How do you organize dialogue when writing?

lesbrarians

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I haven't really started writing my script -- I'm saving that for NaNoWriMo in November! But I do plan on using Twine (a tool for making interactive text games!) to keep it organized. I'm working on quite a long game with a relationship system, as well as a time system, which is going to require a lot of careful event structuring to have NPCs appear in different locations on different days within game... so I want to do all the writing before implementing it in maker. Twine allows you to use variables to hide/show passages, so I'm quite excited for it, I think it'll be a good way to organize dialogue based on if a character's relationship is at a certain variable, or if they have a certain item, for instance. I did a quick test for the opening cutscene and my first Choice.

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I haven't continued past that, but hopefully you can see how I plan on turning this into one event: SE of a phone ringing, Show Text for the dialogue in Day 1: Phone Call, then a choice of "Smile at the familiar nickname" or "Reject the nickname." Flip the switch RejectedName ON or leave it OFF based on the choice. And then I can continue the event with the rest of the conversation, including a conditional branch based on if RejectedName is ON or OFF (as seen in Phone Call 2).

I also like Twine because I can leave comments with the <!-- notation, as seen in that screenshot! So I can leave notes like "here's what I'm gonna do when I implement it in game." I can also play through the text game in Twine and make sure that my logic works re: variables and switches and whatnot, before I implement it in RMM. Plus, it's free, and I can just use my browser without having to download anything new!
 

Drake616

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All nice and tidy in chapters on google docs, helps with spelling errors a lot.
 

BrandyMoon

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I usually keep it all in a single event, and just copy it over when the time has come to use long after I've stored and written it. In the past I used to use word docs but that proved kind of cumbersome due to the textbox limits cutting off my messages frequently.
 

rpgLord69

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I write in in the event editor. Then I always want to change it like at least five times. And then I have to arrange the rows everytime, which gets so ******* irritating.
 

HankB

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I didn't read every post before mine (because life is too short) so maybe this has already been mentioned, but I use a CMS (Content Management System) to organize my writing. It's great. You can create pages and sub-pages and sub-sub-pages, etc. You can add "tags" or "categories" to easily find pages with certain characters or plot points or whatever. Probably better than cryptically numbered "codes", which probably just makes things more confusing.

Almost all CMS software has a built-in search engine so you can easily look up certain lines or words. Very handy. There are plenty of excellent free options for this kind of software, just google it.

Having said that, there is something to be said for just writing stuff on the fly and not getting all OCD about every little thing. A lot of people just write better when they're not being organized and keeping track of everything. It's the whole "aardvarks vs ants" thing.
 

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