Redux and restarting

Have you ever started a project, shown a lot of promise, only to realise that after some time, it fell to one side? I’m not talking about one that you stopped liking, or decided to drop, or had to stop due to schedule constraints or a collaborator suddenly turning out to be a total waste of space. I mean something that saw casual or infrequent progress, before being gradually forgotten.

Yeah, that one.

What do you do when you want to start it up again? Is it something that you can just pick up? Or has time passed and talent/focus changed so that you feel like you couldn’t pin down the tone (or whatever) again?

My problem with the one I have in mind is that I really, really like the beginning, and what I did with the mechanics is also rather nice. But the main character… I was trying for a mystery in the beginning, and I think I left it vague for too long. I’d have to rewrite the first major conversation, which I can do, but I’m not sure if I want to. I also removed a mechanic that was giving me technical issues, so I have to rewrite some other things.

The other, arguably more major problem, is that I’m not sure about my main character. In fact, having to say that I’m not sure about him is rather indicative of that very problem. I don’t know if I like him or not, and I have no idea of his motivations and feelings. If someone asked me, I’m sure I could answer, but on my own, I just feel my face and attitude sort of turn into this emoticon:

:\

That’s all I have for this guy. What do you do with a character like that? Punch him up? Replace him? Blame a higher power? Whine?

I know what to do, it just feels like a nonstarter. I think things wind down a little quickly from the intro, too. His problem isn’t a bad one, but it took me a while to come up with it, and now I have to sort of backlog and put it in so that the tone and mood match the answer to the question of his having money problems.

But every time I work on it, part of me wants to scrap what I have done and start over with a repaired main character and the others I have planned. And yet, if I actually decide, “Okay, that’s exactly what I’m gonna do!” then I hedge because the intro is still good and I ought to finish what I started.

…I honestly have no idea what I set out to say here. I’m odd. Anyway, the project I’ve been talking about is an RPG Maker game I’ve been working on by myself called Edifice. The main characters are all named after spices or herbs. I think that my main character may be either too stoic or too whiny. Maybe I should make a joke-y game with a keet pwotagonist to try to loosen myself up.

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