The introductory conflict of “The Story” is how two social outcasts, John (left) and Trishna (right), want to develop their relationship yet can’t due to geographic distance. It’s not spoiling this conflict to say they do meet, since this conflict is the narrative introduction deemed “The Scene,” and it’s a convenient inference. If their natural inclination then is spending all of their time together, after spending years physically apart, would they even have separate hobbies?
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character development)
Yes. They would be encouraged to do so by Trishna’s family.
During their first summer together, after years of chatting online with the occasional phone call, they’d sit for hours chatting in Trishna’s favorite spot on her family’s farm: a park bench in her greenhouse. Her parents would stop by occasionally to chat with them as they’d done over the years. Her big sister Sammohini would stop by on some weekends, with her husband Sam and their daughter “Allie Pally,” and they’d chat about things while Allie Pally plays with Trishna’s service dog Pollyanna. (Unless she’s born later?)
Relationships would be a major topic of discussion.
Chatting about relationships (broadly speaking; not just romantic) would be an important foundation of this first summer together. Everything from unsuccessful stories, maintaining successful relationships, to hypotheticals. Sammohini and Sam might have relationship friction to complain about, and Trishna’s big brother Fearghal might “steal” John away to hang out, so while a foundational element of their characters is that they have a rock solid friendship, they’ll probably find value in alone time.
They’re both fairly independent and self-motivated.
John spent most of his childhood away from the many houses/reservations he bounced between. He walked around town dodging bullies from school or hid out in libraries to avoid bullies at home. Once they attend college, John would transfer that exploratory energy into walking, running or bicycling around town. John might work as a bicycle messenger deliverer, just as Trishna might transfer her primary duty growing up as maintaining the family greenhouse into working at a gift shop.
‘Those are jobs, not hobbies, though!’
As a philosophical aside, you can turn most hobbies into jobs. It’s just a matter of figuring out what your intent is with the hobby. If you just want to explore the city or grow some plants for fun, in an environment where if you screw up it’s not such a big deal, then it might not be wise to turn those hobbies into jobs. Whereas if you don’t draw your self-confidence from that activity, and an opportunity arises where you can becoming a deliverer or clerk tangentially doing what you enjoy, why not?
I think John and Trishna innately understand that.
They cherish their time together because they mutually developed their core personalities enough to appreciate each other’s personality flaws. If Trishna acts particularly stubborn toward John, or John acts too aloof with Trishna, it’s their cue to spend some time alone in thought.
Rather than a source of conflict.
|Sources: My understanding of friendships and relationships.
Inspirations: Asking namedghost about building characters. “Give them hobbies. Normal ones.”
Photo: Each side represents a different scene. Collector suggested a separating element. I couldn’t find one good enough…