How hard is it to make a story concept out of nothing?

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When making a visual novel, it got me thinking about the story I want to write. Where should I start? What’s the genre? More importantly, what’s the story is all about? I don’t have a story concept. I don’t know how to create a story out of nothingness. Maybe I could just copy others’ stories and maybe change it just a little bit so no one will know the difference! *evil laugh … …

No… No, that’s a very bad idea.

At first, I thought that creating my story concept is difficult… But as time went by, I realized that I was way more focusing on how my story is going to be, and that I’m not looking clearly at the things around me. I never thought that my surroundings will make a big impact in making my story.

So what’s the plan? Sometimes, you just got to wait.

Ideas – there are those flashbulbs that flashes to your mind like what we see in cartoon shows. When an idea comes to my mind, it doesn’t warn me at all. I’m eating my breakfast and kaboom! An idea pops out of nowhere! It makes me thinking, “That would make a good story for my next visual novel!” And so I’ll write it to my notepad to make sure I don’t forget it.

Ever experience that moment when you just thought of something funny before getting into deep sleep? “Hey! That scenario is so funny! It will be fun if I could add that to my VN! Maybe I’ll work on it tomorrow.” So you went back to sleep. Not knowing that your “funny idea” will never see the light of day because you’ve already forgotten about it by the next morning.

Sometimes, ideas don’t show up when you’re awake. Sometimes, they attack when you’re asleep. “I dreamed of something like this where this became that and these became those and it was so brilliant I need it for my next VN!!!!” … …. … Only to realize you don’t know what you’re talking about at all… When waking up from a dream, things are getting hazier. Dreams are aggravating events where they take you to the most wonderful places and scenarios your mind could create (or the worst dreams we can call nightmares… But it’s helpful if you’re making a story of horror genre!) only to take it all away from you once you wake up. 

But wait! There’s no time to discuss whether it could be a sweet dream or a beautiful nightmare!!! (did I just cite a line from a song?) You must remember your dream! It could be a great substance for your story! But… Sadly… The moment is lost. You don’t remember anything about your dream at all. That’s just how dreams sometimes works. And once again, your VN idea will only exist… in your dreams…

But you don’t need to go to sleep just to dream! You can dream at day! Heck this is what I’m good at! Let’s admit it! When we get bored over lessons, we choose to daydream! “Things that never happened to me and will never happen to me, I’ll write them all to a visual novel so at least they can continue to exist!” (But that’s just sad, isn’t it? They only exist fictitiously.) That’s fake existence for you.

Forget about nightdreams and daydreams! Why not search for your own idea? You don’t need to wait for an idea to come to you! You can catch the idea yourself, (not with your hands) with your mind! Think! Do some brainstorming! Storm your brains out! Think of a random thing. Randomness is awesome! Now look. What do you see? What’s the story about this thing? Invent something out of this thing.

I look to my right and see my pet bird on a cage. Shoot! I forgot to feed it!!! What does my pet thinks? If she can talk, what would it say to me? I don’t know, maybe scold me to feed her? What if she’s really not a bird? What if she’s a human being?!!! Whoa! What if she turns into a human being? I’ll have a girlfriend then? KABAM! I got my own idea for my VN!

Before I knew it, I was already making a romance story out of a bird who turned to a human being! Isn’t that great?!!! I made my first visual novel out of a mere bird!

There are more ways to get ideas for your story. It just needs a little bit of playful imagination to get the prefect story for your visual novel. There will be a time when you say to yourself, “I’m out of ideas”. Don’t worry. The ideas are just out there. 

Just “look for a new angle”. – Big Hero 6

Welcome to Catlip Candy!

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Hi! I’m Cami Lui. Welcome to my world of visual novels!

Catlip Candy is mainly about my adventures in creating Visual Novels using Ren’Py. In this blog, I’ll be posting all my visual novels and their walkthroughs, updates on my works in progress, and visual novels that I played, because other than creating visual novels, I want to see how others make their own, and maybe learn some cool things from them!

The reason I created this blog

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I never thought I’d create my own blog. It wasn’t my thing to create websites and such. In creating our own blog, we need to have a lot of time, a lot of things to say and a lot of thoughts to share. It’s a commitment to be fully hands on in taking care of our websites and I’m too lazy to update  anything. Nevertheless, my passion in making Visual Novels (VN) pushed me into making my nonexistent blog to be put into reality, and it is done!

For those who haven’t heard of visual novels, it’s a story game with pictures, background music, and dialogues basically. (It’s not really a game in my opinion. But a visual novel can include mini-games for the readers to play such as stat raising, finding games etc.)

For a better understanding, one can say that it’s a written story with visuals and background music.

The best part is, the reader can change the endings of the story. That’s right. It’s possible for a visual novel to have different endings. How does the reader/player change the story’s ending? During the gameplay, questions will be given to the reader, and they get to choose between those questions that decide the novel’s ending. If you have read a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book then you’ll know what I’m talking about. That’s what I love in visual novels. They interact with the reader.

If visual novels isn’t your thing but you still enjoy creating stories but with no diverging paths, then you can create a Kinetic Novel (KN). A kinetic novel is similar to a VN but it only has one path. But you can still add drawings such as the characters’ images and the background music.

Now you may be wondering if there’s a software that lets you create visual novels. As for myself, I have used Ren’Py for coding/programming my visual novels. It’s free and easy to use. If we get too confused when it comes to coding, we can visit the Lemmasoft Forums. It’s the Ren’Py’s official forum where we can ask questions, and even share our own visual novels once it’s finished! The forum users are friendly and they’re very helpful in answering the questions. There’s also a lot of visual novels that originated in Lemmasoft, so it would be a good thing to visit the forum if you’re going to use Ren’Py in creating your visual novels.

Anyway, enough of plugging Ren’Py and Lemmasoft. 😀 It’s just that I’m a fan of Ren’Py and the forum that I can’t help it but advertise and suggest it to everyone.

Don’t worry about the drawings if drawing isn’t what you’re good at (I suck at drawing, too) or if you don’t know how to play any musical instruments (all I know is how to play visual novels)… There’s tons of free drawings and background musics widespread in the Internet! You’ve just got to find them!

To view my created visual novels, you can click the My Works page. I’ll be adding a post once in a while to update my games list and if there’s ever a progress in my current projects. This blog is mainly about my adventures with the world of visual novels! There are many things that I still don’t know about creating visual novels, and I’m here to learn more from other blogs that discuss all about visual novels.

I might only be talking to myself here but who knows? Maybe someone got lost and found their way here? Hahaha! Good day! And happy reading!