Game designer Wolfgang Baur talks about the “muddle in the middle” of large projects in his essay Why Writers Get Paid (which he describes as “a bit of a rant.”)
The early stages of a project are always sunshine and unicorn giggles, laughter and frolic, all the tasty outer frosting of the writing cake. I love the early stages. I donвЂ™t have to make any hard choices yet. I donвЂ™t have to yank entire sequences, or worse, rewrite them to fit new continuity. No, thereвЂ™s just the Good Parts of writing: making stuff up, setting NPCs in motion, doing up the fun stat blocks and the clever bits of readaloud.
Unfortunately, at some stage the Good Parts dry up. Every writing cake, as it turns out, has a railroad spike hidden in it, and you have to [eat] the whole thing. Once the frosting is gone, there are dull dry bits of iron left, and even those donвЂ™t fit together.
My interview with Wolfgang will appear soon in an upcoming episode. Maybe two episodes. We talked a lot.