Choose Your Frustration: A WIP Writer's Tale -- What is the most frustrating thing about writing a WIP?

My main struggle is that I doubt everything I’ve done, even the smallest things, and I’m overly critical of my own work, like I dislike things I’ve never noticed in a book, for example if I’ve used “and” three times in two sentences, when I’ve never noticed that in a book/article/game ever, like who sits there counting how many times "and is used?

Oh and the fact that I keep needing to add variables, and I always forget them

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I struggle with overly analyzing my work in the initial draft as well. I spend a ridiculous amount of time revising at the initial stage which I know is not correct. Many say that during the 1st draft it should written fairly quickly because you are just trying to get the words onto the page. But, it rarely works out that way for me. I think writing IF doesn’t lend itself well to a lot of the prose ways of doing things. Probably because you need to often work variables into the narrative, and account for branching. But, I’ll tell you who counts how many times ‘and’ is used, an editor. Here’s a silly thought for how you might break the habit of switching to editor mode from writer mode too soon. Try wearing a particular hat, or designate a particular coffee cup, for when you’re in ‘writer’ mode, when in writer mode you tell yourself you’re not allowed to edit or change or judge anything you’ve written. Then when you’ve finished your scene, chapter, day’s writing. Switch your hat, get your editor cup or whatever, transforming yourself into editor mode. I don’t know, I’ve never tried that myself, but I might start.

Anyway, thanks for sharing! And, welcome to the slog!

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For me it’s the finishing touches to get an update release-worthy. I spent five weeks on the “last 2 hours of work” every day of each week. There’s always something.

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Yes, and I changed projects to something I’m having far more fun writing and am making infinitely more progress on than I ever did with my old work.

Honestly I just… don’t. I make sure there’s no game breaking bugs I can find then ship. If I kept going over my work forever I’d go insane, at some point you just have to pull back and put it into the world.

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99% of the time. Luckily (and oddly), other people don’t usually agree. You get used to it.

I had a ten-year writer’s block. I’d call that a professional-level procrastination. Sadly no one paid me for that. :pensive:

Getting Fallout:NV flashbacks here.

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Lol dunno how to feel about that, considering I’m probably in the 1% of people who didn’t care for that one.

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Let just say arguing with your brain has never been same afterwards.

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I had to copy and paste the same code set 39 times then create 39 matching scenes in order to account for differing points in time to account for an endless loop bug. Then I proceeded to decide to change my mind on the gameplay loop and rewrite it from the beginning

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I swear I’m not laughing at you, but I did chuckle after reading your post. Just because it’s so similar to my experience and so damned sad, I can’t help but laugh.

Same here, were you around writing in Choicescript back then?

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No, it was a courtesy of my Bachelor’s thesis, which then put a stop on all my novel writing. (I was writing a… webnovel? at the time.)

(I’m also not sure ChoiceScript existed back then. It was certainly before the first game came out, when it started. Ten years is a long time.)

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It did, I found my original WIP post dated from way back in 2012. Unfortunately, none of the work I did on that version survives to this day.

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…you don’t know when my writer’s block started. (It was definitely before 2010, although I’m not exactly sure how much before, anymore.)

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Oh I see. Back in 2012 was probably the last time I wrote anything creatively. It’s amazing how life tends to twist the plot on our creative endeavors.

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Most of my writing frustrations are about things that aren’t actually writing: when stressors/life-demands get in the way of being able to think clearly or having a good run of time to be able to get stuck in. But I think the most frustrating thing is when there’s a bug that takes a very long time to understand and fix, or sometimes when there’s an extremely branchy scene so it takes a few days to write something that will only be a couple of clicks for a player - although it’s awesome to have done it, there’s something a bit psychologically annoying about realising that you’ve still only written a couple of minutes of game-playing time (or in-universe time).

The thing I find most difficult is when there isn’t anything going on in life that’s stopping me, I’m well-rested, and a scene is just not coming easily or I’m getting bogged down in logistics details or worrying that a progression of events doesn’t make sense. That’s when I need to take a moment and take a good look at it and figure out what’s not working, because most of the time it’s a sign that something’s awry in the plot or characterisation… and the rest of the time I’m not as well-rested as I thought I was and need to go for a walk.

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This is a blanket statement that could be applied to pretty much every time I get frustrated in writing and life in general.

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I struggle so much with actually getting started on a project. Not necessarily because I overthink things (though that’s part of the problem), but also because I just get no ideas if I sit down to actually brainstorm them. I’m a pantser through and through.

The problem comes from the fact that I jave the mindset of a plotter + I’m a huge procrastinator and get distracted by everything and its mother. So I sit down to write, don’t know what to write, try to think up ideas for what to write, get no ideas, and then get distracted by something else. Repeat ad nauseum. And I know I’d probably be able to wing it if I just wrote, but having no idea what I’m doing makes the whole task seem like such an ordeal.

Beginnings in general are also murder for me. I have a general idea for what to do and how to get to the cool stuff, but no details. So the same thing happens where I get intimidated by my own lack of ideas and try to work on brainstorming stuff instead of actually writing.

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That’s why I like to start with random scenes. Having a more solid understanding of where I’m going helps me to figure out how to get there, and possibly even how to start the story! (Still not sure of that one though. I tend to shuffle the beginning a lot, unless it was one of those random scenes, in which case I do have a strong sense of how to begin, of course. It can go - and has done so - either way.)

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Yeah, I write random scenes too. I still struggle with how to get there, though.

Um… commenting on stuff is not my forte but anyway…
I think the worst part for me is to pick the game up after you’ve left it for some time. It’s fine if you take a break but like, leaving it for months will kinda break the sync that you had ig.
Like, I need to start from the beginning, picking up all the threads that I had scattered and binding them all up without leaving anything when I complete my demo :sob: :sob:

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You’re not alone here. This has also been a reoccurring problem for me, not just in writing, but especially in writing. I firmly believe Newton’s First Law applies to physics and the things we want to accomplish. It makes sense if you’re going to run a 5K but have never run before. You start by running a bit daily, each day, tacking on a little more distance. I think it’s the same with writing; if it is essential to you, you’ll carve out a little time each day to write. Maybe one day you get 2,000 words, another you get 2. That’s okay. The important part is that you are moving in the right direction daily. Creativity may not have hit you that day, and you find that you wrote “See Jane run” over and over, it having nothing to do with the story you are working on. I don’t think that’s the important part, it’s just the simple act of sitting down and writing something every day that keeps the muscles primed and ready when inspiration strikes, and it will, you need to warmed up and ready when the starting gun goes off.

Thank you for sharing, part of what helps me when I am struggling and questioning what made me think I could write something and show it to the world…I mean come on! That’s crazy! The audacity of the notion is shocking! Is knowing that I am not alone in my struggles, that each and everyone of us struggles with a lot of the same things.

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