[The Story] Different Than Me

Can we truly write any character without referring, even tangentially, to personal or professional experience? No matter how fantastic, bizarre, or false a character’s actions may seem to us, they are still rooted in some level of perception of our reality. Even filtered post-collaboration, most characters still represent certain unshakeable authorial archetypes of personality. Let’s explore how similar John [center] and Trishna [right] might be to me as their character arcs develop in “The Story.”

Spoilers?: Minor (character development/exploration)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW ORIGINAL CHARACTERS ARE LIKE MOONS ORBITING THE GRAVITY FIELDS OF EXISTING CHARACTER PLANETS…? OR WAS THAT TOO ABSTRACT? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Incubating The Scene

Like a brainstorming incubus pinning me down when I am in a half-dazed stupor, many scenes from “The Story” will appear as vestiges of memories appearing more vivid than many memories I’ve actually experienced. I’ve never experienced anything quite like what happened here to John, right, in a pneumonia-induced daze, with Trishna desperately trying to keep him warm. I just know that when I’m in that half-dazed slumber, this memory or scene will often appear:

Spoilers?: “Minor” (pre-narrative scene building)
WANNA CONSIDER THE BALANCE BETWEEN ACTING AND PREPARING TO ACT? AND HOW I GAUGE WHEN I’M READY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[Fiction Practice] Cleared Side Job

Someone waved vigorously at two computer technicians as they returned from lunch. “Wasn’t that Harlowe?” “Yeah, he’s cool. Say, Sammohini…” the older technician, Hank, looked made sure no one was around before continuing, “how good are you at keeping secrets?” “Well, certainly not if it’s bad, unethical, or illegal! But, I mean, if it doesn’t hurt anyone, I guess it’s OK, so, I guess good…” “…Want an easy side job? The work’s clean and clear.”

WANNA READ ABOUT SOMETHING THAT COMES UP FREQUENTLY THAT NO ONE TALKS ABOUT? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Shave and Bathe

Now that I’m writing bi-weekly updates to “The Story,” I dredged up an interesting realization: why not write about some of the scenes that float through my imagination? It’ll be good practice for the real thing! Throwing characters into hypothetical situations can help build context for how they’ll act in other scenes. Like a movie playing on repeat, what if these scenes are already swimming around in your imagination? Let’s start with an innocent one:

Spoilers?: Minor (rough scene walkthrough)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW THE MORE YOU WORK ON A PROJECT, THE MORE THE PROJECT GROWS SEEMINGLY BY ITSELF? THEN ISN’T IT A MATTER OF SHAVING THE EXCESS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Frequenting Zbigniew’s Teriyaki

If my ambitions for “The Story” include comprehensive commentaries on the nature of our reality, how much nuance should go into those commentaries? A thoroughly-built restaurant might evoke patron conversations idly chatting over the fine flatware or reveal restaurateuring price negotiations for finer flatware. The narrative should always guide the focus. It’d waste your time and my effort if Trishna (left) and John (right) only visited Zbigniew’s (center) Teriyaki once. But if they go frequently…?

Spoilers?: Minor (worldbuilding, character development)
WANNA CONSIDER BALANCING WOLRDBUILDING DETAIL BASED ON THE NARRATIVE WEIGHT OF THE LOCATION? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[Fiction Practice] Covered With Artificiality

“Yeah, and I can even cover it with artificial grass.”
Why did she tag along for this car buying adventure, again? Jim was often musing aloud as he drove the delivery truck: “If we go in 50/50, I’ll fix it up, we can sell it, split it 50/50, and we’ll get some quick cash.” It was boredom. Open mic was full tonight.
“Would we need to… mow it?[1]”
The seller took the snide question in stride.
“Actually…[2]”

WANNA READ ABOUT HOW EVEN WHEN PLANS FALL APART, PARTS CAN STILL BE SALVAGED? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Adoptability of Homelessness

“Do you have 50 cents you could spare this afternoon?[1]” “Yeah, sure… You hanging in there alright?[2]” I gave him all my change, 8 cents, and one dollar more. “Thank you. Yeah, I am.[1]” The man wearing a dirty hoodie in the dry heat walked off, looking disbelieved over money. Life in “The Story” isn’t easier than our own. John (left) had periods of teenage homelessness before being “adopted” into Trishna’s (right) life. Can we adopt everyone?

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (worldbuilding, rant piece) WANNA CONSIDER AN UNCOMFORTABLE TOPIC AND MAYBE HOW WE CAN WORK TOWARD MAKING IT MORE COMFORTABLE FOR EVERYONE? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Aspirations of Homesickness

How much would you sacrifice to make your aspirations possible? How important is your comfort? As we grow older, there’s a growing sense of wanting more from life. For Trishna (right), she wants to go to college to fulfill her dreams and become independently successful, well, along with John (left), yet part of that means leaving her retiring service dog Pollyanna (center) and family at home. How might that answer be addressed in “The Story?”

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character exploration) WANNA CONSIDER HOW MUCH SACRIFICE THEY AND WE GIVE TO ACHIEVE OUR ASPIRATIONS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[Fiction Practice] End of Turn

[Story 3 of 3 – Beginning]

First, let’s stop by Linda’s.”
They wheeled the freshly-rebuilt computer over to their manager’s open door.
“Hey Linda, got a minute?”
“Sure thing, Rockstar. What’s on your mind?”
Hank leaned up against the door frame and Sammohini stepped into sight.
“This’s that computer we got your approval on. She’s gonna be ornery.”
“Sounds like it. I trust you both. Call me if you need reinforcements.”
Henry stood at attention, saluted, and they departed into battle.

WANNA SEE THE VALUE OF KEEPING YOUR COOL WHEN ALL GOES WRONG? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Loving “The Scene”

I’ve been procrastinating on writing “The Story” because I can’t write concisely nuanced enough yet to do it all justice. There’s an early scene codenamed “The Scene” that drives Trishna (right) and family three hours away to collect John (left). “The Scene,” and therefore “The Story,” would fall flat if I wrote it today. I don’t know when, or if, I’ll develop that skill. Loving the time until then is the only way to succeed.

Spoiler Warning Scale: Major (plot exploration) WANNA READ ABOUT HOW WE MUST LOVE WHAT WE NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO DO IT WELL? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!