I got out of work early (having worked a little overtime during the course of the week) and went out for pizza with Lut. When I got home, I wrote a reply to a reply Greywolf had sent me, then got to work on Prophecy. I managed to fulfill my quota for the week (yay me!) with all of today to spare. I'd been worried about that, because, since I finished my last scene on Tuesday, I'd been struggling with what to write next, and had only barely met the minimum "write something" daily requirement on Wednesday and Friday morning. I didn't wirte anything at all on Thursday, but that's still with in parameteres--the schedule only says I have to write six days a week.
Telnar asked me, "Is it important to you that you meet all these little goals along the way, or would you be happy just to finish the novel?" The answer is, of course, that I just want to finish the novel. But I doubt that'll happen if I can't meet all the little goals along the way. It's a question of motivation.
If I look at it as, "I need to write three hundred more pages to finish this," then I'll clutch. That's like thinking "I have to have $500,000 before I can retire." It's not something I can achieve in the short-term. And if I just think about it like that, I'd give up, or procrastinate. "No way can I ever do that much. And it's not like anything I do today will make an appreciable dent in the overall picture. Doesn't matter if I work on it right now or not."
But if I forget the big picture and say, "I just have to write one sentence. Just one--" that I can do. I know it's ridiculous for me to tell myself that I can't write just one sentence. So I have to do at least that much. Psyching myself up to do more is sometimes tricky, but usually, once I have a good idea in mind, it flows easily onto the page. And I can think, "Once I've got a complete scene, I can mail it to Kendra and Greywolf," which is another little bit of motivation.
To use that metaphor popular with business, "This is a marathon, not a sprint." I can't just tell myself "I will write as much as I possibly can, whenever I can, from now until I reach the end." I can't see the finish line. I would collapse, thinking I'd never reach it, before I was a quarter of the way through. (I know, because I have, so many times in the past). But if I pace myself, watch the mileposts tick past, and think, "All I have to do is keeping putting in the same amount of effort I have been so far, and I'll get there."
I don't have to write a whole book. I just have to keep writing scenes, until eventually I have a book. I can handle that. Just one scene. Just one sentence. That's not so hard.
Anyway, in addition to getting my writing done, I also played some Shattered Galaxy with Lut, and then I sent off a new scenario for Elise to respond to. Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I decided how I wanted to start the Elise log tonight--all I have to do now is write a starter. Apart from that, I need to gel my long-term plan for Lochinvar, and then I'll be set for the weekend.
When did my weekends get so full of things I "had" to do?
About the scenario for Elise--this is another cool idea that Greywolf came up with, some months ago. Elise has been in limbo for a while, and GW suggested that, rather than playing out every "adventure" she might have on her job in full log form, we could boil the job down to a simple, one- or two-paragraph scenario with a single significant choice. Email the scenario to Brenna, let her make the choice, and that settles the outcome of that scenario. Presto!
Even better, GW invented a whole slew of neat scenarios for me to pick and choose through. Mostly, he designed them to determine Elise's style, more than her success. He gave a list of choices, complete with their exact consequences, pro and con. I didn't like the idea of having the player know exactly what the outcome of an action would be, so I asked if I could tweak the outcome section. He was fine with that, and I changed it to show the possible outcomes and their relative probabiilities for each choice: Pick A, and on a 1-95, this happens; on a 96-100, that happens.
It's simple, quick (especially with a ready-made list of scenarios supplied me) and allows me to cover a large span of time without doing something like: 'Elise falls into a coma for six months. When she wakes up..."
Anyway, I think I'll go play a little Shattered Galaxy, then do some more work on Lochy plans.