“* inklewriter is an easy-to-use online tool to write basic interactive stories.
* ink by comparison is a more powerful narrative scripting language that is primarily designed for professional game development, though it can also be used to write and share choice-based interactive fiction. It is also surprisingly easy to learn, though for ease of use it’s hard to beat inklewriter!–https://www.inklestudios.com/ink/
h/t to Interconnected and the post “Filtered for some text-based virtual realities.” I could have easily made posts for
The whole post is gold for anyone interested in what’s going on and the tools in current use with the interactive fiction community. My knowledge of the tools stopped at Inform 7.
“My friend Lucy once told me that she falls in love with the way that someone thinks…and that’s what newsletters make possible for me; they’re a record of how strangers see the world…[But] I guess there’s something about newsletters that bugs me, and I can’t put my finger on it…[proceeds to put finger on it, i.e., newsletters are easy to write, notify people of new work and provide a way to pay for content, which are all things they web should do and doesn’t.]—Robin Rendle, “Newsletters; or, an enormous rant about writing on the web that doesn’t really go anywhere and that’s okay with me.” RobinRendle.com. January 1, 2021.
I agree with everything Robin Rendle writes in this essay. And I appreciated the irony that when I wanted to subscribe to his site’s RSS feed, I learned he probably doesn’t have one. He is using netlify, which has some github projects that can generate RSS for a netlify site, but probably not given how his site is set-up without trying to rewrite plug-in code. I guess we can call this Exhibit A for the point he is making?
- Be clear, concise, and useful
- Use consistent wording
- Create a microcopy framework
- Be conversational
- Use humors and idioms carefully
- Highlight your brand’s character
- Be wary of word translations
- (Almost) always use active voice
- Use the passive voice (sometimes)
- Provide context
- Assume your user is smart
- Keep it scannable
- Write short paragraphs an sentences
- Don’t overuse contractions
- When to use sentence case
- When to use title case
- Capitalize proper names & terms
- When to use “Your”
- When to use “My”
- Keep ’em calm
- Refer to the user
- Identify interactive elements
- Start with verbs
- Prompt action
- Motivate action
- Set expectations
- Instruct action
- Show progress during action
- Give feedback after actions
- Use constructive feedback model
- Avoid destructive feedback
- Create positive moments
- Pair visuals with words
- Be consistent with imagery
- Use familiar words and phrases
- Spell out numbers up to nine
- Reassure users with social proof
- Pick the right moments
- Test and improve
- Think: “How can I improve your life?”
h/t The Product Person.
I have no doubt this is good advice for “microcopy”, which seems to be the text involved with software interactions. But, I think there is an interesting contrast to advice offered in posts like “English Split Composition“. Is “microcopy” good writing outside of writing human/computer interactions in software? Is it “good” writing, in other contexts? When you think of someone like Ernest Hemingway, initially disciplined by the telegraph, that turned into his style, can taking that further into “microcopy” lead to good communication or even good art?