Writing

I turn my back for one minute

And somehow I get 100 hits. I’m not entirely sure where they came from. Cassie’s blog, if the stats are telling the truth, but I’m not sure how I would get that many hits from Cassie’s blog just over one day … anyway. New people. Enjoy Agents Provocateurs! I know what people have been reading and looking at.

Which reminds me that a new datastream starts tomorrow. And I should write another segment of where I’m up to, just to keep ahead of the readers.

I’ve been doing a crap load of IF related stuff over the last little while. And it’s hard to give a number total in hours, given I’ve been slipping it in where I can. When I’m sitting and writing, like I usually do, I get descriptions written and plot planned. When works done, I’m coding all the stuff and slotting in descriptions.

Let me ramble for a while.

Interactive fiction is a curious wee beast. It’s not just a text adventure. I feel that it can be a decent way of telling a story, of immersing the reader in a story that they can experience in a more participatory way. I’m telling a story, but if you want to stop and smell the roses, then feel free. Actually, no. We’re telling a story, because really, the way one person experiences the story (if written well) may well differ from how another person experiences it.

To that end, writing IF isn’t entirely like writing normal fiction. You have to write tighter, in my experience. You can’t mention too many things else you have to provide for all those extra things in the room. Don’t focus on something, else the player/reader will assume he can interact with it. It’s careful smoke and mirrors.

I’m also learning that where the reader/player can get tied up in the little details, so can I. If I find myself focussing on something that most players won’t come across, then it’s probably not worth the effort.

But for the moment, it’s satisfying both my writing and programming selves. And for the moment, I’m writing and programming at full steam ahead. I might never write IF again, but I’d like to get out just one. To see what it’s like.

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