I have spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks structuring content. My work focussed on writing responses to some official questions for a work project. The process meant taking the question and breaking it down into components. Then, I had to take the component parts and detail how best to respond to them. I had to break things out into bulletpoints at each stage. Then, once I had the bullets, I expanded these with a little more detail, then finally took those expanded bullets as the foundation for a robust answer. Robustness applied, I needed to then reassess the original question and ensure every sentence counted toward the goal. I had no room for verbosity and waffle. If my words didn’t answer the question, they didn’t need to be there at all.
I have no illusions about my writing skills. I have a lot of potential learning points. Not only do I create passive sentences filled with unnecessary gerunds and dangling participles, I also talk too much. I waffle. Apparently, I seriously waffle. When I need to answer a question concisely and to the point, I find a way to write three or four sentences, some or none of which will likely have skirted around the point. I believe I have an overcompensatory attitude to writing. My uncertainty about the quality of what I write might very likely mean I choose to write too much. I could very well compare my style to using a shotgun instead of a pistol. I lack the confidence to squeeze off a single shot to strike my target, so I pepper it with shot instead.
I also utilise the wrong words. When I could use the right ones. Now that I’m thinking about it, I can’t cite any examples, but trust me when I say I can always find a long word (or three) when a short word would do. Again, I may have a problem here. My lack of confidence may well mean I need to use long words. My verbosity obfuscates my shortfall in certainty about my written aptitude. Yes… I hide my uncertainty behind big words.
So, I want to see how I can apply some new thinking to my game writing. I have a lot of material I’d like to write at the moment, and I have very little spare time to get it done. I have plan for at least three Maelstrom supplements and want to experiment with some generic adventures. If I can hone my structure and refine my content, I might have it in me to get a lot more done. Maybe I should consider short sentences and mono-syllable words for a while. I could do with a way on from here that means less effort and better output. I guess a future post here will tell you how I got on, or I will spend my time complaining about how hard it was.
I can always manage a short, sharp act of grumbling.