I am a self professed dork. Perhaps this makes me less of a dork, or more of a dork, but either way, I am a dork. It's one of those things I say with a grin and a laugh and revel in. It's a part of me that I really love because it gives me the excuse to be quirky, or weird and forces me to push the limits of my imagination more than I think I might have otherwise. As a dork I'm confronted with amazing creativeness everyday in gaming experiences, fanfiction readings and general interaction with other dorks and non-dorks alike. Because of this, I constantly push myself to go above and beyond the creativity that I encounter, to be more original, more vivid, more astounding than what I've seen.
More than once I've reaped the benefit of this. Tonight, is one of those nights.
For the past three weeks I've been stuck on the plot for my next work in progress. I kept trying to start but it wouldn't flow. A few days ago I realized that my biggest problem was two fold: 1) I was seriously lacking in world building and 2) one of my plot points had effectively taken away anyway for my main character to have motivation. She was invested in the storyline, but for the first act and a half she was just kind of floating along in a 'oh, that happens? so what?' kind of way. Even world building - which I was having a hard time with - wasn't fixing this problem.
Then, I watched the Guild Wars 2 trailer. I saw a piece of concept art pictured in the trailer and bam! it was like being hit with a bus. I suddenly had a new dimension to what I wanted to write. I had motivation. I had not one world, but two that were forced to coexist and constantly battling against one another. My character was not only invested in the conflict, she was a part of it, a Prime Mover in everything that was happening. I knew why she was, how she was and what she was.
And though I'm still ironing out plot points and character flaws and I need to rewrite much of my story arc, I'm ecstatic. I know what my worlds want, what my character wants, and I'm starting to understand how it all needs to happen.
The moral of the story? Never underestimate yourself. I've written about listening to your characters - but a central part to being a writer is understanding what you can give to the worlds that you create. And how. Draw on your experiences, your personality, what you love and hate - these are things that you should listen to. And just like when you listen to your characters, when you listen to yourself, magic is bound to happen.