Writing crutches

Posted by Alex Jordan on

I'd really love to work on a game with an honest-to-God plot in the near future, perhaps when I finish up Project Squish. I love writing, and being both the writer and lead designer of a story-driven game sounds like a match made in heaven for me, so long as I don't bite off more than I can chew.

I have a very low opinion of most games' writing, which, of course, gets compared to my very high and very biased opinion of my own writing. As such, I'd relish the opportunity to make a well-plotted, tightly-written game and knock it out of the park. But, let's be frank: I've only written one thing at length, which was my college thesis, albeit one in the form of a fictional techno-thriller. And I don't ever, ever want to publish that thing. I'm embarrassed enough that it's archived somewhere at American University, and someone could actually read it one day. The funny thing is that I considered myself a good writer when I set out and actually wrote the Goddamn thing, and that I made a list of writing crutches beforehand that I specifically wanted to avoid. Rereading my thesis, I accidentally used almost all of those crutches that I criticize other authors for.

In the interest of keeping me honest, here's a partial list of modern fiction writing crutches that I really want to avoid when I start writing for a game:

On the subject of physical appearances, I almost added a bullet to encompass turning pale or white. However, everyone else that knows me seems perfectly capable of telling when someone looks pale or not, even though I can't. Maybe I'm just the least observant person ever. Am I also missing vaunted eye twinkles? I need to know!