Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Unofficial Blog: Fallout 4! - Using Your Down Time to Work

I swear this isn't one of the jerkwad blogs that spoils the end for you. That said...

November has to be the worst month to commit to writing a 50,000 word novel. You pretty much walk in from trick-or treating and sit down at your writing desk. You take a break to eat some turkey, fight the mob of Christmas shoppers, and every second in between, you're writing. To add insult to injury, your favorite freakin' video game of all time comes out the same month you sold your soul to NaNoWriMo. And by you, I mean me. But this isn't a bad thing! When taking on a huge workload, it's imperative we get some downtime or we'll drive ourselves into writer's block. But believe it or not, it is possible to work on our stories with our downtime.

For those of you who have no clue what Fallout is...well, first of all, you're lame and you need to go check it out right now (just kidding, you know I love you) Fallout is a post-apocalyptic adventure you fallow with a character you customize in every way. In conversations, the game provides you with several responses ranging from angel to asshole and everything in between. You pick your appearance, strengths, weaknesses, and if you're the kind of person who'd run into a den of super mutants with a mini nuke, or the kind who fires up your stealth boy and pray to God they don't see you. It's fun as hell, but it's also an amazing way to explore your characters. In my play through, I'm studying my character Annie. In every situation the game throws at her, I try to think "What would she do?" or "What would she say?" It's great actually seeing this stuff pan out on the screen, because it truly does help me reverse engineer it onto the page.

But while games like these are amazing tools, they're not the only way to unwind while simultaneously continuing your work. Another favorite technique of mine is to watch movies or read books that have the same feel, genre, or subject matter as what I'm working on. This can expand character, but it also does wonders for world, plot, and that overall feeling of your story that's practically a character itself. 

For me, it's easier to convince myself to take a break when I know I'm secretly still working, but the important thing is to give my brain a rest from the actual writing every now and then. Whether you're writing for NaNoWriMo, or working on a project any time of the year, go easy on yourself, or you're bound to fall out (shut up, H. that was the worst pun ever)

P.S. You have to help Liam Neeson take down Mr. House at the end.

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