t’s funny how creative and not-so-creatives view the very act of creation, but it’s certainly differently.
See, I see it that I’m working with Squiffy, a sharp little adventure creator. You remember those old adventures where the computer would tell you a scene (“…You are in a path in the forest. The road runs north and south. To the east, there is the sound of rushing water. What will you do…?”) Yeah, back then we played about every Scott Adam’s adventure there was. Anyway, Squiffy lets you do this fairly easily (had to learn a couple of java script tricks). But pretty much you can write on the fly, making an adventure that can boggle your friends and warp your mind.
So, in the spirit of creativity, I sat down with excel and came up with a rough spreadsheet of the action, with options left to right and plot running down. This is needed since in text adventures, you can loop around an reuse sections and all sorts of potential tangles. And I’m working my way down a plot line, learning how to use the tool, thinking ahead, figuring out just how my text is going to flow so that causes no bumps if you jump storylines. A scan of my brain would show literal lightning roiling back and forth as I worry the spatial against the artistic, pulling it all together.
To my wife, with whatever that question was, it looks like I’m typing something into something.
And so she asked me her question.
Now, I’ve been pretty good as of late. No recent arguments. No spats. But I was trying to keep track of three things at once. So that’s why I said, “I’m busy….” in literal italics. I was. She tossed me a harrumph and left.
And now I was running on a flat. That harrumph thumped away as everything else spun smoothly. Now, I wasn’t only thinking of what my character might do, and what options he should have, what hints I should give. Now I was wondering about what options I had. Was this going to lead to a chilly spell? Was this going to cost me an hour of halting conversation until we could settle the argument? I could feel a portion of my attention slipping away. Suddenly what I was doing was harder, not so rewarding. Thirty minutes later I decided to call it a night (10:30pm is early for creative types). It was sorta over for now.
Nothing came from it – it was all under the rug (unless it’s quietly brewing and I haven’t noticed it yet). But yes, all you people who live with creative types; writers, musicians, painters and the like. Consider your question. Is it really important? If not, can it wait? Even if we aren’t typing or mixing paint, even if we are staring into space, it might mean we are working arrangements out in our heads, bringing the parts together into that artistic whole. So, yes, stop and think it through. And maybe give us the precious time we need to find that color, word or note we seek. Please.
>>>FUNNY STORY ABOUT THE CLIMATIC FINAL CHAPTER OF EARLY RETYREMENT (AVAILBALE DOWN THIS LINK) AND DINNER WITH THE INLAWS. I’LL HAVE TO SEE IF I CAN FIND THAT OLD PIECE (OR WRITE IT IF I HAVEN’T DONE IT YET). ANYWAY, BUY A BOOK, OKAY?<<<