Monday, May 17, 2010

Writers, how do you get inspired?

I bet someone who reads this blog is also a writer in rpg scene. Do you write games, adventures, or something similar?

As someone might know, I am working on my own rpg system called Ydin. Today I got all the toughts together, opened my Open office, started typing title Introduction and then... bam. Zombies ate my brains. I tried to write several columns but only result was me hitting backspace until I was again at the beginning. I tried to make fun background design for the file and started typic again. i, n, t, r, o, d, u, c, t, i, o, n. Then watched screen for a decade, started to write total utter bullshit untill I yelled "goaaarrr", shut down writer and went to play Playstation 2.

So, problem is, I don't know where to start, what to write. I have already done 20 pages version of Ydin, but decided to re-write it. But now even if I know what I want from Ydin, when I start to actually write nothing comes in my mind. It's like... frustrating.

One person who did read one early version of Ydin told me that my writing wasn't that good. It was like reading a forum post or blog message. I tried to read it but didn't find the problem. I don't know... should I try to write as it comes into my mind. My work, my words, my thoughts. Or should I write it as über-pro ultimate rulesbook text? I think that writing my style would make it sound like me and my work, but is it good to read that way?

My well is empty. It took some time before I started (to try) to write Ydin down (again) but now I don't have anything to say. Well I do. I could tell the rules, but writing a booklet needs a bit more.

Maybe I should buy a bottle of red wine for inspiration.


R said...

There's only one true way to get through writer's block: just write. It doesn't matter how awful or terrible or lame you think your ideas or execution of said ideas are. Just get it all out of your head and onto the paper (or screen). Tons of people think there's a magical moment when you're primed to write and everything is coming up awesome. The reality is that those moments are few and far between, so you just have to buckle down and slog through the tough stuff regardless. Remember, you're going to be editing this thing a thousand times anyway, just get it done first.

Dennis N. Santana said...

Read and learn other games.

When working on NAA D6, my homebrew game, I read GURPS, HERO system, Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Call of Cthulhu 6th Edition, a bunch of random retroclones, and Anima: Beyond Fantasy.

Many of those I probably will not play. But reading them helped me think. You can find free samples online for a lot of them like GURPS and Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader. But generally, just read other games, particularly games you'd never think of reading.

Swordgleam said...

I suggest doing NaNoWriMo when it rolls around again. I did it once a couple years back and it really helped me to learn how to just sit down and WRITE. There's something of a NaNo mantra that goes, "you can edit what you write, but you can't edit what you don't write." Just get words on the page.

I also find it helpful to go through and make titles for my sections. Then I can jump around to whatever I feel like writing.

DeadGod said...

Just as Wyatt says: when writing, reading is the best thing you can do. Especially when it comes to technical writing. (And let us face it, you a writing a rule book, and that is technical writing.) Pay attention to how rules are laid out, and the language they use. If you have never put a full-length set of rules together, pick another book and use it as a template for how to organize your information.

Sami Koponen said...

My take with Efemeros (a sort of an annual rpg magazine) is first to think I if really want to do it and then get other people involved. I cannot back down, when I've asked a friend of mine to playtest it and couple of others to draw the illustrations. The game has to be ready when the deadline arrives. Social pressure and the threat of losing my face keeps me motivated to work. Failure is not an option.

Also, do check Kirjoittajatreffit out. It's a Finnish blog about writing. Writer's block has been dealt with several times over.

Unknown said...

Thank you all for useful and couraging comments. I decided to download an application called Evernote as I am not using Microsoft's office products.

I think the big problem in writing has been that writer programs (ie. Microsoft office, OOo Writer etc.) aren't actually that comfortable to use in text editing or writing down ideas.

Not sure about Evernote yet, as just downloading and installing it, but it seems great to add text in what topic you ever want. That way I can really easily build rules and text in any order I feel inspired the best. And when I start to (struggle with) layout, I have to fix text again in it's correct shape.