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A Tale of Seven Writers

Hello, little darlings. Uncle alabaster here with a progress update.

Things are moving about as fast as you might expect for a big project organized over the internet, but we're on track. Even with a more ambitious Act 1 outline, scenes are coming along nicely.

It's worth noting that we just finished up the opening stretch of scenes in the story, which is a big deal. And it's not just about introducing the setting or the main character. It's about establishing how he speaks, how he thinks, how he feels. What it's like being inside Erik's head, basically, and that's a good thing to have on record when you're trying to unite the writing styles of seven different people. Doesn't make the job easy, of course, but it's nice to have a foundation, which is exactly what we didn't have on our first try.

On our first go, the writing team basically split up at the beginning in order to tackle their respective girls' scenes. Actually, I don't think it was until Hamadyne had written all his Act 1 content (which he did before anyone else because he is a super-moe robo-writer who works at the speed of light) that he went back and cranked out that opening scene of the VN. Since no path girls are involved until quite a few scenes in, that's how it worked, with the more prolific writers claiming those general scenes once they'd already worked through their other ones.

You're smarter than us if you've already pegged this as a bad plan. Whoops. In retrospect, it seems really dopey, but I guess... live and learn?

What we ended up with was some really great scenes and some wonderfully characterized, consistent love interests, but maybe four or five drastically different Eriks. When you put all the scenes together, the transitions were jarring to say the least. It was a mess, and that's one of the biggest reasons for the revision of Act 1.

But like I said, we've got that foundation set this time and I can already see it paying off. Erik's shaping up to be an actual character and not a blank slate. Even writing styles are falling a little more in line, which isn't to say we're trying to iron out the uniqueness of each writer, just that you can't have a VN that feels like it's seven distinct, interwoven manuscripts. That's the hardest part, really: maintaining the integrity of our writers' individual flavor while you're building a single, cohesive work.

I haven't found the miracle solution to that issue yet, but I'll let you know if I do. It's a work in progress.


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