Where do we store our imagination? Do we go about our days observing our reality only to occasionally dip our toes into the vastlessness of a communal pool of imagination? Are creatives and worldbuilders just siphoning that imagination into sippy cups we all can enjoy while mostly-engaged with reality? The more focus I place on “The Story,” and the more time I spend trying to create it, the more I wonder about these abstract concepts.
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)
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While painting this inconsequential accent wall, I thought about how Trishna (left) and John (right) might paint in “The Story.” Trishna might lock her breaks, dip her roller with extension pole into a paint tray, paint one section, move, and repeat. John might then get the finer details along the corners. Since painting takes preparation, planning – and when working with others, teamwork, collaboration, and delegation of duties – how well would they handle any possible friction?
“I didn’t take the farm because I didn’t want to work 24×7.” The setting for the Lanchester Farm, a key location in “The Story,” was admittedly inspired partially by farms in popular culture. The quaint aesthetics and hard working characters must have subconsciously appealed to me more than any familiar city setting. The reality is much more involved. Let’s plow through some highlights of my agriculture study notes to see how the farm may change.
The world of “The Story” can’t just anecdotally revolve around John and Trishna. Learning about related and peripheral characters can help enrich the overall narrative, especially as I start digging into details. Why do Trishna’s parents, Divit (left) and Brigit (right), own a farm? It’s hard work compared to our current digital work. Was it out of appeal? How much of it was out of necessity? Are farms even profitable in their world? Let’s explore.
“The Story,” my ambitious project that permeates everything I do, has holidays similar to modern Americana. Let’s consider their biggest winter holiday: most everyone in Trishna’s extended family meets at her parents’s place, the Lanchester farm, for a day or so of festivities and socializing. This is also John’s first holiday with the family, and perhaps first big holiday gathering, since his childhood years were spent neglected or ignored. Let’s focus on the positive festivities:
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (first year narrative and world building)
WANNA SEE WORLD BUILDING AND FAMILY DYNAMICS OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS OF THE STORY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
This scene in “The Story” concluded a recent float tank session like a vague memory from a life I never lived. Shortly after John (right) arrives at Trishna’s family farm, her father Divit (center) has “the chat” he has with anyone that is considering becoming close friends with any of his daughters or sons. Let’s explore how I’m building this scene, so once I write it formally, it will have the appropriate emotion and resonance.
After dislodging “The Story” from my memories last year, I’ve been busy! I’m spending most of my “down time” learning how to tell this story: analyzing good storytelling, critiquing bad storytelling, writing almost daily, and anything to improve my writing toolbox. After realizing that the main characters would have physical impairments, I realized I had to educate myself on how to “do it right,” so let’s consider: under-representation, invisibility, “hiding impairments,” and their world’s prosthetics.
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (world-building, rant)
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It’s been useful having physical representations of the main characters of “The Story.” I can bring these minifigs representing Trishna (left) and John (right) along with me to brainstorm ideas on the go and their ubiquity allows me to quickly consider in new ideas. The set with Trishna’s wheelchair also had this dog, which after some brainstorming, became a pivotal character in her back story. Let’s explore how one dog could provide such great service.
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character-building, without major plot details)
WANNA INCIDENTALLY READ MORE ABOUT SERVICE DOGS ALONG WITH A DOG CHARACTER BIOGRAPHY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Whether or not you’re weighed down by material possessions may depend on your perception of their usefulness as tools. I find value in tools that I haven’t used in four months, like Dr. Mindbender here, or even four years. Others may find hindrance with those older tools. Let’s explore the material perceptions of the main characters of “The Story,” since Trishna (left) grew up in a decently comfortable middle-class family and John starkly did not.
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (backstory, general worldbuilding, and something sexy)
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