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aliciarune

Creating Good Yuri Visual Novels

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So, I'm a developer and have been working on Yuri novels for nearly a year now. But I have a hard time writing them, mainly because I don't feel like my writing is good enough or the story just isn't good. Now the studio I created delves into Yaoi and Otome games as well, but Yuri is my main focus for right now because I want to make more stories between women just as much as I want to create stories between two guys. 

Anyway, I admit I have a few visual novels I'm doing. But right now I'm focusing on Reska and two secret ones. The thing is, I have a bad habit of adding too much to the visual novels I'm making. For example, Reska has 8 love interests (though three of them are sub characters and their routes won't be up for a while), and the two others five. I guess I just like being able to have a lot of stories to tell, so I want to make many routes. But anyway, size isn't the problem I'm talking about here. The problem is writing a good slice of life yuri story (though I hope to go to fantasy down the line), and if my writing is good enough.

It's super hard for me to write scenes between girls, Not because they are girls, but because I don't really know what to write that would be interesting. Like it's hard for me to write engaging conversation topics. I feel like when I write the girls talking with each other it's stale or the girls don't have their own voice. I'm worried cause I like writing and want to write my own visual novels, but I need some advice on a few things.

First, how do you go writing a good yuri? Can it have erotica and/or ecchi and still be good? Do people want to see drama in yuri? Can they start out as friends and then let the relationship grow?

I've read a few yuri titles like Flowers and Nurse Love Addiction. I think they're good examples of a nice yuri story along with reading some manga.

I ask this because I'm writing Yuri now and need some help. For example, this is my latest synopsis of a story I'm working on. 

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xQ1wYrLtbWZUqsmto3Vi0Tn3mDAiq-kwqSCNfhb7AgU/edit?usp=sharing

 

This is an example of the art for the game as well 

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Dt51H12p7OBBkSiWOwQRqVtH5jBAKLiJarxWc32etgU/edit?usp=sharing

 

The art I think is perfect for the style of game I'm wanting to do. I want to make a Nakige in a way and I think the art style fits. As for the idea, I think it's good too. Yeah, I know it's high school, but I promise I'll branch out. 

 

I guess what I want is some advice and thoughts on one of the ideas. Also, here's an example of the writing. I'm not very good with description but hope it's good enough for vn writing.

(Please note, this was written in code so it may look a tad strange)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Bgjo63DMNPT0e7GCNHFH9Ujb_MP4rZuUVGFYOkLCbj4/edit?usp=sharing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by aliciarune

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UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Another high school setting.

https://i.postimg.cc/y8V9jZbH/Captureiojiooinbb.jpg

Come on, dude I work in a high school! That's shit is played out son.

Why did you decide on the high school setting? Is there something new and fresh you can bring to that setting or is going to be yet another high school yuri?

I think the characters are pretty interesting though I might suggest giving her a little more edge or grit to her because she sounds a bit too inoffensive and kind of boring.

Oh and the whole making it a eroge thing I would suggest maybe not doing it because I mean writing sex scenes probably really sucks.

Drama is great in yuri along with a slow build relationship.(just so that build isn't glacial) I think the best ones buck the most common tropes and attempt to subvert them or have very few misunderstandings.

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14 minutes ago, Ranzo said:

UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Another high school setting.

https://i.postimg.cc/y8V9jZbH/Captureiojiooinbb.jpg

Come on, dude I work in a high school! That's shit is played out son.

Why did you decide on the high school setting? Is there something new and fresh you can bring to that setting or is going to be yet another high school yuri?

I think the characters are pretty interesting though I might suggest giving her a little more edge or grit to her because she sounds a bit too inoffensive and kind of boring.

Oh and the whole making it a eroge thing I would suggest maybe not doing it because I mean writing sex scenes probably really sucks.

Drama is great in yuri along with a slow build relationship.(just so that build isn't glacial) I think the best ones buck the most common tropes and attempt to subvert them or have very few misunderstandings.

I like the high school setting, so I'm writing what I like. Even if it's overused, a part of me has fun with it. I like the setting because I can add real things like how it's like being bullied in a high school and things like that since I had to go through it. . I like fantasy as well. But I wanted to go with these ideas first. 

I am glad you read the story I posted. It's not set in high school. After Reska and the other game, I likely won't do more high school games and will branch out to fantasy. But thanks for the opinion on the short thing I posted. I do need to do a better job with making some characters less boring. 

And don't worry, I'm not making an eroge. I may have spelled the wrong word. I meant a game like Clannad. I don't plan for it to be on that level, but basically it focuses more on characters and their lives and relationships. 

Also glad drama is okay. I like writing it. I admit it can be hard coming up with something new, but I try. 

Edited by aliciarune

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2 minutes ago, aliciarune said:

I like the high school setting, so I'm writing what I like. Even if it's overused, a part of me has fun with it. I like the setting because I add real things from how it's like being bullied in a high school and things like that since I had to go through it. . I like fantasy as well. But I wanted to go with these ideas first. 

I am glad you read the story I posted. It's not set in high school. After Reska and the other game, I likely won't do more high school games and will branch out to fantasy. But thanks for the opinion on the short thing I posted. I do need to do a better job with making some characters less boring. 

And don't worry, I'm not making an eroge. I may have spelled the wrong world. I meant a game like Clannad. I don't plan for it to be on that level, but basically it focuses more on characters and their lives and relationships. 

Also glad drama is okay. I like writing it. I admit it can be hard coming up with something new, but I try. 

I'm just saying that there is so many damn high school settings in vns, manga's, and anime's (yuri or otherwise) that you really have to make it stand out from the crowd. You've got to really come through with a different take(bullying is a decent angel) on the typical high school stuff. Read something like Bloom Into You, even though it is a high school yuri it does things very different than the others and that makes it stand out. Also think about how long its been since you left high school. Can you really give a realistic take on a high schoolers voice?

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2 minutes ago, Ranzo said:

I'm just saying that there is so many damn high school settings in vns, manga's, and anime's (yuri or otherwise) that you really have to make it stand out from the crowd. You've got to really come through with a different take(bullying is a decent angel) on the typical high school stuff. Read something like Bloom Into You, even though it is a high school yuri it does things very different than the others and that makes it stand out. Also think about how long its been since you left high school. Can you really give a realistic take on a high schoolers voice?

I'm not that old XD. But yeah it has been a while since high school, so I know things have likely changed. And yes, I get that high school settings are done a lot. I guess I just feel comfortable with my first games being done in high school. I want make sure I do things right before I step into bigger things like a mystery (which I really want to do) and a fantasy. Maybe even doing an more mature game focusing on people my age. When I did Reska, the planning was during a time when I was new to vn's so i went with something simple. I have some good ideas for other things, but I don't have much confidence yet in my skills. And yes, I need to read Bloom Into You. It would be something good to read

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4 minutes ago, mitchhamilton said:

high school is a nice setting because its filled with complex emotions and developing teenagers discovering themselves. its beautiful :kosame: 

 

...so long as theyre legal, which they always are! :ph34r:

You made a good point lol

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Research. 

Those characters are your own OC's right? You should know them better than anyone, I mean you're the dev/script writer lead. 

When you're stuck with something don't skip to a new thing, test some stuff and try to write down everything as much as possible in your mind to see from a different aspect/view of the situation. 

To be honest, school/zombie/ghosts whatever the theme is...the most important thing is leaving an impression on the player. Something that they will feel a little similiarity along with curiosity. 

Writing block is no fun indeed, but to fix that you need to obviously try new stuff and fill your mind with new inspirations/ideas.

Me myself I draw, write and make music on my own and that shit is not easy when you're in a state of mind feeling "anxious/worried" of what to do next.

Just chill and have fun, put your emotions...make the lines feel alive and not just plain lines. 

Connect with your characters and put yourself into their shoes, try to see from their point of view and don't slow down your inspiration but be steady.

 

Hope that helps.

 

ps. girls are more emotional/sensitive by their motherly nature, so, to fit in the girl image try thinking like a girl. what makes a girl , 'a girl'? not the gender, but the way how a woman thinks is very different than a man. think out of the box and good luck!

Edited by cykaki

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That's a nakige setup all-right. Are you planning for seperate routes for each of the major characters you listed there, or focus on Skye? Proper multi-route yurige are actually pretty rare and would stand out nicely from the crowd. I also very much dig that art sample, quite gorgeous. :)

I'm not a writing expert by any means, so I'm not sure I can give meaningful advice on that, but I think you can approach writing yuri just like any other kind of story - female lead is a change in perspective and requires slightly different characterisation, just like Cykaki suggested, but don't necessarily change the fundamentals of your story. There are certain storytelling tropes commonly used in yuri, but you shouldn't actively try to follow them IMO. I would also argue against ecchi and for cautious use of erotic segments - the fanservice simply doesn't fit the type of story you're apparently trying to make. Although considering AIs backstory and Skye's description for example, an erotic scene between those two could have a lot of meaning. Just don't include such stuff without clear purpose.

A lot also depends on how much realism you include. Do you ignore LGBT issues like Nurse Love Addiction and make everyone "gay by default", touch upon them in minor ways like Flowers, or make them a major focus of the story? I don't think there's a wrong choice here, but it's important to be consistent and it will affect the tone of your story and the process of writing the characters in a major way.

Also, well, I don't know if I can speak for anyone but myself, but a lot of yuri media is very heavy on drama, Flowers included, so I don't think it's anything people would dislike by default.

"Friends to lovers" is also a pretty common yuri trope... But as with any other romance genre, anything goes, as long as its well-written and compelling on some way. Don't have any clear arguements for or against it TBH, apart from the fact that it let's you set up an elaborate and believable bond between the heroines and prevent the romance from showing out of nowhere.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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15 hours ago, cykaki said:

Research. 

Those characters are your own OC's right? You should know them better than anyone, I mean you're the dev/script writer lead. 

When you're stuck with something don't skip to a new thing, test some stuff and try to write down everything as much as possible in your mind to see from a different aspect/view of the situation. 

To be honest, school/zombie/ghosts whatever the theme is...the most important thing is leaving an impression on the player. Something that they will feel a little similiarity along with curiosity. 

Writing block is no fun indeed, but to fix that you need to obviously try new stuff and fill your mind with new inspirations/ideas.

Me myself I draw, write and make music on my own and that shit is not easy when you're in a state of mind feeling "anxious/worried" of what to do next.

Just chill and have fun, put your emotions...make the lines feel alive and not just plain lines. 

Connect with your characters and put yourself into their shoes, try to see from their point of view and don't slow down your inspiration but be steady.

 

Hope that helps.

 

ps. girls are more emotional/sensitive by their motherly nature, so, to fit in the girl image try thinking like a girl. what makes a girl , 'a girl'? not the gender, but the way how a woman thinks is very different than a man. think out of the box and good luck!

Thanks. You make a very good point. At the end of the day I just have to keep writing and see what happens. And yeah, I know the characters. I got the routes planned out to a good degree. It's just conversation or scenes can be hard at times. Sometimes I start out writing feeling decently confident but as I go more into it I begin to worry. 

 

But yeah, I guess i should just have fun with the stories and see what happens. .I like that way of thinking =D. 

 

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10 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

That's a nakige setup all-right. Are you planning for seperate routes for each of the major characters you listed there, or focus on Skye? Proper multi-route yurige are actually pretty rare and would stand out nicely from the crowd. I also very much dig that art sample, quite gorgeous. :)

I'm not a writing expert by any means, so I'm not sure I can give meaningful advice on that, but I think you can approach writing yuri just like any other kind of story - female lead is a change in perspective and requires slightly different characterisation, just like Cykaki suggested, but don't necessarily change the fundamentals of your story. There are certain storytelling tropes commonly used in yuri, but you shouldn't actively try to follow them IMO. I would also argue against ecchi and for cautious use of erotic segments - the fanservice simply doesn't fit the type of story you're apparently trying to make. Although considering AIs backstory and Skye's description for example, an erotic scene between those two could have a lot of meaning. Just don't include such stuff without clear purpose.

A lot also depends on how much realism you include. Do you ignore LGBT issues like Nurse Love Addiction and make everyone "gay by default", touch upon them in minor ways like Flowers, or make them a major focus of the story? I don't think there's a wrong choice here, but it's important to be consistent and it will affect the tone of your story and the process of writing the characters in a major way.

Also, well, I don't know if I can speak for anyone but myself, but a lot of yuri media is very heavy on drama, Flowers included, so I don't think it's anything people would dislike by default.

"Friends to lovers" is also a pretty common yuri trope... But as with any other romance genre, anything goes, as long as its well-written and compelling on some way. Don't have any clear arguements for or against it TBH, apart from the fact that it let's you set up an elaborate and believable bond between the heroines and prevent the romance from showing out of nowhere.

Thanks so much. I'm really glad you say that, because this one and Reska I'm hoping to be a more on the Nakige side. As for the routes, yes both games are multi yuri routes. I like having multiple options to be honest. This might be why I have too many girls for Reska XD. I hope people will be happy with the choices though. Also, glad you like the art. Using the same artist for Reska and she's really nice to work with =). 

Yeah, I should go that way with writing. I like what both of you have said. As for ecchi, there won't be much. It's not that type of story. Reska will have adult scenes, but I may need to get some help with them. Between Ai and Skye though (the other game) you are right in a scene like that may work. It would be interesting to see. 

As for LGBT themes, it honestly depends on the story I'm going for. Often the people just love someone based off who they are and not gender. So it's kind of a world where LGBT isn't much a problem but can me. Don't know if I'm explaining myself correctly X'D. But the focus won't always be on whether liking the same gender is a problem or not. 

And I love drama so that's not a problem XD. 

But thanks for the advice. It helps me. I'm gonna write today and see what happens =)

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Read novels.

Like not visual novels, but actual physical novels from Sarah Waters. For some reason, yuri is stuck in high school with no plot. Frankly yuri means lesbain love, so all of these cliches need to be abandoned so that the medium can branch out. I recommend reading lesbian love fiction stories to hone in your unique style. Tipping the Velvet  is a fantastic lesbian love story. Go to your local library and start reading lesbian fiction. I guarantee your better off creating your own foothood into the yuri genre like this than going by the trappings of cliches.

On 12/5/2018 at 6:07 PM, aliciarune said:

First, how do you go writing a good yuri? Can it have erotica and/or ecchi and still be good? Do people want to see drama in yuri? Can they start out as friends and then let the relationship grow?

A good yuri is a good story. A good story has few more components that make it good. Such as good characters. A plotline. that kind of stuff.

Do you want ecchi, personally, I think your story should be good that the potential hentai serves the story. Never add erotica in for the sake of audience. Do what you can for the story.

When it comes to drama, I really want more drama in my yuri. However it seems that I am in the minority that's why we have so many moege yuriges running around here. So, if I were you, I would make a plotege with romance. 50% romance 50% action or mystery, or horror or etc.

Can they start out as friends? It's your story, do what you want. However, it's better to start as friends. A lot of writers love taking the easy way out and writing characters as in already in a relationship.

On 12/5/2018 at 6:07 PM, aliciarune said:

It's super hard for me to write scenes between girls, Not because they are girls, but because I don't really know what to write that would be interesting. Like it's hard for me to write engaging conversation topics. I feel like when I write the girls talking with each other it's stale or the girls don't have their own voice. I'm worried cause I like writing and want to write my own visual novels, but I need some advice on a few things.

To help with this, go out and listen to what people in real life talk about. Or better yet, you start conversations with people and bring those into the narrative. Girls talk about things just like guys. It's a matter of how they talk.

On 12/5/2018 at 6:07 PM, aliciarune said:

The art I think is perfect for the style of game I'm wanting to do. I want to make a Nakige in a way and I think the art style fits. As for the idea, I think it's good too. Yeah, I know it's high school, but I promise I'll branch out. 

So. If I were you, I would try to create well-rounded characters with arcs. That's essential. Also, try anything but a high school. My goodness.

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