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Writer's Block

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:55 pm
by Enkidu
Definition: "The condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing."

That's what I am having right now. I can't come up with any new ideas for a story in the StarCraft game itself and I haven't figured out what I wanted to make in the campaign editor, believe me I tried. I want you guys to help me out, maybe brainstorm on a few ideas until I come up with something. At least give me some advice on what to do and stuff. :-[

I was working on an RPG that involved the Protoss and it was supposed to be a search for something, but that's about as far as I could go with the thought process... I know, it isn't much and I still need to make up more context to the story. Like I said, I kinda need your help! any ideas?

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:28 pm
by IskatuMesk
search for THE ARTIFACTS which are THE KEY TO THE END OF ALL THINGS

no one has ever thought of something so original or cool before it will be revolutionary

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:17 am
by Zilla-
why not fenix and zeratul go to white castle?

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:59 am
by Revolta
Asking for others to 'help you brainstorm' is close to asking them to write it for you, you should look at some critical (negative) story reviews or commentaries of the original starcraft and figure out if you agree with what they say, if they have missed anything, if they are right or wrong depending on your poitn of view and that will help you to figure out what you want to keep and what you want to throw out when it comes to blizzard's lore since most of it is bad or poorly executed. avoid cliches and establish meaning, have a purpose to every mission, every dialogue option, everything included in your campaign. It c an be as simple a reason to such as 'this map needs doodads so I put doodads there' or it can be as complex as something like a narrative that conencts points through your entire project, but figure out why it's there, justify its purpose. If you can't, try, and if you still can't, throw it out and try something else.

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:13 pm
by Enkidu
Revolta wrote:Asking for others to 'help you brainstorm' is close to asking them to write it for you, you should look at some critical (negative) story reviews or commentaries of the original starcraft and figure out if you agree with what they say, if they have missed anything, if they are right or wrong depending on your poitn of view and that will help you to figure out what you want to keep and what you want to throw out when it comes to blizzard's lore since most of it is bad or poorly executed. avoid cliches and establish meaning, have a purpose to every mission, every dialogue option, everything included in your campaign. It c an be as simple a reason to such as 'this map needs doodads so I put doodads there' or it can be as complex as something like a narrative that conencts points through your entire project, but figure out why it's there, justify its purpose. If you can't, try, and if you still can't, throw it out and try something else.


Thanks for the advice. Also, I wasn't asking you to write ideas for me, I was just asking for help in coming up with any. I don't think asking for a ghost-writer on these forums is worth it and it's pretty expensive, I think. The advice you gave me though does sound pretty sold though. I just have one question about your statements concerning StarCraft...

Was it really that bad? What about StarCraft 2? Was Broodwar's execution of their storyline and stuff that bad? if so, it never occured to me so much that it was. I would like to point out that I do still enjoy playing the game I guess, despite it's alleged bad storyline.

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:33 pm
by Revolta
SC2 is infinitely worse than bw but brood war and vanilla had bad writing as well. Blizzard's never made a good story. Check out this playlist, some critical outlooks that can help you if youre willing to look past the vitriol https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... L8XN2o8DS-

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:01 am
by Hercanic
Thinking over my own creative process, I find I usually don't have much trouble with "writer's block" or "designer's block". Here's what I do:


1st guideline: Focus on what you enjoy.

    If you concern yourself too much with what other people like, you'll likely only achieve a superficial understanding and it'll show. You are the first and most crucial critic of your work, so know your stuff.

    When I made STF, I knew I liked unit micro with a few units, and I did not care for the tedious nature of macro. So I made a game that vastly simplified base building, the tech tree, and supply, and instead focused attention on a small army of units who had many nuances to their attack styles and abilities.

    The same can be applied to writing a story: What types of genres, themes, aesthetics, conflicts, etc do you like? Fill your work with what interests you!

    (Caveat: Obviously this can't apply if you're being paid to do a job for a company, but when it comes to your hobby or a project you have creative control over, use your own tastes as your guide.)


2nd guideline: Learn what you enjoy, and understand why you like it.

    It'll be tricky and muddled to make something based on what you enjoy if you don't understand yourself! You can go by your gut, your instincts, but you'll get so much more out of the process if you are consciously aware of yourself.

    Whenever you are reading a story, watching a movie, playing a game, or anything else, take a moment every so often to look inwardly and observe yourself. How are you feeling? Are you bored? Interested? What is causing these feelings? Analyze the source of your current emotional state to better grasp what perks your attention. Then ask yourself, "Why do I feel this way?"


3rd Guideline: Sequitur - It follows.

    When you identify what you enjoy, you finally have a thread to pull. There are logical implications and consequences to any idea, which is your springboard to other ideas.


4th Guideline: Do your research.

    One part believability, two parts Sequitur. You can get a lot of ideas just from learning about a subject your project deals with. Online dictionaries, Wikipedia, Google Image Search, there are tons of modern tools to help you quickly find out more.


5th Guideline: Think it through.

    A culmination of Sequitur and Do Your Research, but it also stands on its own as a final quality pass. Imagine the cause and effect of your idea several layers deeper than what you initially thought of when you first had your idea. This will be hard, even uncomfortable. Write things out, draw a diagram, draft an outline, these can help visualize and solidify complex ideas.

    For example, I might think of an interesting new unit to add to STF. He'd counter this, and be countered by that. Okay, let's put it in! ...Well, no, not yet. Think through every unit interaction, and the result. What about the difference between 1v1 and 100v100? Think through the entire web of relationships, and you'll discover things you hadn't thought of, and with this new knowledge you can refine your idea in unexpected ways.


6th guideline: Set goals and stick to them.

    I don't mean arbitrary metrics like "Lose 5 pounds in a week" or "Write 5 pages every day." Rather, you boil down the essentials of what you want your project to look like at the end. To start, look at the 1st guideline: what do you like and dislike? These can become your main goals.

    How do you determine if a new idea is good for your project? It might sound neat, and it could work well in another project, but maybe the idea doesn't suit this one. How do you figure that out? Goals are the measuring tool by which you will filter, alter, and cut your passing fancies.

    A goal of STF was "Focus on unit micro." This came from what I liked. From this point, any new ideas would have to satisfy this goal. If they interfered, it was not a suitable idea and I would need to Think It Through to find a better implementation that fits my goals or drop the idea back into the well.

    In the most recently released version of STF, many years after the last release, I forgot this goal. I complicated the economy system and, while it may have been an interesting system on its own and a fine display of SC modding, it detracted from my primary goal and just wasn't very fun as a result.

    If you were to build a house in space, anything goes, but the moment you take it down to Earth it collapses from gravity. Ideas nailed together in a vacuum are the same way, they lack structure and consistency. Goals keep you grounded and establish a foundation to build on.


7th guideline: Take a break.

    You need a change in scenery every so often. Put your current roadblock to the back of your mind and enjoy something else. Read, watch, play, stroll, shower, anything really. Just do something different. On rare occasions a new, wholly-formed idea will suddenly spring forth like an epiphany; sometimes you'll gain inspiration from what you're doing; and other times your mind will simply wander and start thinking a bit on your project's problem and you'll come up with a few half-ideas, Think It Through and find they don't work, but then another half-idea changes how you use the previous half-ideas and something entirely new is born, and boom pieces click and you start to see a solution.

    Often times I find my "Eureka!" moments were the result of the idea already partially existing but floating around in the back of my mind, missing a crucial detail to make it fit with what I want. I just needed to take my mind off of it all and experience something else to formulate that last piece.

    The quiet monotony of a shower or the resting phase before sleep tend to be my most creative times.

Anyway, this is basically what I do. Hope it helps!

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:10 am
by IskatuMesk
you can lose a lot more than 5 pounds in a week bro just hook yourself up to something with a lot of suction, like my mom, and let 'er rip

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:08 pm
by Enkidu
hmm... Pardon me, still processing. :S

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 3:42 pm
by KnoutOut
this "writer's block" is not your lack of creativity. It's you being scared and timid to the point of absurdity, even asking us if it's okay to change your name! If you can't even express YOUR OWN NAME, how do you expect to tell us about your story? How do you want to us to feel involved and care about YOUR fictional universe like that? If you are not willing to change yourself, you can flat out forget about writing a story, just take your starcraft map-folder, drop it into the recycle bin and be done with it. Start saying what you want and drop this oblivious wonderland-attitude, that's the only right way!
Once you start worrying, what there is NOT to write about, you have made it.

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:41 pm
by Enkidu
KnoutOut wrote:this "writer's block" is not your lack of creativity. It's you being scared and timid to the point of absurdity, even asking us if it's okay to change your name! If you can't even express YOUR OWN NAME, how do you expect to tell us about your story? How do you want to us to feel involved and care about YOUR fictional universe like that? If you are not willing to change yourself, you can flat out forget about writing a story, just take your starcraft map-folder, drop it into the recycle bin and be done with it. Start saying what you want and drop this oblivious wonderland-attitude, that's the only right way!
Once you start worrying, what there is NOT to write about, you have made it.


I am guessing I haven't said this before so here it goes. I am going to work on this on my own, how is that? So I am going to be offline for awhile and hopefully when I have something to contribute, I'll let you guys know. Until then, have fun. :explain:

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:07 am
by Hercanic
KnoutOut wrote:this "writer's block" is not your lack of creativity. It's you being scared and timid to the point of absurdity, even asking us if it's okay to change your name! If you can't even express YOUR OWN NAME, how do you expect to tell us about your story? How do you want to us to feel involved and care about YOUR fictional universe like that? If you are not willing to change yourself, you can flat out forget about writing a story, just take your starcraft map-folder, drop it into the recycle bin and be done with it. Start saying what you want and drop this oblivious wonderland-attitude, that's the only right way!
Once you start worrying, what there is NOT to write about, you have made it.

This is quite a lump of assumptions, bordering on projection. You know very little about Enkidu, and you try to act the part of a screaming drill instructor. Your armchair psychoanalysis of his name change request is laughable. Being polite yet uncertain is not the same as being "scared and timid" and "unable to express your own name". The very fact that he asked for the change is "expressing" "what he wants". WTF are you even on about?

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:17 am
by KnoutOut
QUITE THE LUMP OF ASSUMPTIONS HUH! I'm sure the person that asks for permission to change his name (exclaiming it with "OH BOY!! DD!!") is in reality a fucking stud that makes bitches scream just by looking at them, doesn't take no shit from anybody and if I said it in his face would punch me right then and there!

"bordering on projection" yoo, it's not projection, it's just borderline projection, good thing you threw that in there or else I would have been really INSULTED! Tell me then mister HERCules, what part of my statement is "borderline projection"? Since you know, you call me an armchair psychoanalyst and drill seargent, and that's just for what I think, you must know it a lot better than me! So prove me wrong you fucking genius! And please deliver it politically correct, because I don't want my feelings hurt, so refrain from the use of strong and problematic words, thank you.

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:44 am
by Mucky
knockout thinks he's trolling, how cute

Re: Writer's Block

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:32 am
by Enkidu
KnoutOut wrote:QUITE THE LUMP OF ASSUMPTIONS HUH! I'm sure the person that asks for permission to change his name (exclaiming it with "OH BOY!! DD!!") is in reality a fucking stud that makes bitches scream just by looking at them, doesn't take no shit from anybody and if I said it in his face would punch me right then and there!

"bordering on projection" yoo, it's not projection, it's just borderline projection, good thing you threw that in there or else I would have been really INSULTED! Tell me then mister HERCules, what part of my statement is "borderline projection"? Since you know, you call me an armchair psychoanalyst and drill seargent, and that's just for what I think, you must know it a lot better than me! So prove me wrong you fucking genius! And please deliver it politically correct, because I don't want my feelings hurt, so refrain from the use of strong and problematic words, thank you.


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