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.
It overlaps so much with programming, but unlike with writing software, I don't really know where I'm going. Like, at all. I've started writing with $variables if I think I might build something out to track a change somewhere, but I can't tell you when or where that $variable might be set. It feels like there must be a sane way to name things, track to-dos, etc. but I'm eyeballs deep in narrative design and I think organized work will have to wait for my next one.
It's exciting that I want there to be a next one.
I don't know the capacity of Harlowe (the language I'm using) yet, but I'm happy to report that I'm using a few tricks and it feels good.
I am trying to just flesh out one branch. I think once I can see beginning to end on this, even if it's just one beginning, then I can start to add in those tricks/choices that right now feel scary.
I'm a real novice with this interactive fiction stuff but it's apparent that the visual shape of your story can tell you a lot about what it is. Do you have one main narrative with small choices? Is there a branching narrative with multiple endings? What does it mean to merge two divergent lines back together? What does it mean to never merge?
Why this form? For some reason that question plagues me. What about it is critical to the story? It feels so much more important than when I write poems.