Answer me some questions, yeah?

Answer me some questions, yeah?
Answer me some questions, yeah?
Oh god that title is horrible. Please move this to the right place if I've put it in the wrong place but this seemed the closest fit...
But basically this is about me wanting to make a forum adventure. I've got a few premises, a few potential plots, some possible characters roughed out.
I've tried this before- a few years ago on MSPA before the crash. And I faltered after the first two updates. Because I didn't have a set plan. No idea really.
This time, I want to be as ready as possible before I start.
SO... tell me how you prepared, adventure-runners of ET. Tell me of your problems, your errors, your victories.
But most important of all, tell me how you planned when readers tend to think of things you never did and want to go where you never planned for them to go. How did you come up with set points when people tend to... not go where you expect them to go.
And maybe how you got inspiration for those if you started with ideas/prompts that at least partially not your own (two of my three ideas are from tumblr and the plops up for grabs thread here).
RE: Answer me some questions, yeah?
I'm very much an improviser. Which is to say, I don't plan much in advance. Sometimes plans develop over the course of an adventure, but I don't have them at the start.

I suppose the main advice I have is, don't worry too much about the details of the plot. If you have big scenes in mind, you can direct people towards them when you need to. If you need to build up to those scenes, well, just make sure to include some of that buildup no matter what happens.

Really, you only have two goals.
-Keep it interesting.
-Don't let the scope get so big that you can't handle it.

Any tips I could give on the first would just boil down to "be a good storyteller". You can find that advice in plenty of places, so I'll focus on the second.

If you have a general plot in mind, stay on it. Don't deviate. I don't mean you have to railroad, just make sure all your paths have the same destination. If you find the path is going in a strange direction, tie it into the main plot somehow.

Most importantly, remember that your protagonist isn't the only force in the adventure. Antagonists or other powerful parties can push their way into any plotline at your discretion. If you feel like the plot's getting lost, then drag it to where the story currently is.

Finally, communication is important. If the tone of suggestions is way off from what you want, say so. (Politely, of course.) The people here will be happy to adjust if you just ask.
RE: Answer me some questions, yeah?
I ran into a similar issue when I was starting Great Haven two years ago. I had a lot of experience jumping right into an adventure without much planning, spinning idea after idea and running with them until I got bored or unmotivated enough to let it fall on the backburner. I hated that; I always wanted something I could finish.

So when I decided I wanted to do Great Haven, I planned a lot. I planned as much as I could, in fact - I wanted to have as much prepared as I possibly could so that I could have a lot of material to rely on once the ball actually got rolling. Then came the question, "how much planning is enough?"

It turns out that there is such a thing as too much planning, especially if it's getting in the way of "doing." I asked in the irc when I've prepared enough, and I was told by Schazer and some others to just go for it. And they were right, I was too worried about planning where things should go that I wasn't busy actually writing the story I wanted to write. So I started Great Haven that night.

It went well, for a few weeks, and then I started to fall behind my expectations. Granted, my expectations were poorly defined (Try to update once a week I guess? Or, okay, every two weeks) and so my update schedule was poorly defined, and so on and so forth - I ended up in a multi-month hiatus where I would only update if I had the sudden urge to do it, and unfortunately, not even thinking about it anytime else. I think I could count the number of updates I did in 2016 on one hand.

During that time, I did a lot more fleshing out of my world, just by thinking about where it would go, or talking about it with friends - which means my original vision of Great Haven was very different from what it is now. You'll find that you'll actually do a lot of planning as you go, anyways, so there's no real need to frontload it all before you even start.

So I guess, while planning is important, it's not as important as doing. If you're worried about falling behind, then set rigid deadlines for yourself - Fogel updates every day, I try to update every Sunday (even if I'm consistently late.) Get used to writing and pushing updates on a schedule. In the beginning, you'll definitely feel like you're just bad at it - but once you've trained yourself to be consistent, you'll feel much, much better about yourself and your work.

These things may not apply this way to everyone, but they've definitely helped me.
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RE: Answer me some questions, yeah?
Going to move this (with a redirect) into the new subforum we've made for it!