Day 17, 18 & 19: Cluster Writing, Tags and Choice Variance
It’s been busy here at Decision Fiction with us bringing in new team members on the tech side and our team beginning to sign writers to distribute on our platform! If you have Interactive Fiction stories collecting dust on some website and want to get into new networks and media, give Decision Fiction a shot.
Now, over the last few days we’ve been concentrating on a few more aspects I want to share with you. Cluster Writing, Tags and Choice Variance.
I like to write in Clusters. We’ve spoken about Nodes, which are the places where all possible choices meet. Well, Clusters are branches where you work to end all possible choices. In my current game, each Cluster can have only a few outcomes (since we are so early in the story) which include getting to the next node, losing the game, or going to another point. These other points are where there’s more information and/or it leads the player to another point in the Cluster.
Mastering the Cluster/Node relationship will help the flow of your story and help keep readers engaged. Don’t discount this.
To keep organized in my choose your own adventure text-based game, I use tags to show branches that lead to death completely. In the most recent Twine version you can set the colors, so it’s a great way to keep organized at a glance for each tag. I also use tags to show when passages have been edited. I usually go through two levels of editing but we’ll get to that in a post in the next week or so. At this point, tags are great if you want to track an idea, or special item (though you can also use Twine search).
To complete clusters quickly, I use a “choice variance” model where the outcomes of the choices are similar. This allows me to copy and paste the passage and adjust the inside text slightly, or rewrite it completely. I usually use this in death/lose clusters.
Write-o-meter says I need at least 1500 words a day to hit my goal, so I’m a bit behind but will pick up the pace this weekend.
That’s it for a few days. I’m at about 3500 words in hopes of reaching 7500 by Friday and 10k Monday. Stay tuned!