Bitter me’s writing pet peeve

I am on reddit.com/r/writing way too much but I find it helps push me to get my 500 words a day down. Maybe one day when I have some skill, I’ll up that to 1000 a day. It’s been around 6 months and boy am I tired of the, “I would write more, but I am a perfectionist and cant move on till my sentences are just right.”

Good god, that’s a pet peeve of mine. Reminds me of answering, “What is your biggest weakness” at a job interview with, “I just work too hard”.

We all want our prose to be as good as we can make them. Saying that you want this so much more then the average person that it stops you from writing all together, is so fake. This is a symptom of not wanting to give a serious effort. Before you start quoting some of the best authors you can think of complaining about the same problem, consider this.

If you wanted to be a Quarter back and someone asked, “How is your practicing going”. Would it make sense for you to reply, “Well, I can’t practice to often because I am too much of a perfectionist that everything has to be utterly perfect or I just won’t get anywhere.” No, you practice if you are tired, had too many drinks the other night, got a new puppy, or allergies making your eyes a bit red.

Get that out of your head. Please, it is not an excuse. It’s self delusion.

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Something special.

It’s definitely something that doesn’t happen on a whim, but is still sudden and I want it back.  Earlier, I promised Grassy, when Skyrim dropped under $12 it would be mine.  Skyrim was 8 bucks on steam this holiday sale.

A game like Skyrim ripens with age. Mods and patches take a game a long way.  I do want to touch on the fun of picking the right mods, but something happened that I didn’t expect.  I started to have fun.

I am not some sort of gaming curmudgeon. Yelling at casuals, “Get of my server”.  When I play, it can be for a ton of reasons.  Fun, real fun, the kind that comes with investment and excitement, is hard to come by.   I’ll settle for engagement or maybe some reward of mastery.

Somewhere along the lines of running for the fetch/find quests that are Skyrim.  I started to want to talk to people.  For a brief time, I remembered what it was like playing Secrets of Evermore or Illusion of Gaia.  I wanted to talk to everyone.  The Towns people each had a story and problem, instead of just another thing to add to my grocery list, aka Skyrim Journal, they were little adventures.

I have no idea what happened, but I want it back.  The next day It was gone.  I haven’t quit on the game, on the small chance that it’ll hypnotize me again.  I have been trying to collect my thoughts and figure what the issue is.  Why do I just care so little about what’s going on in that game.

I have read and seen enough comparisons of Skyrim, Morrowen, Oblivion,  and Fallout to write a dissertation.  Which tells me one thing. There is already a dissertations worth of discussion out there and I don’t want to retread on what has been covered very well.  So I am going to avoid the Quest Marker topic.  Going back trying to get that spark I realized some of the problems that kept my “care” needle firmly at “couldn’t any less”.

The problem is the size.  It is just too big.  Way to many named NPCs with way too  much lore with no practical way of consuming it.  An exposition at the start would be bad, this game is worst.  It is just about impossible to care with every NPC having their own problem.

Oh, they stole your daughter? I’ll ask the guard if he saw anything.  He did but, he actually has this map that leads to an amazing treasure all I need is to find a person that can read it. He’s in the next town.

On and on.  Just put it in the pile.  The pattern turns them in to, basically where and who am I killing and a stampede of names, locations, lore and none of them related.  Which cuts the legs off any kind of good story telling.

GTA 5 is also an open world game that manages to have smaller side stories, memorable NPCs and n solid over arching story.  It does this by keeping things more linear and limits the number of named NPCs.

What if Skyrim was approached this way.  One major arch and fewer larger subplots.  This way the lore could be placed strategically.

I’ll continue trying to get that sweet spot.  Who knows I might actually beat this one.

Getting into an open and creative mode.

I just watched this lecture with John Cleese  and he formalized ideas I have been lightly touching at.

The lecture is about being creative.  How, do you get yourself to be creative?  Where does it come from?

If you’ve got the time, it would be great to watch the thole thing, if not here’s a short version.  No one knows how to be creative or how to make themselves be creative on a whim.  At best you can create a situation in which you are open to creativity.

Those ideas that spawn in opening a thought that you hadn’t had, are usually a product of a few conditions.  One, you have spent the time to lay a mental framework to an open mind around the situation.  Two, you allow yourself to be free to play and ponder, without bogging ideas down with pressure to be ‘right’ or ‘fast’.

He recommends setting a time, like an hour and a half, to practice getting and  holding this ‘Open mode’.  Then get used to moving to a ‘Closed mode’ when it comes to implementation.

This is extremely close to my view on training up those creative thought. Which isn’t an easy thing for me.

I would add a stipulation that it helps to first have a certain degree of understanding of a subject.  So, if you are trying to come up with a creative play in chess.  You’ll have to understand the game well enough to know that what you have come up with is something.