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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Nov 2006

    Default Motivational Strategies. What are yours?

    So, I've been working on my campaign setting (and corresponding d20 System) for about a year now, and I'm having a hard time motivating myself to keep going. There's just so much writing and so much crossplanning needed between chapters. I'm curious. How do you guys motivate yourselves to actually finish content that you're creating/have created?

    I'm also having a lot of trouble focusing on the core elements of the setting. I keep going "hey, what if XYZ had ABC?" I then proceed to run into trouble with the whole Divide and Conquer strategy when writing, because I wrote about it, but forgot, and end up having two races with the same tech. Ick. Thoughts?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    3SecondCultist's Avatar

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    Default Re: Motivational Strategies. What are yours?

    Personally, I like to develop as I go. I get extremely devoted or motivated to one aspect, and inevitably that will become boring. So I stop for a while, eventually get inspired, and add a new element that at least somewhat fits into the story without changing the entire core structure.

    For example, I had planned out a desert campaign, where there was no real big bad, just a ton of factions fighting over control of this desert empire. At the end, the central capital is under siege by four different factions, each with an army, and a fifth faction is defending. I was busy reading Feist, and his political flair in RPGs inspired me. I even took the name Kesh as my empire.
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2011-01-07 at 08:05 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Motivational Strategies. What are yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3SecondCultist View Post
    Personally, I like to develop as I go. I get extremely devoted or motivated to one aspect, and inevitably that will become boring. So I stop for a while, eventually get inspired, and add a new element that at least somewhat fits into the story without changing the entire core structure.

    For example, I had planned out a desert campaign, where there was no real big bad, just a ton of factions fighting over control of this desert empire. At the end, the central capital is under siege by four different factions, each with an army, and a fifth faction is defending. I was busy reading Feist, and his political flair in RPGs inspired me. I even took the name Kesh as my empire.
    Well, I can get as far as the developing part. I just get stuck on the actual writing part.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    DracoDei's Avatar

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    Default Re: Motivational Strategies. What are yours?

    Well, one simple trick MIGHT be that you keep everything in a single computer file. Or even just a summary. Then you can search for various keywords before starting anything new, so as to make sure you aren't going to be duplicating something.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Motivational Strategies. What are yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Well, one simple trick MIGHT be that you keep everything in a single computer file. Or even just a summary. Then you can search for various keywords before starting anything new, so as to make sure you aren't going to be duplicating something.
    I have a very very long Google Docs file. I was actually thinking of splitting it up into separate docs, since it's getting hard to keep track of where everything is.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Motivational Strategies. What are yours?

    I don't really have a strategy, so much as a habit. I work on it every weekend. Plus write down any ideas on a notebook during the week.
    What I work on depends on what I write down, plus any other ideas that I get from reading forums (especially this one).

    I have several files for my campaign, 8 of mostly completed stuff plus all of the associated unfinished projects.
    1- Character Creation: Races & Classes
    2- Setting Specific Rules (had to call my house rules something, plus this has my alignment system written out)
    3- Fluff and Areas of Interest
    4- Skills and Feats
    5- Equipment
    6- Religion: this is actually 24 different files for the different pantheons (it made sense when I started the project)
    7- Magic
    8- Monsters

    Splitting it up more would be more effort then it is worth, and combining them make it hard to find specific things within the documents.
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    Titan in the Playground
     
    DracoDei's Avatar

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    Default Re: Motivational Strategies. What are yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    I have a very very long Google Docs file. I was actually thinking of splitting it up into separate docs, since it's getting hard to keep track of where everything is.
    Well, use page searches for key-words then. Note that this only solves PART of your problem at best. Also, splitting your google-doc into categories probably shouldn't hurt this idea too much.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2011-01-08 at 07:25 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Mulletmanalive's Avatar

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    Default Re: Motivational Strategies. What are yours?

    Lists, deadlines, treats and bouncing around insanely

    • Make a list of your chapters.
    • Start by collecting your stuff for those chapters.
    • Check what's missing and list that in a sensible order
    • Set up a "compiled" file and individual chapter files
    • Open at least three chapters at a time
    • Review chapter lists
    • Follow nose to what you feel like you can write at the time
    • If the urge leads you elsewhere, follow it
    • Promise yourself a break after 20 minutes "productive" work; i have a cup of tea
    • Read "productive work" delete as appropriate and rewrite so it's comprehensible
    • Try to get it all ready for a predefined date for playtest with a different group from your usual suspects.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Motivational Strategies. What are yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by lightningcat View Post
    I don't really have a strategy, so much as a habit. I work on it every weekend. Plus write down any ideas on a notebook during the week.
    What I work on depends on what I write down, plus any other ideas that I get from reading forums (especially this one).

    I have several files for my campaign, 8 of mostly completed stuff plus all of the associated unfinished projects.
    1- Character Creation: Races & Classes
    2- Setting Specific Rules (had to call my house rules something, plus this has my alignment system written out)
    3- Fluff and Areas of Interest
    4- Skills and Feats
    5- Equipment
    6- Religion: this is actually 24 different files for the different pantheons (it made sense when I started the project)
    7- Magic
    8- Monsters

    Splitting it up more would be more effort then it is worth, and combining them make it hard to find specific things within the documents.
    Well, I mostly search by keyword. I have a talent for starting something from the beginning and writing straight through without really needing to revise. It works for almost every paper I write. I've managed to plan the entire thing in my head, so writing it is no problem. I just have a hard time wanting to keep writing it because there's so much.

    I finished the first race today. Well, not quite. I have five more subsections to write and some more fleshing out to do, but it's already reached six pages in Microsoft Word (copy/pasted in).

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Well, use page searches for key-words then. Note that this only solves PART of your problem at best. Also, splitting your google-doc into categories probably shouldn't hurt this idea too much.
    I'm just really annoyed that Google Docs doesn't display when a page ends. My document when pasted into Word is now over sixteen pages long and counting, and I'm barely through the first race. The first bit is just mechanics and such.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    Lists, deadlines, treats and bouncing around insanely

    • Make a list of your chapters.
    • Start by collecting your stuff for those chapters.
    • Check what's missing and list that in a sensible order
    • Set up a "compiled" file and individual chapter files
    • Open at least three chapters at a time
    • Review chapter lists
    • Follow nose to what you feel like you can write at the time
    • If the urge leads you elsewhere, follow it
    • Promise yourself a break after 20 minutes "productive" work; i have a cup of tea
    • Read "productive work" delete as appropriate and rewrite so it's comprehensible
    • Try to get it all ready for a predefined date for playtest with a different group from your usual suspects.
    See I've done that, and all the planning is great, but my problem is finishing, not starting. Those of you with some forum-searching-fu will be able to find the original outline/template(s) for my setting.

    As for playtesting, I am in a situation where there are no D&D or tabletop RPG players around. Not a single one. It's quite depressing really, so the only venue I'd have is well, here, and games I've run here don't tend to do so well...

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