I actually crossed the finish line two days early, late Monday night. Woohoo!
Things I learned, in no particular order:
- For me, the most important part of writing is making decisions. Writer’s block is often just the fear of making decisions. Be Bold!
- I have a bit of a depressive personality, which I mostly manage through self-care. Writing dark, morally ambiguous, cynical stories is not good self-care
- Writing can and should feel good. If it doesn’t, maybe I’m writing the wrong story. That’s not to say that it will always be easy, or always flow freely, but it will be feel right and good.
- I need to simplify characters, starting with a couple of broad roles (this time, I used the four classic temperaments and role within the classic “five man band”), so I can differentiate them early. Complexity will come from the interaction of roles and their interactions with other characters
- “Surviving in nature” shows are good inspiration for nonviolent action and peril scenes (Dual Survival, Remote Survival, River Monsters, etc.)
- I still need help with plotting. The Hero’s Journey (especially Christopher Vogler’s simplication of it ) and Kenn Adams’s Story Spine (aka “The Pixar Story Spine”) are good guides to keep me on track.
- Back to characters, to keep myself from making the same characters over and over and muddying them up, I made cards, shuffled them, and randomly drew for role, temperament, etc. I didn’t bind myself to the results, but I used them to get myself flowing.
- The key is making decisions, being bold, and not being afraid to try something new, to go against the mold … especially the “white male antihero solves problems by beating up the right bad guys” mold. 🙂
- Nightwish makes some great writing music