Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What writer's block looks like

I HATE writer's block!

So I'll often talk in my write-ups how I was having a case of writer's block.  Sometimes I go into what's happening, while most of the time I just mention that I was blocked.  Well, the other day I was chatting with Miss Simone right as I was trying to make a cap.  Right in the middle of a block.  During our conversation I explained how my block was stopping me and even gave her several examples.   I didn't end up making a cap that day, but thought that I might share some of those insights in case anyone was interested how writer's block affects me.  I should mention that different type of blocks can affect different areas of cap creation.

When I'm making a cap for someone specifically I'll first read their preferences (or at least mentally go over what I know they like).  Sometimes I'll get an idea for a story, but most times I just get an idea of what type of image will work for them (fully clothed, sexually explicit, man/woman, lesbians, solo....).  I then search for an image that gives me a spark.  If the spark works for their prefernces I try to flesh it out a bit before writing... get an idea of not only where the story will go but how it will be presented.  Is it told from their view?  Does it use dialog   Does it have a third person narrator?  Once I have some idea of where the story is going to go, where it will start, and how I'll present it, I then open up word and write.  I try to keep writing and only occasionally go back to read what I had just written.  When I get to the finish, I'll give it a quick read and then move onto the design and layout.  At that point I'm done writing except for minor edits to make the text fit where I want, or major cuts to make it fit... but the writers block doesn't affect that area, so I won't go into any more of that.  So before I go into the examples that I shared with Simone,  I should explain a little about the variations of writer's block I get since they all have their own pitfalls.

I will sometimes get writer's block when I don't feel like 'Caitlyn'.  This type of block is specific to making caps or writing out TG stories.  I can feel creative and open, but when I don't feel like 'Caitlyn' I can't direct that energy into writing about TG, cross-dressing, or sissies.  They just don't hold a strong enough appeal at those times.  Sadly, 'Caitlyn' is just about my only current creative outlet. I rarely open up Photoshop for any reason other than making a cap.  When I get this feeling I can either ignore the creative feeling, work on something else (for example, I recently made some new wallpapers for my computer, tablet and phone), or I can give it a go and hope that writing will call Caitlyn back to me.  Calling up Caitlyn has actually worked occasionally  although the cap generally suffers a bit.  The story tends to be rather flat as it's not coming from within me... it's coming from something else that I've read or seen.  So even when I get my Caitlyn Mask firmly on, I'm already halfway into a rather well used story.

I will get writer's block when I'm not feeling creative.  This type of block is probably the most frustrating.  I'll come up with an idea... it can come from a television commercial, a specific image, a movie or anyplace really... but I won't have the drive to flesh it out and make a cap around it.  I KNOW the idea would make an interesting cap, but there's nothing there beyond the idea.  If I have an image in mind, I can often write up my basic idea, save the image and come back to it later.  This doesn't happen often though as I rarely get ideas when I'm not feeling creative. A good example of this is "My Kind Of Girl"... I had that image for months before I got back and used it.

I will get writer's block when I'm depressed.  When I'm feeling that down no amount of stimulation will break me out of it.  I don't get ideas nor can I work from a previous idea.  When I try, I hate everything that I make and everything that I write.  I HAVE broken through this a couple times... but it was expressing my depression through art.  I didn't like it while I was making it, but I kept plugging away until I was finished.  The best example of this is "Why?"

I will get writer's block when I'm tired and/or hyper.  This type of block happens almost every week.  You see I work VERY early on Sunday mornings.  I wake up for work at 3 am, and out of work by 10am.  This throws off my circadian rhythm and for the rest of the day I'll be tired.  It doesn't matter if I got 8 hours of sleep the night before... my creative mind just runs in short bursts for the rest of the day.  Almost like I'm starting a dream.  I can't focus it or direct it... I just get ideas and then can't capitalize on them.  I used to get this way when I tried to cap late at night, but I've switched over the past few years from being a night person to being a morning person... so now I just don't ever cap in the evening/night when I'll naturally get sleepy. A good example of this (when I can make a cap out of it) is "There is no spoon".  I only had a basic idea and forced myself to write out a full cap... and ended up with something that I don't like,

This last version.... this is what Simone and I were chatting about.  It's pretty hard to really describe since on the surface, I'm feeling creative.  I'm feeling like I could cap and write a good story.  But the inspiration keeps changing.  I lose interest in almost everything and quickly move on to something else.  Here are the examples I gave Simone:

This image set had caught my eye especially this image:
The photo has many things that I look for in images to cap.. Sad look on her face... beautiful photography... great lighting... very expressive... I KNOW there is a good cap in this image, but I can't come up with one.  So I get bored looking at the image and move on.  And when I look at the images today I see both the beautiful photography, but I also get the feeling that I'm done with the images.  An idea won't come to me now... I just remember being let down by these images.

I next came across this image:

I get an idea for it, but it's just a single idea, and not a story. This one says to me "Oh baby, your pussy is too new to use. But don't worry, I'll still fuck you with this dildo until Rex comes home".  Normally if I get an idea for that with an image that I like (and I DO like this image), I can just keep thinking and more of the story will come to me.  Are these boy and girlfriend?  Did she do this to him?  Was this an accidental transformation?  Was it magical, surgical, technological...  The more I think of these details, the closer I'll get to changing this from a random idea into a full story.  But when I'm tired and/or hyper like I was yesterday, I get nothing more than the initial idea.  So.. I moved on hoping that the next image would inspire more than just a random idea.

This image set and this image in particular:
gave me this idea:  "Bad girl sent home from sissy school. Mother chastises him and asks why he was sent home, suggesting squirmy things like blowing the guys from the alpha school, not finishing her nail painting homework, not writing up an essay on why being a sissy is better being a girl... but it ends up it was just because she was smoking."

A funny idea and an image that has the perfect space to write the story into... but nothing more came of it.  Other images and ideas included:

"Stupid magic mirror.. why is it showing me as a sexy girl this morning?"

"Guy mistakes his wife's "Femmy Soap" with a product that would wash away any non masculine parts of him... instead it enhances everything feminine about him"

I think any of these images and ideas could work.  But at the time, nothing came up and my mind just wanted to move on to the next image set.  If I was looking at these images for the first time on a normal morning, I would have had a good chance to make a cap out of one of them.  But since I looked at them in that hyper state and got an idea, I only see the failed idea now.  None of these will get made into a cap by me.

I did see one image set that I'm holding back.  It didn't give me an idea (and therefore I can look at it without focusing on a failed attempt to cap), but the photography and specifically the subject is great.  It may end up as a cap, it may not.  I'm just holding it back and will look at it occasionally and see if I get an idea out of them.

The image set is here.  And if I'm honest, I REALLY like this image the best:
There's something there... the glasses, the necklace, the pursed lips, the hairstyle, the arched eyebrows, her eyes.... any or all of these things could be a jumping off point.  It hasn't given me an idea yet.  "Yet" being the key word.

Anywho... I just wanted to put this up and share what this type of writers block feels like.  I have access to these examples because I was sharing these with Simone, but I must have had over a dozen 'ideas' that went no where yesterday morning.  In the past I may have tried over and over and over to get something to work and wasted away hours and hours.  Thankfully I'm getting better at recognizing it and only spent a single hour fussing over these.

So when I write about having writers block or 'not feeling cappy' but then 'came across this image', think back to this post.  I probably looked through dozens of images before I got the spark to write out the cap.

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