Plot Push

I went at plot pretty hard today, and got quite a bit more done than usual. Ten minutes before my official work day started, as I sat there savoring the final minutes of news-reading, I said to myself, "screw it, stop stalling. Get writing." I shut down all browser windows, denied any temptation to check email or read websites, and just focused on my story text file.

I started yanking out whole swaths of stuff that didn't feel right, structural elements that were stifling me, and just rewrote wherever I felt it needed. Some areas were terribly terse and unpolished. Other areas were a bit more fleshed-out. I tried not to judge, and just write.

I had breaks for the bathroom, lunch, warming my feet in a bucket of water (it's getting chilly up here on the mountain), but it was a day of me, a text editor, and my imagination. I feel good about it now, but man, it was pretty hard to stay on task. The mind wanders, and yearns for input, but sometimes it's best to reign it in and force it to work.

As of this evening, I think I'm happy with the major plot thread I've been working on, and started a new one that's shaping up. I vomited out a list of all the questions that I expected players to want answered, and started listing the answers, along with any clues the were either already in the game or needed to be added to provide those answers.

There's a pretty interesting network of clues to work with, now, and I think most of the picture can be painted from them. There are still a few things left unsaid which might remain that way, for fear of over-exposition. I'm also missing any real "climax" moment (partially due to the non-linear nature of threads that are there). And there are few dramatic scenes (e.g. most of what goes on is procedural, not emotional). I think it'd be nice to fill those gaps, but I'm not sure how yet.

But at least for now, I think most of the who/what/why/where/when has been figured out, along with ways to let the player discover them. Now there's the task of writing final text, integrating (especially how player's abilities can be used in each), illustrating, and determining what to do about end-game resolution (if any).

A good day. Mentally-taxing, but good. Hope everyone has a good weekend, and see you Monday!