I find that when I’m programming something, there’s a constant reward cycle going on. I make a change. “Ooh, that worked! What happens if I do this?” I make another change. “Oops. That was wrong. I’ll try this…” And so on, in a constant cycle of change, result, change, result that makes me lose track of time.
Almost like playing a game. Click here, get 10 points. Drag there, get 20 points. Click over there, release the demons, oops, try again.
Writing, on the other hand, doesn’t work that way. Revise a scene. My reward: another scene. My reward: another scene. Only 80 more to go! It’s more like worm farming in Angband, where you let the low-level worms breed and then keep killing them over and over again until you’re strong enough to do something fun.
Ok, the actual making-stuff-up, what-happens-next bit is kind of gamelike. “Ooh, she can hide in this cave! Uh oh, now she’s running from a bear and a werewolf. Hey, I wonder what happens if…” But every day of fun seems to be followed by three days of worm farming.
I think I’m going to call revising worm farming from now on. Maybe it’ll catch on.
With that, back to the worm pens I go. The slimy critters need to be culled.