I’d like to take you through my process of writing the short story I published this morning. This essay has more to do with the nuts-and-bolts of preparing yourself for writing fiction. As a cheat sheet, consult the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. That’s how I assess any writer’s block I might have, but it should be useful to read an outline of my specifics because that’s how I assess priorities that might block the writing.
I’ll list out anything I might need to do before writing, summarized here:
Make a list of chores that could interrupt you mid-writing.
- Editing short story 
- Viridi [x]
-Hungry? Thirsty? [x]
-Need to poop? Pee? 
- Story preparation materials… [x]
-Flavor text acquired [x]
-I have enough [x]
– None needed[x]
– I don’t need to write a rough draft, but for others it might be helpful. [x]
-“Saving one freak disappointment slimeoid and making it happy is a good thing.” [x]
- Where to write:
–Gdrive for EW [x]
–Gdoc for this short story [x]
- Music to listen to while writing [x]
- Distraction Spot
I’ve put x-marks in nearly everything I’ve needed to do.
I started that list 5 hours ago with the express purpose of making sure I didn’t forget anything that could distract me. It helped remind me to make the locations for where I would write the fiction. But that’s at a high-level overview, so let’s dig into each section. What I’ve found is helpful when I start my day is look at what yesterday’s obligations or what I might have needed to do in terms of communication, then lump them together, because I don’t like to do these sorts of communications when I’m writing, but otherwise, I’m fine with doing that.
I still need to edit a short story, but there’s no real deadline, I guess.
Viridi is a nice distraction, of sorts, in that it distracts me from the stresses of life with something more pleasant. I do need to boot into it daily because after seven days of logging in to check on my plants, I get a new one for free. That I’ll explain in the same paragraph as the physiology that I detailed above because it’s obvious stuff on the surface until you forget and find yourself exhausted. I use a calorie counter to track my intake of carbs, fats, and proteins to make sure I’m not too deficient.
Let’s dig into the fiction aspects, though.
When I write, I find it’s useful to know what locations and characters I’ll generally be needing. For this short story, the location is the lab, and there are three other characters other than my RFCKsona and the slimeoid. I don’t need many reference materials for them because those characters aren’t going to be the focus. But when I write more extensive short stories or novel material, I realized after writing Novel 01 in this Novel 02 preparation stage that it’s useful to have all of this material lined up before I begin writing.
I went to grab the flavor text a few days ago.
The events of this short story took place a few days ago, as well, but I copied the text logs, which I’ll upload at the end of that short story as I publish it on this website, for the sake of posterity. I will take some creative liberties but I would say it’s 90% nonfiction and 10% fiction, or maybe some kind of fictionalization of real events. I classify it as fiction, however, since the short story will be from the slimeoid’s perspective.
That is one of two things that will be useful to focus on: perspective and purpose.
Since the short story will be told from Hydralisk’s perspective, I have to think about what it would think like, and the short answer is, it has some semblance of understanding. I asked in an ENDLESS WAR chatroom about features and bugs about what slimeoid… are… because I thought of terbie from my first EW short story as being basically doglike in that it kind of understood what was going on, mainly for narrative convenience, but otherwise couldn’t understand words or concepts well.
Here, I figure the purpose of this short story is to accept freak disappointments.
Hydralisk doesn’t know that it is a disappointment. It just sees negative behavior from two people, until my character receives it, and is happy to have it. Before defining the story’s purpose, I had its general conclusion in mind. Once Zombiepaper leaves the lab, he takes Hydralisk out of the bottle, examines it, throws it a treat, then as the all-powerful obelisk Endless War watches with the unworldly storms going on in the distance, Zombiepaper plays with Hydralisk ‘like a dog from his homeworld’ or something like that.
A sort of cheesy conclusion, but it stuck around enough in my head to be viable.
I wanted to write this story for the past few days, since the event happened, but my health has been in a general degraded condition, so even though I’m writing it like I want to write it tonight, there is a very real chance that I wrap up everything, start writing, and find myself too exhausted to continue. I’ve been feeling sick with this backache that’s forced me to take medication that’s making me feel sick now. I don’t want to push my luck or my health too far and have this turn out poorly. I want to write it well, better than I feel write now, so these are also very real decisions that you must make when you’re writing.
Do you feel well enough to write well enough?
If my normal health is anywhere between a 6/10 to a 9/10, I’m feeling a 3/10 right now. I could probably write it, but, wow, I really don’t want to. I’m feeling like if I laid down now, I could probably go to sleep, so I should probably not push it off.
Hopefully, I’ll write this… tomorrow?
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: This was going to be my motivator to write, but wow, I feel really sick right now, so, sorry. It’s now September 07. I stopped playing Endless War, but why waste this essay? I’ll publish it on October 26 to clear it out of my queue, but that should explain it. I never did write the short story, but this essay should still provide some useful tips, and if not, thanks for reading.|
|Related: Other Literature Building and Fiction Practice essays.|
|Picture: The rough draft for Hydralisk was based on Terbie’s design.|
|Written On: 2020 May 31 [9:46pm to 10:21pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 May 31 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|