Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dry County

One thing writers do that most people don't imagine them doing is nothing.

Writers spend a lot of time just letting their mind wander, looking for that new field to plant a seed.

I suppose there might be writers who don't need to do this, that always have a great idea in their back pocket ready to go. But most of us need to do nothing for awhile until our mind latches onto the next thing.

I'm not talking about writer's block here. For me, that's something that occurs once you already have an idea and can't figure out how to get from the beginning to the end.

I also spend a lot of time returning to ideas that I haven't quite figured out how I want to handle yet.

You've probably heard of some of these, if you spend enough time reading this blog anyway. USHER Dossiers is an idea I was thinking about, and talking about, back in the days of the original Vigilance.

I was talking about it again during my RPGO days, when it became Blood and Secrets, and then a mini-campaign model in Blood and Vigilance. These weren't exactly false starts, but neither were they fully realized campaigns of the sort I always knew USHER could be.

For some reason the ICONS version clicked and bloomed.

Legends of Rome is another. I still think about this idea. I'm still wandering through the maze, looking into corners, looking for the way to handle it that will really feel right.

Prometheus Rising is the same way. I still don't think I've done my definitive work on that setting. I know this because I continue to think about it, think about finding a way to do it really really right.

I know when something is done because I stop investigating it mentally. I don't wrestle with Blood and Relics, USHER, or Blood and Fists anymore. They're complete. They've grown up and gone to college. They're yours now.

Prometheus, Legends of Rome, War of the Roses, Old School Combat and other things whose names I am not even comfortable saying, they're still mine. They're the kids, of varying ages and degrees of self-sufficiency, who still live at home.

1 comment:

Larry Clapp said...

I enjoyed this blog.

Piers Anthony combats writer's block by just [hmm, what should I have for lunch?] opening a set of brackets and writing about something else. Frequently that something else is some other project he's been mulling over, but sometimes it's just free associating. Either way it's productive, in that it keeps him from getting blocked.

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