuff I need it for. However, directing will always take a lot of time. I think I can say that I am experienced with advanced directing, but it can still take me days to properly direct a chapter. :disappointed_relieved:


#14

Well… I’ve been writing on Episode for over a year now, and whether you speed up or not depends on how you write.

To be honest, when I saw starting out, I was really fast at writing because I spend about two to four months extensively planning and researching my story (I’d read through all the guides, read Episode stories to get used to the layout, look at background and art catalogues). I was also really inspired, had plenty of time, and felt happy and all, so I wrote really fast (I managed to write an episode in around 8 hours!).

But, as I’ve grown as an author, I’ve slowed down a bit. Because I already knew my whole story plot, and because I’m a narrative/descriptive author outside of Episode, the advanced spot directing and things like that would irritate me, and I’d procrastinate and take ages to write. I also had a lot less time, and was trying to improve my branching and directing.

Right now though, I’m faster than I was a few months ago. Not as fast as I first was, but I’ve learnt to accept that, and the quality of my episodes is significantly better, so I can deal with that. Overall, I’d say it depends on the person, but usually, once you get into it, and you’re feeling motivated, I can confidently say that you should expect to write faster than when you’re initially doubting yourself and going very slowly (we’ve all been there).

My best advice, if you want to speed up, is plan things out as much as you can. Dream about your characters, your story, and be inspired. But also don’t be afraid to change things. One of the reasons I slowed down writing is because I already knew exactly what was going to happen, I just had to write it. So, keep changing things, don’t be afraid to come up with new ideas and plot twists. My second tip would be, make sure you know the Advanced Directing Guides really well. Lastly, stay inspired in terms of directing. Directing will only take ages if you want it to. Try and read Episode stories with great directing to give you ideas, and if you need to, limit yourself - only have, say, a maximum of three advanced spot directing scenes per episode. Don’t be afraid to start a new project too, or to step away from the portal and take a break for a few weeks, Don’t push things, just go with it, and do your best. Just imagine the satisfaction and pride at publishing an amazing story! It’s all worth it in the end, when you get cute fanmails and sweet DMs and you meet fantastic people, so don’t give up! xx


#15

I was stuck on ONE scene for about 2 days until everybody here gave me some tips to write quicker, so I definitely know how you felt! Thanks for the inspiration!


#16

Same! It’s very frustrating sometimes.


#17

Thank you so much! This is so motivational!


#18

I started writing on January 1st of 2017 and I sucked so bad. I honestly think that I got slower just because now, I take more time to think about what I’m writing and what I’d like to publish. The directing comes so so so so much easier though. I have a mental catalogue of every single action that someone can do and can write lines of directing off the top of my head. That definitely comes with time.

I think that as you progress though, you learn more about what people like and don’t like, what makes a story interesting and noteworthy, and all that good stuff, so you slow down. At the very beginning, it was more about trying to learn what the actual crap you were doing and you could dish out episodes in a flash. At least that was me.

So when it comes to directing, you totally get faster, but as far as the story itself, a lot more thought gets put in. Thanks for this question! I hope this helps someone. Don’t give up because it’s totally worth it to get to that one year mark! You can start to really help new writers and you literally become a subject-matter expert on Episode.

As always, if anybody needs any help, feel free to message me. Have a great day! (Hoping I didn’t have any grammatical errors in my book up there.)


#19

Omg the perfectionists in us lol. I swear I do the same exact thing. But I feel like those are the habits that make a really good story. You can tell when somebody writes something and doesn’t check and fix it before publishing. That’s how you get two characters right next to each other hugging or kissing the air. Don’t be discouraged, though! As time goes on, you’ll start writing most things by heart and you won’t have to fix stuff as often. My proofreading sessions are so intense, I swear. Please message me if you ever need any help!


#20

Thank you so much for these lovely messages! You are super inspiring!! I really appreciate it!