Writer’s Block Strikes Back with Vengence

Most people who write a lot are probably familiar with this feeling. You sit down at a blank page, put your hands on the keyboard and you can’t think of a damned thing you want to write about. Of course there is the incessant undercurrent of ideas, concepts and half-remembered thoughts but none of them seem particularly exciting. The ones that would be workable are not nearly fleshed out enough, and they require several hours of work to actually get to a point where you would make sense and… Well, these things are not really the kind of stuff you usually blog about anyway. That’s where I find myself right now. I’m grasping at straws, hoping to catch a thread that will let me lift myself out of the intellectual malaise I have fallen into.

Fortunately, this is merely a temporary condition. For me it usually strikes when I’m in generally lousy mood, and not in a right frame of mind to try be funny or creative. It goes away equally swiftly. One minute all you have in your head is useless white noise, the next you have six ideas fighting for ascendancy and you struggle to write them all down fast enough before they vanish from your short term memory. Sometimes all it takes is a stroke of inspiration to make the cognitive chaos coalesce into coherent, recordable strands of thought. All you need is single article, picture or post somewhere out there on the web. You latch on to it, and you ride it out to safety. So I have been browsing, reading and amusing myself trying to make it happen, but no luck so far.

So now I’m sitting here writing about being unable to write. Which is sort of helping in it’s own way but not enough… So what I’m going to do is to go watch a movie or something like that.

I’ll leave you with two things you may want to check out. The first one is the fourth season of Spoiler Warning. I don’t know if you have been watching it from the start, but they recently revamped the show: the episodes are shorter to accommodate viewers with attention spans of a cracked out hamsters, but they post them more often which is nice. They have a great ability to ruthlessly trash great games, but with certain amount of love and tenderness. The show cracks me up on usual basis.

Also, someone posted a link to this flash game in the artsy game thread. It is essentially a clone of Everyday the same dream but a rather interesting one. While ETSD was about bleakness of existence, this game is about a species extinction event. I found it worth spending a few minutes with. Kinda thought provoking, but alas it did not shake me out of the writers block.

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5 Responses to Writer’s Block Strikes Back with Vengence

  1. Liudvikas LITHUANIA Google Chrome Windows Terminalist says:

    I’ve recently became interested in interactive fiction :) That change came after I’ve played Photopia currently playing Blue Lacuna
    So if you are into that, you could write about it :)

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  2. Tino UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    The Escapist’s extra credits got me testing Echo Bazaar. I’m still not sure if it is a good “game”, but it gives a fresh perspective on interactive storytelling, so I recommend checking it out. (Also, of course, extra credits itself is an awesome show for insights in game design.)

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  3. Zel FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I used to watch Spoiler Warning but I gave up on it early in this fourth season. It would be nice if the team played a different sort of game for once. Mass Effect, Fallout 3, Bioshock, now Mass Effect 2, …, notice a trend ? What’s next, New Vegas ? I think they said all there is to say about the Shooter/RPG genre, as with Fallout 3 and Bioshock they covered a pretty wide spectrum, and Young already wrote what he thought of ME2’s plot in details. What was left was a mix of repeats, bad jokes and internet memes for the entire duration of the show, which I don’t find particularly entertaining. Did it get better further along the season ?

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  4. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Liudvikas:

    I never really messed around with interactive fiction. I might need to check these out.

    @ Tino:

    Ok, since I haven’t watched the linked video yet, could you explain what sort of a game Echo Bazar is?

    @ Zel:

    Honestly, I don’t know. They keep me entertained. I don’t mind the bad jokes, puns and memes and I enjoy the back-and-forward banter they have going on lately.

    As for the game selection – I’m not really surprised. I mean if you read Shamus’ blog it is basically the stuff he is into – and the stuff that large part of his audience enjoys. You have to remember that he got popular by doing a D&D themed comic using LOTR screen captures. Most of the long time readers like RPG’s and FPS RPG’s tend to have a nice balance of story (that can be made fun of) and action (which looks nice and dynamic in the video).

    What kind of games would you like to see them do? I mean, I can’t really imagine them doing a whole season out of some RTS or a turn based strategy game…

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  5. Zel FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ Luke Maciak: I’ve never seen a Let’s Play of a RTS or turn based strategy game, so it would be fresh and innovative to me (and probably boring, but one can’t have everything).

    I was more thinking along the lines of a single genre RPG, probably D&D based so that Shamus could endlessly talk about the blatant mistakes in the implementation of the rules, which is much fun for the educated viewer. Maybe Neverwinter Nights 2 : Mask of the Betrayer to keep the new flashy graphics and full voiced over dialog format, though I have enjoyed watching DOS era video LP too. Drakensang: The River of Time would also fit in the category (good game by the way).

    A change of player would be nice, I seldom heard Josh when they were three, and barely if at all (except for the “Stop shooting me!”) since they switched to four. A bit more opinion difference could help the actual banter stray away from the constant puns and jokes, when I left all three commentators were in full agreement with each other which makes two commentators too many.

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