Block Causes!

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Minibit, Sep 23, 2014.

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  1. Often for me, killing writers block is only as difficult as figuring out what's blocking me. Most times I find it's something more concrete than a bad mood or a lack of interest.

    In this thread, please post the things that have caused writers block for you, and suggest ways to deal with them!

    My big ones seem to be;

    Unexplored Character:
    Often I find I don't know what to write because I don't know my character well enough. If you know the depths of your character's background, capabilities, personality, and what I call their 'extended characters' (ie: the family, friends, boss, enemy, etc), the posts seem to write themselves most of the time.
    To better know my character, I find completing challenges in the Creative Challenges section, and here in the Institute, helpful. Diana's Ultimate Character Sheet is also great.

    Bland World:
    Don't discount the Worldbuilding! If my setting is boring, or there's nothing especially fun or exciting to play with, I find it hard to write; it's like the characters are standing in a big void of genericness! Clicking around the Worldbuilding Guild helps with that.

    Unclear Resolution:
    This is when the conflict of the story becomes unresolvable. It's tough to fix; you may have to do some back-editing or handsome key element have been a trick the entire time

    Depressing experience
    This is when the Roleplay is so grim that just writing in it is depressing. The cure is to introduce some silliness
  2. My most common cause for Writer's Block is actually battle.

    Similar to Chess, there are many different moves for both combatants and nigh endless possibilities to attack, defend, parry/deflect, or dodge a strike/spell/projectile. Naturally, how the fight carries on depends on both players. I personally wind up overthinking the clash and planning far too many steps ahead and trying to work out everything from the fatigue of both characters to how well they are carrying on with their injuries.

    Then comes an attack that I failed to predict, mostly due to poorly positioning my own character and winding up in a grapple or some other hold. After getting over this realization, I wind up drifting off to YouTube for awhile and looking up various martial arts demonstrations and competitions. Not the movie stuff or footage of "take your dough" schools: I mean various styles that are hardly allowed in the UFC due to lethality. Once I find something that makes the most sense for my character's position, I act accordingly (regardless if it's to manage to throw my opponent or fall to submission).
    But that's just me.
  3. For me, back when I had blocks, the issue is that I was too rigid with my possibilities. I taught myself to make things happen on the spot by building "possibilities trees" for the whole plot. Here's an example:

    Steampunk-esque world intertwined with magic. The group is tasked to destroy the power core of a war machine, which was a piezoelectric crystal type thing.

    So, people in room, they consider their options.

    Start here.
    |-The marksman shoots it with revolver.
    |--Crystal explodes, killing everyone, cosmic scolding, back to start with shielding.
    |--Crystal shatters, war machine is conquered, new objective to counteract early victory.
    |-Mage hits it with thunderbolt.
    |--Crystal overloads, killing everyone, cosmic scolding, back to start with shielding.
    |--Crystal overloads and breaks, war machine is conquered, new objective to counteract early success.
    |-They explore war machine, discover main breaker room.
    |--Destroy breaker
    |---The breaker explodes, everybody dies.
    |---The breaker breaks, war machine goes down, new objective.
    |--Trip breaker
    |---Power shuts down
    |----Fight back to crystal room
    |-----Destroy crystal
    |------Crystal is destroyed safely, new objective OR end of RP depending
    |-----Collect crystal
    |------War machine is disabled, the crystal is brought back and they get special gear for efforts or a medal or something
    |----Fight way to control room and take control of War Machine
    |-----Reactivate War Machine
    |------Machine can be remotely controlled, back to start
    |------The War Machine is now the players' property, give them an opportunity to fuck shit up for their creativity and effort
    And with that, you'd be ready for everything and can keep the ball rolling forever.​
    #3 Yiyel, Nov 5, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
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