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All the planning in the world isn't the same as actually writing
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jducoeur
Last week and this have been mainly focused on frantic preparation for A Respectful Calm, my game for Intercon this year. I had thought I was in good shape: the game has been largely *designed* for months, with lots of archetypes and characters and plots and stuff outlined in Querki. And I kept coming up with Querki enhancements to make it easier to manage the game, which kept taking the place of actually writing.

Yeah, I'm out of practice. I had forgotten quite how long it takes to write 26 good character sheets; hence, all the frantic prep, which has mostly been writing. I'm a faster writer than most, but *man* I've had to crank out a lot. (Kudos to laurion for taking on some of the characters, which has kept my back from being totally to the wall.)

It's mostly done now, but this morning I found myself with three characters left, and all of them shared one thing in common: they were all too weak. That hadn't been obvious from the plot web, but when I thought through what their character sheets would look like, they just didn't have enough meat.

At which point, I pulled out one of my favorite tricks: I asked what these three characters might have in common. And the answer that came to me is a thing of beauty. It's a pain in the ass, actually: a new plot that requires changes to several other characters to fit it in, but it is lovely and evil and fun, makes all three of those characters *much* more interesting, and should give a bunch of people more to do. I have a lot more writing to do in the next two days, but I finally feel like the end result should hum properly, and none of the characters look boring.

The moral of the story? LARP writing is a lot like coding, and I need to work on being more agile. Design is good, but only gets you so far: until you actually write the "code" and see how it works, there are going to be bugs in your design that you don't even realize are there...
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