Cross-posted from the Timeless 64 blog:
I just read this book Accidental Genius, which I recommend. It explains the idea of using free writing as a way to force creativity out of your skull and put it on to paper, theoretically recording all brain poop to the page. Then you go through and find the few nuggets that are actually good as a basis of formalizing abstract or sometimes elusive thoughts.
In the attempts to warm myself back up to writing for Timeless, I figured it would be a good idea to test out this idea of using free writing. Well, to be honest, while I expected a benefit, I did NOT expect the results to be so poignant! I've blasted a severe amount of worthless words into Evernote, which have contained some really nice diamonds in the rough. I've pulled those ugly diamonds out of the poop, and am int the process of polishing those stones into sweet beautiful N64 goodness for your enjoyment.
For example, I've been having a difficult time understanding the in depth core of the lore I'd created. I knew that the purpose of the story was to explain why balance is so important in our lives, and I was using the gods Past, Present, and Future as representations of the different mind-frames we live within when we focus too specifically on one single aspect of time. However, that wasn't enough depth for me to base a complex plot around apparently... considering the problems I was running into.
So, yesterday, I free wrote for about an hour (only an hour mind you, that's how well this worked for me) in a sort of brainstorming marathon. Non-stop typing during that hour, with as little time to focus on thinking about what I wrote as possible. Then I went through and bolded all the things I thought were worth continuing to focus on. That act lead me to mull over those nuggets... which lead to a much more fleshed out and complete back story. Wow!
It was almost as if I had so many different thoughts in my head that I couldn't decide on any one in particular. But by putting as many of them on paper as I could in one hour I exhausted my options and I was able to objectively look at them all at once, instead of flitting through a bunch of inherently fluffy and abstract thoughts that only existed in my head. The difference in coming to a creative and logical conclusion was like night and day. :)