[The Story] Breaking The Characters

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!

[Fiction Practice] Career Mishap Trilogy II

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.”
“Huh?”
“Yeah, I troubleshoot primarily Wilesware computers with customers.”
“Oh. Dear. You’re in the wrong job.”

WANNA READ HOW JANE COMES TO TERMS WITH REALIZING AFTER LEAVING HER OLD GIG THAT HER NEW GIG WOULD NOT WORK AT ALL? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Sense of Humor

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!

[Fiction Practice] Career Mishap Trilogy I

“Thanks for meeting with me today, Jane.”
“Sure thing!”
“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?”

WANNA READ A CAUTIONARY TALE WITH A FEW HINTS THAT SOMETHING COULD GO WRONG WITH A SEEMINGLY SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Dog Park Adventures

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!

[Fiction Practice] Meeting With Us

“Thanks for meeting with us today, Jane.”
“Sure thing!”
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-”

WANNA READ JUST HOW WRONG INTERVIEWING CAN GO? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Keeping Childhood Memories

Despite our best efforts to sacrifice our pasts for the sake of maturation, we never really forget our childhoods. Certain events and mementos remain sacred. They remind us of who we were, who we wanted to be, and who we can still be, especially if/when we’ve strayed from our paths or are concerned that we might be straying away. In this week’s update to “The Story,” let’s consider the childhood toys of John and Trishna.

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character building through materialism)
WANNA SEE THIS LITTLE PLUSH’S TRANSFORMATION FROM INSIGNIFICANT OBJECT TO A PLOT ELEMENT FIRST CONSIDERED ALMOST A YEAR AGO? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[Fiction Practice] Honorary Technician Award

The doctor returned from his lunch break, a carefully regimented respite to relax his brain by exploring the nuances of the campus with a sandwich and coffee, to find his microscope wasn’t working. The door was locked. Nothing seemed disturbed. He tried a few things before calling in for help. “IT, this is Sam.” “Hi Sam, Dr. Florigen. My microscope isn’t working.” “Can we run some tests over the phone or should I run over?”

WANNA READ ABOUT HUMANE COMPUTER TROUBLESHOOTING? HOW OUR INTERACTIONS WITH OTHERS MAY CLOUD OUR JUDGEMENTS OF THE DAY… OR NOT? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Meeting New People

How often do you meet new people? Not just regurgitating scripts during transactional interactions with humans, either, how often do you allow yourself open up so that new people can meet you? That does require the vulnerability of letting your guard down, inviting people to see your ego’s grit, and possibly getting hurt. “The Story” will focus on many people and encounters, centering around Trishna (left) and John (right), almost as guides through their world.

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (philosophical character-building!) WANNA SEE HOW JOHN AND TRISHNA MEET OTHER FICTIONAL CHARACTERS? AND HOW THIS ANALOGY WORKS WELL FOR MAKING NEW FRIENDS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[Fiction Practice] Why’d You Leave?

“You know, this can be hard work, but at the end of the day, it’s not too bad. We’re not diggin’ ditches or doin’ brain surgery.”
“Yeah, beats retail.”
Jane, and her driver buddy Jim, were headed to their first delivery on a cold morning.
“But you know somethin’? You’ve got more brains than all a’ us. You should be goin’ places.”
“Yeah, should.” She slouched in the seat and continued reading her technical book.

WANNA READ A FICTIONALIZED SUMMARY OF A REAL PHONE INTERVIEW? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!