You can really fall down a rabbit hole here. Once you start noticing where a choice could happen, you start seeing choices everywhere. "The reader could choose this pronoun. This color. This timing." It's exhausting and it's important to trim those decision trees early and often.
Today I did a one-day writing retreat, and in the spirit of my DIY artist retreat zine (ugh it pains me that there is LITERALLY NOTHING ON THE INTERNET I can link there), here's how it went:
As I've dug into this Twine experience I'm building (tentatively titled The Neighborhood, by the way), I've realized there's an entire world of people focused on interactive fiction (IF).
Of course there is, in retrospect. Every internet rabbit-hole is fully populated.
I kept bumping into some jargon, and specifically discussions of parser vs. choice-based games. Time to research!
Y'all, I can't help but use the tools of my software developer life to organize my writing life. It's weird but it works for me. I'm sorry I don't just wander the forest with a pencil and a notebook like a proper poet.
At work I've been trying to improve our work processes so some agile scrumbans have been running around in my head. It occurred to me that I could (and perhaps SHOULD) put a work-in-progress limit on my writing.
Do you ever take comfort from the knowledge that someone, somewhere, has done something amazing before?
If I manage not to get caught up in comparisons, it reminds me that unexpected and amazing things are possible. I've been using the Literary Witches Oracle deck every time I sit down to write and each time it's a reminder of women writers who have done hard things. Reminds me that we all take the ordinary material around us and turn it into something miraculous.
I've been reading RPG Design Zine: A How-To Zine about Tabletop Roleplaying Game Design by Nathan D. Paoletta over the last several months. It's short (duh) but each page has some beautifully expressed insights about how and why RPGs work the way they do, and it takes me a while to digest it.
Have you seen Bandersnatch? I liked it--not so different from a story-driven video game, but somehow so different to see a real human playing the part and not a computer-generated one. I came away feeling Ooh go go go let's work on the Twine game! I heard it wasn't great, but I loved it. I loved the agony of making the "right" choice and then the dawning realization that I too have limited choice, if any. I loved the moment where you accidentally confront the literal set and crew of the Netflix show.