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The Art of Sims Storytelling

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    haneulhaneul Posts: 1,954 Member
    edited February 18
    @MonaSolstraale Thanks. I tried to explain in a way that made it seem less odd. :D A fuller explanation is this:
    In many cultures, I think people are encouraged to try their best, so someone reacting to “try your best” with “no” feels odd. I grew up in competitive and ambitious environments where some people believed that you had no excuses, and you didn’t try hard enough, until you were hospitalized for exhaustion (and in extreme cases, that people should just get an IV drip and immediately return to what they were doing). I love competitive environments generally speaking, and at the time I prided myself on being a caring person before anything else, so when I entered leadership roles, I tried to stop that way of thinking and actively discouraged people from literally trying their best or giving their all because I absolutely hated seeing them criticizing themselves and others super harshly and/or spinning out of control. I can't clearly reconcile moderate/moderation with “best,” so I just threw out “best” and promoted “reasonable” and “efficient” instead. So, yeah, my POV definitely reflects my upbringing, but I was never in a position where I personally felt a need to push myself to the brink (rarely did I even get clocked when I didn’t try), so to be fair, maybe I shouldn’t be encouraging people to lower their standards. SimLit is also not that serious or the same at all, but some phrases just give me the ick or are a pet peeve.
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    MonaSolstraaleMonaSolstraale Posts: 1,394 Member
    @haneul Thanks for your clarification. It makes good sense <3
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    Kellogg_J_KelloggKellogg_J_Kellogg Posts: 1,555 Member
    How do you decide that a chapter is finished and ready to be released?

    I tend to have a map in my head for each chapter, screenshot 1 being point A and screenshot 12 being point B. When I’m confident the story has gone from A to B in a way that feels effective and authentic then I check to make sure it’s under 2000 words, preferably between 1-1500 words, and do the usual tone and typo check. Because I schedule posts so far ahead at this stage, it’s likely I’ll re read an entire generation and edit it as a whole piece before the release date comes up. Sometimes I’m playing chapter by chapter and other times I’m really far ahead in game so can write a bunch of chapters together but it varies.

    Each chapter is approximately one game day.
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    lizzielilyylizzielilyy Posts: 4,906 Member
    @Kellogg_J_Kellogg sorry was that in response to the original question?
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    Lucy_HenleyLucy_Henley Posts: 2,992 Member
    I’ve not played my main “story saves” (royals/Magical Mastersons) for a few weeks. I think it’s because I’ve got some pretty big “events”/storylines coming up and, for some reason, that’s making me a little nervous about actually playing through them. Like, I’ve been planning them for a while, and now that it’s nearly time for those events to actually take place, I’m a little hesitant. I guess I just need to push through it. I’m sure you guys can relate!
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    MonaSolstraaleMonaSolstraale Posts: 1,394 Member
    @Lucy_Henley I can definitely relate to a kind of touch anxiety before playing through an important milestone.
    If your hesitation is purely gameplay related, my best tip is to make a new/extra save. It always makes it possible to return to the starting point if things go off track.
    I also know a reluctance to take a story in a new, groundbreaking direction. It is probably mostly about jumping over the edge and hoping that the wings can carry. I am sure they can since you have prepared.
    Good luck <3
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    Lucy_HenleyLucy_Henley Posts: 2,992 Member
    Thanks @MonaSolstraale ! They’re two fairly different events, but both are life-changing in their way. I guess I just have to do it! Good idea about doing some sort of back-up.
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    SnowBnuuySnowBnuuy Posts: 1,775 Member
    Reluctance to do big story events is such a mood. Trying to find the right poses, trying to find the right deco sims, sometimes MAKE deco sims and poses, and then having to construct big scenes where everyone is posed, making sure none of those poses ruin the mood....blagh.
    they/them or she/her
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    flauschtrudflauschtrud Posts: 243 Member
    @Lucy_Henley
    Oh, I can relate a lot.

    Once I planned a bigger thing but it did not feel quite right, which blocked me for a while. I finally decided against this story line and I think it was probably the best idea.

    And last I came back to my save after a break and someone died instantly. This kind of helped because I didn't do what I planned initially but just went with the flow and the death story :D

    So I guess what I want to say is, maybe you can find some smaller/different story line that you can follow as a start before you do your big event?
    I make gameplay mods! You can find them at CurseForge.
    My first attempt at creating a Sims comic: The Parker-Goth Legacy.
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    HermioneSimsHermioneSims Posts: 815 Member
    @Lucy_Henley , I definitely can relate too. I've never thought too much about it, but now that the subject was raised I'm also noticing that I'm probably not a good example either... I mean, something like half of the big events in my stories were way greater in the initial plan, but were noticeably scaled down to make the scenes easy to handle. In particular, I avoid crowded and acrobatic scenes as much as possible :#
    2if86miljyb3.png
    You can follow the Legacy Miller from my blog and the forum thread, *Chapter 8.25 posted on the 24th of May 2024*
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    haneulhaneul Posts: 1,954 Member
    @Lucy_Henley I don't have any giant events, but I think that I look forward to setting up and playing through fairly big ones. I like pushing the game further and further to see what it'll tolerate. Even though I love that, it still gets tiring sometimes, so I try to balance with smaller, lower-stakes events. I'll also skip things, but I've never had anxiety around or gotten stuck playing through something. It takes me so long to get to big events, that it tends to feel like "After 2,000 years, I've finally made it here! <3"

    I get stuck when it comes to writing about events, though. Even now, I'm stuck. :# I don't like how my writing about an event is going at all. Eventually, I'll give up and move on/push through it, but now I'm giving it more time because I still have hope that I can improve things. I go through moods where I really want certain things to be a certain way and I get annoyed when they're not. My hesitation here reflects my desire for change. If there's something about the events you're planning that you dislike or that's causing you to pause, consider changing them or playing through alternative versions in various saves. It's your game so you don't need to force something big to happen if you don't actually want it to or think you'll have regrets about it.
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    Lucy_HenleyLucy_Henley Posts: 2,992 Member
    @haneul I do get that. I guess a lot of it is because, for the royal story, it’s not a thing I normally do with my Sims. So maybe I’ve put a little pressure on myself where I’m thinking “ok, I want to do this properly, and then hopefully I can write about it well.”
    I do kind of need to do it since it’s a fairly big influence on the story, and changing it or omitting it entirely would make me have to change the story I’ve planned. Which I don’t really want to do! Maybe I can view it as a bit of a challenge.
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    Kellogg_J_KelloggKellogg_J_Kellogg Posts: 1,555 Member
    I've done a few milestone chapters in Sim 66 and there's always the come down after building up to something huge. This is what happened with me recently; now that I've bumped off a major character I want to shift away from that sub-plot for a little while and focus on someone else. The thing about big events is that there's always fallout for the characters afterwards. You have to pick up the pieces and work out how to move the characters and the story along to the next major stage.
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    MonaSolstraaleMonaSolstraale Posts: 1,394 Member
    I have a practical question. I remember at one point I found a template of a Sims4 mobile, where it was possible to write texts for story use. I've looked in all my links but I can't find it. Have any of you seen such a template?
    NB: I have a template of an iPhone, but I don't think it fits in the Sims4 universe.
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    HermioneSimsHermioneSims Posts: 815 Member
    I tried to give a look, but it's full of broken download links right now!

    The only one I found is this one --> https://www.google.com/amp/s/whimsyalien.tumblr.com/post/693014625268236288/social-bunny-psd-template-but-now-for-phone-by/amp
    2if86miljyb3.png
    You can follow the Legacy Miller from my blog and the forum thread, *Chapter 8.25 posted on the 24th of May 2024*
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    MonaSolstraaleMonaSolstraale Posts: 1,394 Member
    @HermioneSims Thank you so much for trying <3
    I know whimsyalien's Social Bunny template from her story. I love her pictures and poses. She is so thorough in the details.
    In my story I don't imagine Don being Social Bunny friends with Katrina so I'm trying to make a creative alternative in Paint3D :blush:
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    HermioneSimsHermioneSims Posts: 815 Member
    Hi everyone! I see we abandoned this thread for more than one month, probably is time to pose a new question, isn't it? And I actually have a quite random and funny question for you, which is:

    What is the weirdest source of inspiration you used in a story?

    It may be anything that inspired some of your characters, a setting, a plotline... I actually need some time to think about this one too, I'll be back at some point with what I thought about.
    2if86miljyb3.png
    You can follow the Legacy Miller from my blog and the forum thread, *Chapter 8.25 posted on the 24th of May 2024*
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    GlacierSnowGlacierSnow Posts: 2,388 Member
    Ooo! That's such an excellent question! And also a tough one. I'm going to have to think a bit.
    Forum-Banner-01.jpg
    Seventeen & Maldusk Forum thread link
    My name on AHQ (and the upcoming sims forum) is "GlacierSnowGhost".
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    SnowBnuuySnowBnuuy Posts: 1,775 Member
    There’s a character in the modern magic stories that’s named after an alchemical symbol, at first it was just something associated with the occult as a name for the character… and something associated with that symbol ended up inspiring the entire backstory of him and his family and was how the final story of the modern magic trilogy ended up being written that went into his backstory a lot XD
    I get weird random inspiration all of the time for and from everything though, so it’s hard to remember all of it. I might have to come back to this later.
    they/them or she/her
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    HermioneSimsHermioneSims Posts: 815 Member
    edited April 21
    Yeah, it's hard to remember or even notice this kind of things, right?

    Let's see what I can remember...

    - in my earlier stories there are quite a lot of references to Fullmetal Alchemist, in one story it was about the characters' names, and in the another one some ideas about the "magical system"
    - Once I wrote a whole chapter as a parallel of the changes in the chemical bonds among atoms during a combustion reaction, and the change of social circle of the chapter protagonist. I'm afraid I was the only one who understood it, thought.
    - A side character of one of my stories was based off one of my professors at the university, a very strict person who would end all his (very difficult) explanation looking at us and saying: "Clear?" (Of course, we were too scared of him to answer: "No")
    - A side character and her story line in another of my early stories were heavily based on Kitty Jones, from the Bartimeus Trilogy (one of my favourite series as a teen)

    As for the Millers instead, I can't think of anything very specific, uhm... I mean, the founder Stuart had some "fashion choices" resembling the characters from The Big Bang Theory (but I would say it was just the look), and the bad politicians in Gen 3 was based off some real bad politicians around my Country, but these points are quite minimal. What else, uhm... Well, probably Olivier in Gen 7 was quite similar to the boyfriend of a person I know IRL. Oh, and in Gen 9 there will be a funny reference to a documentary about praying mantis I really saw to introduce a tricky topic. XD
    For the rest, maybe in a legacy I already have to take into account the sims traits, carrers, game dynamics etc, so there isn't much space for much else.
    2if86miljyb3.png
    You can follow the Legacy Miller from my blog and the forum thread, *Chapter 8.25 posted on the 24th of May 2024*
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    GlacierSnowGlacierSnow Posts: 2,388 Member
    Actually, one of my weirder character/story inspirations is probably the Ion and Reuben pairing in SAM. I had been listening to old detective noir style radio shows and watching the cartoon "Invader Zim", and for some reason I thought it would be a great idea to combine them. Ion turned out to be way cuter and nicer than Zim, and Reuben isn't, probably, as hard-boiled as he likes to pretend he is, but the "inept alien (invader?) and cynical detective thing worked... I think? :lol:

    Tre was also inspired by Invader Zim. I woke up one morning and thought, "What if Dib plus G.I.R.?" For those of you that know that show.
    Forum-Banner-01.jpg
    Seventeen & Maldusk Forum thread link
    My name on AHQ (and the upcoming sims forum) is "GlacierSnowGhost".
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    SnowBnuuySnowBnuuy Posts: 1,775 Member
    edited April 21
    I love the inspirations and using science as a sort of metaphor there @HermioneSims and I love that inspiration @GlacierSnow thank goodness Ion is much nicer : p And a fun idea to combine two different things so well. I always thought SaM was very noir ish but with a brighter element in Ion. And Hermione I don’t know much about Full Metal Alchemist other than that I ought to watch it, and also the dog hybrid… : (

    Quite a lot of my story is inspired by shows and games and allsorts. There’s a lot of DnD/Pathfinder and Final Fantasy inspirations all over the place. Oskar’s design and soldier backstory is based on Sephiroth and Violeta’s design is based off a popular character from RE:Village. I’ve been recently playing a bunch of Sherlock Holmes games, and I can’t exactly explain how but sometimes Owen reminds me of him in some of the portrayals. And the way the people in the bloodline families are often referred to as their representative animals is inspired by Game of Thrones.
    they/them or she/her
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    mightyspritemightysprite Posts: 6,021 Member
    Actually, one of my weirder character/story inspirations is probably the Ion and Reuben pairing in SAM. I had been listening to old detective noir style radio shows and watching the cartoon "Invader Zim", and for some reason I thought it would be a great idea to combine them. Ion turned out to be way cuter and nicer than Zim, and Reuben isn't, probably, as hard-boiled as he likes to pretend he is, but the "inept alien (invader?) and cynical detective thing worked... I think? :lol:

    Tre was also inspired by Invader Zim. I woke up one morning and thought, "What if Dib plus G.I.R.?" For those of you that know that show.

    @GlacierSnow Wow that explains a LOT about Tre actually
    ?u=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F_-7Mc6XALDJU%2FTU9D2K_NcAI%2FAAAAAAAAAEA%2FyAPlmktwWkY%2Fs1600%2Fgir-1.png&f=1&nofb=1&ipt=34c3b5a7b120cf672cffce47aab424563699a2158906a3f09dbfbee237b556dd&ipo=images
    ?u=https%3A%2F%2Fpixy.org%2Fsrc%2F91%2F913477.png&f=1&nofb=1&ipt=cd11d1a4dab3b69c5eda8d23134935be49478311add6d8b8cfeb991625949776&ipo=images

    I <3 GIR !
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    GlacierSnowGlacierSnow Posts: 2,388 Member
    @mightysprite Ah, I see you are a person of excellent taste too. :wink:

    (GIR absolutely steals that show. We quote him all the time in my household).
    Forum-Banner-01.jpg
    Seventeen & Maldusk Forum thread link
    My name on AHQ (and the upcoming sims forum) is "GlacierSnowGhost".

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