We can decide whether our weaknesses will cause us to become weak. While most weaknesses can become excuses that can potentially control us, there are exceptions that should be respected. My intentions are pure, so let’s not focus on any possible hypotheticals for this week’s update to “The Story.” Instead, let’s focus on two casual examples of when main characters John (off-center) and Trishna (center) decide to not let their physical weaknesses make them weak.
“OK, Jane. We have time for one more question.”
“What’s the successful candidate look like in this role? What should I focus on to prevent myself from being unsuccessful?”
“Well, lemme tell you about the old guy. What a lazy bum! Couldn’t do nothing! He couldn’t understand anything we’d give ‘im! We’d tell him repeatedly how to do his assigned work and he’d seem to just forget! Stay away from the guy you are replacing!”
What captivates us about stories of heroes and villains? Do we enjoy seeing competent players battle, with the winner usually being one closely matching our morals and ideals? How much influence do we allow these fictional and realistic heroes to play in our lives? In “The Story,” does Rogue influence Trishna (left)? Does Deadpool influence John (right)? Would they even appear, in passing, as copyright-obscured characters? Or would their world value different sorts of heroes?
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (just worldbuilding)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW OUR HEROES ARE MERELY JUST HUMAN/HUMAN-INSPIRED SYMBOLS OF WHAT IS POPULAR AND WHAT WE ASPIRE TO BECOME? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Jane’s last day into that misaligned technical role ended innocuously. She received two paid weeks to look for work matching her career scope. Other than assisting as she could within her skillset, that time was spent job hunting. Time to go. She went to her lead’s office.
“Any prospects lined up?”
“Nothing solid. I have two interviews lined up soon.”
“I’m so sorry this happened to you. You have my contact information. Stay in touch!”
Fiction fascinates me most when characters face impossible odds and sometimes overcome them. Heroes vanquishing villains, people confronting their demons, or even overcoming common problems. The more we relate and invest in these characters, the harder it is to see them battered around. I’ve cared about John and Trishna [center] for over 15 years now. How far will I break them when I write “The Story?” Will I need to break myself in the process?
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (brainstorming about conflict)
WANNA READ ABOUT BREAKING DOWN CHARACTERS FROM THE APPROACH OF HOW WE BUILD THEM UP IN TERMS OF RELATING TO THEM? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Jane’s first day back into a technical role began innocently. After meet-and-greets, her lead rambled through materials far above anything in her career scope, occasionally speaking another technical language. After realizing she was overwhelmed, she found an opening:
“Hey, umm… Gayle.”
“Oh, have a question about how I configured the Scribewise 88620 ports?”
“Yeah. I… didn’t understand any of that.”
“Yeah, I troubleshoot primarily Wilesware computers with customers.”
“Oh. Dear. You’re in the wrong job.”
If April Fools’s is our way to avoid taking life so seriously, what functions similarly in “The Story,” especially focusing on stress/destressing? Expanding outside of holidays, what comedy is popular, unpopular, and more important: what types of comedy do John (right) and Trishna (background) enjoy? John is a more serious individual. Does he enjoy sitcoms? Does Trishna amuse herself with punny jokes? Is silly Pollyanna (foreground) worth her weight in dog treats as a comedian?
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (personality considerations, character-building) WANNA READ ABOUT HOW COMEDY IS ACTUALLY A GREAT CHARACTER-BUILDING EXERCISE? WHAT HUMORS YOUR CHARACTERS IS ACTUALLY KIND OF INSIGHTFUL. CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
“Thanks for meeting with me today, Jane.”
“Before we begin, would you like any coffee, water, or tea?”
“No, I’m good. Much appreciated.”
“So I’m looking to help out our lead on the team. The successful candidate will do what she thinks is best to complete the work as quickly as possible. Is that something you’re willing and able to do quickly?”
“Yes. I adapt quickly!”
“Good, good. How soon can you start?”
Adaptation is a central theme to “The Story” Trishna’s service dog Pollyanna (background, right) grew up with acres of farmland to explore. When Trishna (foreground, left) leaves for college with John (foreground, right), her family have to figure out what’s best for the now-senior Pollyanna. Does Pollyanna retire from service duties, stay on the farm, and visit on weekends? Does she stay in their dorm apartment during the day? Do they invite her to class?
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (worldbuilding brainstorming) WANNA CONSIDER HOW, WITHOUT FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCES OR EXTENSIVE RESEARCH, STORIES CAN FALL APART? HOPEFULLY THAT WON’T HAPPEN HERE! CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
“Thanks for meeting with us today, Jane.”
She shifted subtly to get comfortable. Her dress suit was overkill because the hiring manager and assistant were dressed casually- no, sloppy. There was something odd about the industrial-strength conference room meant for fifty people. Maybe it was the polished concrete floors, reclaimed wood table, and ductwork? Maybe it was overly stylish?
“So, tell us about yourself.”
“I’m a professional with two years of experience in-”