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Articles Home » PCM 07: General Articles » Crommy's Guide to Story Writing - The Pivotal Questions
Crommy's Guide to Story Writing - The Pivotal Questions

Week 3 – The pivotal questions

This part of the guide takes you through step-by-step guide to getting your story started, and what you actually need to write in your story. Planning and preparation are all important when creating a successful story, and here, I've listed the pivotal questions you need to answer before you should start your story.

Step 1: Pick a DB

Fairly simple, but this can have huge implications. Pick a small DB if you want to go through lots of seasons, but pick a large DB if you want to have a smaller team and a more realistic calendar. The choice is yours, but the tendency is for smaller DB’s to have longer stories

I'd never insist that this is the DB you should use, but...

Step 2: Set a difficulty level

Yes, you can change it whilst you play, but I prefer to pick one level and stick with it. Here’s my guide to each level:

Easy – Great for getting victories, and giving you motivation. But, too many wins makes a story too unrealistic, and each win you gain becomes more hollow

Normal – This is the level where neither you nor the AI riders get the bonuses, and is considered the minimum level by most story writers. This level should be chosen if you’re looking for quite a number of wins

Hard – This is the setting generally used. It provides realistic results, and is actually a challenge

Extreme – Only a few players are good enough to use this setting, and generally I’d advise against it. But legends such as Talleyrand (see PPDB forums) make this setting seem normal

Generally, pick the difficulty setting you feel you should – you can always change it as you play, a definite plus from Cyanide

Step 3: Pick your story style

It’s interesting I put this before choosing a team, because you would have thought that would be the next logical step. Put simply, the team you choose normally becomes apparent when you pick a style. As the weeks go by, I’ll be guiding you through different styles of writing, but for no, picking a style can be one of the following: taking one of the best ProTour teams (to try and dominate), taking a poor ProTour team (to stay in the ProTour), taking a strong Continental team (to get promoted then do well in the ProTour), taking a weak Continental team (trying within 2 seasons to get promoted). They are the 4 general story types chosen, and it’s up to you to pick your style.


Step 4: Pick your team

You’ve got your style, now your team choice should be obvious. If you’re struggling, use Ruben’s list randomizer , but generally, pick the team you want, otherwise you generally lose motivation for it. Whatever you do, I’d suggest against a poll where people can choose a team, as then you regret not taking on the other options.

Talleyrand's Atom story from the PPDB.nl forums - shows you the sort of minor team a large database gives you


Step 5: Create your manager

This all depends on the story styles, which you’ll hear more about in the coming weeks

Congratulations, you have now got your story up and running. But what do you need to report from your game into the forum? It varies depending on the story style, but here are the essential things to a story that will last:

1. Report at least the important races – what story is it if it doesn’t have them?
2. Use screenshots – make sure they are a good size – all text stories intimidate readers
3. Export your results – don’t use screenshots of results, people never really read them. Simply copy and paste, then highlight your riders, and make them bold or change the colour so they stand out


1. Rider of the month awards
2. Finances
3. All races
4. Important results of races you’re not in
5. Rider stats progression
6. Scouting


And there we go, that’s your story started and you know what to report. This part of the guide isn’t exactly the best, as it really is just a start for each different style of reporting. That’s what is really important with this guide, but always remember the golden rule of story writing (see the introduction if you can’t remember it!!!), and do your own thing

That’s it for this week, next week we’ll start the first of our styles of writing, with an article on showing off your PCM exploits

Until next week!





#1 | Addy291 on 17. May 2008 11:45
Ah, a screen from the awesome Atom storyGrin

Great guide.
#2 | wackojackohighcliffe on 17. May 2008 12:10
thanks crommy
#3 | bobh on 20. May 2008 21:39
Love this guide Crommy. I've been waiting to see it for several weeks now.

Keep up the good work.
#4 | popkorn on 09. June 2008 14:04
Hey when is the next part coming? Grin
#5 | jiony512 on 09. January 2013 02:51
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