How Do You Begin Your Stories

I was plotting my story that i will soon begin writing on episode and i got this urge to ask the community if they plan their stories or just begin writing.

Honestly, when i’m writing a normal story on a google doc all i do is make a pinterest board and write what comes to mind.

When it comes to episode though, you have to code and i think that means i have to actually make my story come to life instead of just writing it.

Are you a planner?

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I think that a healthy mix of both is super important to make sure it gets into Episode. I think that writing down your ideas is important so you don’t forget them, but it’s easier to write everything than it is to code everything. I keep a google file and write down important things, and then update both it and the coding as I go. Hope that helps :slight_smile:

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I normally write when inspiration strikes, otherwise I just stare at a blank page or type random nonsense out just to put something there. I typically don’t worry about the over arching story until I’m a little further into writing (a lot of the time I outgrow the original concept so planning every idea out fully would be a waste), but I do like to bullet point events, feelings or narrations/dialogue I want to include in the chapter before writing it out.

Like a chapter I "planned" out would be like this before I write it all out

— A young Character A is attending Character B’s funeral. As the proceedings end, Character A and their relative are stopped by authority figures. Character A is in shock as they blatantly dismiss the family’s concern, which leads to saying something against the authorities as a whole. Character A’s obsession with knowing is hinted at. The issue is ultimately dismissed.

— At home, Character A replays a fight they had with their mother about the incident which supports an earlier part of character development. Character A then finds Character B’s inspiration to become what lead to their death, an outlawed book. Character A reads it for the first time that night.

— Character A has returned to school after a brief absence and is called into the headmaster’s office. Character A briefly wonders about the book before leaving and stepping into the office. Character A is then greeted by different representatives of the authorities and they begin to interrogate Character A under the conditions and supervision of the headmaster. It is ultimately determined that Character A needs “realignment classes” and while the headmaster disagrees, Character A actually wants to take the classes as a result of the fight with Character A’s mom.

I’m actually not sure how well my style of planning would translate to Episode writing because I’m super narration heavy… I think the most important transition from traditional writing to Episode writing is the focus on dialogue instead of narration, visual aspects aren’t always easy to convey, but I think it’s harder to portray complex emotions with a simple animation or dialogue without dipping into show don’t tell.

I am …kind of(?) a planner but I cannot plan each and every scene or episode, most of it is organized in my head how it would go (like a movie playing) and I tend to follow that. I mostly write down and plan things like specific song titles for openings or ending credits and little facts about characters and how they will overcome their differences or develop as individuals for better or worse. Only thing I write down and plan in detail are point systems and branches because I am hopeless at math and remembering complex branching formats. :face_exhaling:

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I’m a mess when plotting–

Here's my usual Episode process when I get started lmao:

Step One: Have small idea, make what characters+outfits I can while thinking about potential ideas

Step Two: True inspiration strike, enter The Zone :tm:, make many more characters+outfits while continuing to brew idea

Step Three: Open Google Docs, write every idea in my head, get way too into it, detail way more of the plots and characters than I could ever really need and probably won’t use

Step Four: “Hey wouldn’t [really long time consuming thing] be fun? I’m going to do that.” And then I do.

Step Five: Fully outline the first episode, mixing detailed bits with dialogue ideas with fillers and skipping stuff, include choices and paths when possible

Step Six: Actually Start Coding.

Step Seven: “Hey what if instead of this plot point… dang that’s a good idea.” And then scrap nearly everything to remake everything to fit this new idea (whilst also keeping as much as is salvageable)

Step Eight: Continue being way too ambitious, get too many overlays for stuff that might not even happen and flesh out way too many ideas and characters

Step Nine: Re-Outline the first episode

Step Ten: Yell at self to actually. code.

Step Eleven: Burnout :skull:

TL;DR - Oh, I plan alright. But maybe a bit too much… with much rewriting involved.

If you have a thing that works for you, great! Sometimes you just gotta start writing and the rest will come, and sometimes you gotta start planning in order to get enough to work with so you can write. It’s the same with code. I’m more improvisational with that, others might plan out their ‘blocking’ in advance, etc. I also prefer to have enough ideas for how the chapter/plot will go before getting too deep into coding, cause code is… hard. I don’t want to delete all that when I inevitably change the entire plot lol.

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Well, first I get an idea in my head. Then, I start planning the story. As I always say, planning is key and it always helps to plan your stories and if you don’t plan your stories, then you could really be out in left field.

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I definitely am a planner, but don’t go in details with my notes. When I start writing a story, I start with pinpointing the main information of the story. Which titles I use for my chapters, which characters I use in the story and of course who I need to credit for the story. After that I start coding and fill in the dots.

lol real

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