Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dealing with Concept Fatigue

No matter how long I work on something at some point I always run into the following issue. Concept Fatigue.

Its different from writers block. I only encounter writers block on projects I'm still enthusiastic about. My usual bouts with writers block deal with figuring out what the best to get from the current place in my story, game, comic, etc. to the next place and simply not being able to figure it out.

No, concept fatigue is different...

The concept that I came up with, that popped into my head, that was inspired by sock puppets, whatever it is and however I came to find it, I will eventually grow tired of it. Usually I go quickly from being tired of the idea to simply hating the idea, the concept, or whatever work I have put into it.

Previously as a game developer the time to dwell on that was slight, as I had to get the product out or I would not have a way to feed my family. Now though, not being in a creative business, I am devoting free time to concepts. When I hit that stage of concept fatigue, with near certainty, the projects wither and die. There are a few that I have kept alive and kicking, but overall nothing seems to help.

How do you deal with concept fatigue? Is it just my brain telling me that the concept is not good enough?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Funny

Appropriate Product Placement In Your Story

Do you read PvP? I do. I have for years. I'm a huge fan. I own a few books, a few single issues. I listen to the Webcomics Weekly podcast Scott Kurtz puts on with Dave Kellet, Kris Straub and Brad Guigar. I have the book, "How to Make Webcomics". So full disclosure up front. I'm a fan of the work, and a fan of the creators themselves.

If you follow PvP, then you know what is currently going on in the story. If you don't, then here's a link to Kurtz's post, though I will summarize it myself. He's incorporated appropriate product placement into the strip's next story arc.

There will be naysayers who use this as an opportunity to throw out the phrase "sell out" and make themselves feel slightly artistically superior while they wallow in obscurity. I am not one of them. I applaud the decision, and the care that went into it.

You're used to product placement already, in all mediums of story telling. Film, television, radio, novels, comics and videogames. Its just a part of the existence of modern entertainment, you have to pay those bills to keep creating the stories.

So what is wrong with placing products in your story? Nothing. The characters in PvP already play games like Magic. Kurtz is making money off of this story, but the implicit belief that there is something wrong with that is, from my view, childish. There is something wrong with compromising characters or vision for product placement and/or advertising, but when it fits into those aforementioned elements we should all embrace any creators who find legitimate ways to fund their work with no compromise.

Have you given any thought to placing products or driving ad revenue to fund your projects?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What Has Dragon Dictation Done for Me

Following up on my previous post about catching ideas, I installed Dragon Dictation on my iPhone. Its a solid little app, though I had no idea what it was and was not capable of.

Still one of the best dragon designs ever.

It can accurately take down concise notes with simple words. Going over three syllable words and it starts to choose words that you're not actually saying.

It has a length limit, which has presented an issue for myself during driving but isn't that big a deal.

Dragon is free, so you're getting quite a bit for your buck. I'm now using it to take down ideas for particular scenes, lines of dialog, and even the occasional joke. Time will tell if this makes me a better story teller, though so far I've caught a number of ideas with it that may have otherwise been lost to the ether.

How has your concept catching been? Any tips?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Catching Ideas

My current job requires I spend many hours per week driving. This means while I’m not really doing anything, I’m still one hundred percent occupied by what I’m doing and can't write, sketch, or otherwise jot down the ideas I do have. This is when my mind wanders and I start figuring out different ideas, or solving issues in some project that I’m working on.


I could record them audibly, certainly, but then I’d have to listen to them all over again. First world problem, but nonetheless something I really don’t want to do. Though I think I might resort to it in the short term.
I’m going to be trying out Dragon Dictation for iPhone. I'll let you know what I think of the app and how its working, especially when being used in a noisy truck.
How do you go about keeping and maintaining ideas? Especially when you don’t have many ways to do so?

Getting Started

A few folks out there know that I start and stop new blogs and journals and articles all the time. Well, I realized that the one thing that is common between all of them is I’m always telling a story, and I’m always writing about storytelling, so now I’m consolidating all my blogging and writing into one place.
The medium is not what matters, just the story. Console game, social game, movie, comic, novel, its all about the story.