“Hey, Sammohini.” The voice suddenly appeared after a typing lull, along with her mentoring coworker, Hank. “How urgent is that 1 o’clock?” “Oh, umm… yeah, uhh… that’s a move assessment for Nephrology for next week.” “Can you reschedule it? We’d,” and he looked around the cube farm area before dropping his voice, “like to have a team meeting since Linda and Lisa are both away. We were thinking… Wiles’s…” Before exclaiming, she calmly said, “no worries.”
“It’s like going into a landscaping project best suited for a rake with a shovel.” “I’d get in there with a backhoe!” I prep my writing like landscapers prep the land with a backhoe before using a rake. Some projects just require a light raking or editing. I’m teaching myself how to use the writer’s equivalent of a backhoe because writing John [left] and Trishna’s [right] stories – “The Story” – is like landscaping for someone important.
Spoilers?: Minor (worldbuilding brainstorming exercise)
WANNA CONSIDER, MAYBE, THE PROS AND CONS OF BUILDING FAST VERSUS SLOW AND HOW YOU CAN DO BOTH WHILE STILL WORKING TOWARD YOUR GOALS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Nothing is more frustrating creatively than being unable to execute upon your imagination. You might perfectly envision something while laying half-asleep in bed, yet when you ready your tools, something doesn’t translate! The writing’s flat, drawing’s weird, or project’s just not progressing. How do you fix that? For my development of “The Story,” it’s simple: don’t give up! Keep writing/working, worldbuilding/developing, and planning on what’s easy, constantly working on harder material, until it’s all natural!
Spoiler Warning Scale: None (brainstorming tactics) WANNA CONSIDER WHY YOU SHOULD BALANCE SMALLER AND LARGER PROJECTS? AND WHY YOU SHOULD GO THE DISTANCE WITH YOUR PROJECT? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
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.
Two childhood friends sat on a run-down apartment patio on a warm summer evening. There had been a lull in their reacquainting conversation.
“Hey Jane, so Samuel and I were looking through some old stuff, to you know, downsize and stuff, and well, I have these boots I never wore that might be worth some money. If you want to sell them, we could split it. I think they should be worth at least $100… Interested?”
Can we truly write any character without referring, even tangentially, to personal or professional experience? No matter how fantastic, bizarre, or false a character’s actions may seem to us, they are still rooted in some level of perception of our reality. Even filtered post-collaboration, most characters still represent certain unshakeable authorial archetypes of personality. Let’s explore how similar John [center] and Trishna [right] might be to me as their character arcs develop in “The Story.”
Spoilers?: Minor (character development/exploration)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW ORIGINAL CHARACTERS ARE LIKE MOONS ORBITING THE GRAVITY FIELDS OF EXISTING CHARACTER PLANETS…? OR WAS THAT TOO ABSTRACT? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Like a brainstorming incubus pinning me down when I am in a half-dazed stupor, many scenes from “The Story” will appear as vestiges of memories appearing more vivid than many memories I’ve actually experienced. I’ve never experienced anything quite like what happened here to John, right, in a pneumonia-induced daze, with Trishna desperately trying to keep him warm. I just know that when I’m in that half-dazed slumber, this memory or scene will often appear:
Spoilers?: “Minor” (pre-narrative scene building)
WANNA CONSIDER THE BALANCE BETWEEN ACTING AND PREPARING TO ACT? AND HOW I GAUGE WHEN I’M READY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Someone waved vigorously at two computer technicians as they returned from lunch. “Wasn’t that Harlowe?” “Yeah, he’s cool. Say, Sammohini…” the older technician, Hank, looked made sure no one was around before continuing, “how good are you at keeping secrets?” “Well, certainly not if it’s bad, unethical, or illegal! But, I mean, if it doesn’t hurt anyone, I guess it’s OK, so, I guess good…” “…Want an easy side job? The work’s clean and clear.”
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)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW THE MORE YOU WORK ON A PROJECT, THE MORE THE PROJECT GROWS SEEMINGLY BY ITSELF? THEN ISN’T IT A MATTER OF SHAVING THE EXCESS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
If my ambitions for “The Story” include comprehensive commentaries on the nature of our reality, how much nuance should go into those commentaries? A thoroughly-built restaurant might evoke patron conversations idly chatting over the fine flatware or reveal restaurateuring price negotiations for finer flatware. The narrative should always guide the focus. It’d waste your time and my effort if Trishna (left) and John (right) only visited Zbigniew’s (center) Teriyaki once. But if they go frequently…?
Spoilers?: Minor (worldbuilding, character development)
WANNA CONSIDER BALANCING WOLRDBUILDING DETAIL BASED ON THE NARRATIVE WEIGHT OF THE LOCATION? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!