“I collect LEGO to use as props for my big story. But only the ones that fit into their world. They’re probably not big into monster trucks, so I would have no need for this.” My customized LEGO minifigures, showing main characters Trishna (left/above) and John (left/below), have paid for themselves and any prop sets tenfold for their effectiveness in building ideas within the world of “The Story.” Here’s why you should consider similar props.
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character building)
It’s a little weird at first.
Other photographers pose action figures in elaborate cityscapes or outdoor shots and there are communities of talented photographers. Maybe starting with a busy street isn’t the best way to go? However, there are some practical reasons for prop characters.
First: reference material for continuity.
You can easily customize any physical asymmetric information so you don’t get mixed up. Be it customized action figures from a professional, fan creations based on existing properties, or semi-custom like my minifigs, it’s useful having your characters in something other than a drawing format.
Second: coincidental brainstorming
Preventing firmly-established goals to friends, family, and even strangers can help guide things along. Most people I’ve met love creating casual ideas, and can dig latching onto bigger ideas, once they can understand it. From there, it’s just capturing those ideas and using them successfully.
Third: does it fit?
I never thought about if John or Trishna might go to a monster truck rally. It’s not outside the realm of possibility. If they were invited, it could make sense, since their world is a realistic amalgamation of our world and my commentaries. A space set might not make sense…
Fourth: your constant reminder
Character sheets can be filed away. Stories and comics can be forgotten. The physical object is a hindrance that might force itself to be acknowledged. My green-backgrounded lightbox is the centerpiece of my office, which, were it not there, could just be a dull filing cabinet or something.
Fifth: your subtle reminder
I borrow seconds from work to brainstorm. They get enough of my time off-hours, agonizing over how to do certain tasks, so might I balance it out with a humble minifig at my desk. Maybe there’s a physical or digital way to remind yourself why you’re there to do that particular work?
Sixth: it encourages collaboration
Having those props for others to interact with can make your story more substantial. Telling people elaborate concepts clearly is difficult. That typically devolves into paragraphs of overwhelmingly disinteresting information. I do it to others, so I know. Sorry. I/we get so excited to share!
We invest our time, and therefore money, into our stories. Mine is a lightning rod guiding my life that must be told. Yours might just be a hobby for fun. They are important to us. Material possessions can convey the urgency of our passions momentously. It’s also just kinda fun to mix and match.
Props are another step toward making our stories real.
|Quotes:  Me.|
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: The introductory quote and general arguments for materialism with purpose.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Pictures: My lightbox with the dresser I use to store my LEGO minifigure props for “The Story.”|
|Written On: May 6th, 8th, 27th|
|Last Edited: May 27th|