After iterating on some floating islands my buddy paintbrush drew, by turning a random shape into my avatar where these island inhabitants would worship it like an obelisk, paintbrush invited me to join his Minecraft server. I declined and not because I hate Minecraft or paintbrush. When it comes to storytelling, while I can appreciate exterior worlds, they don’t do much for me to strike my imagination. I would say I tell stories from within.
There’s Martin’s quote about the Architect and the Gardener for fiction writing.
I think there’s another axis that we’re not looking at, or not considering as much, which is the point of the fiction. When I wrote Novel 01, I was facing challenges with becoming a fiction writer on many different fronts. Not just the notion of being a writer itself, in terms of having a completed novel, let alone the confidence to distribute it as much as I have in the six-plus months since I called the final word done on the final page. There was also the notion of the main topic, themes, cutting out the fluff, and how sometimes fluffy things can be nice.
I would rather tell stories within this world’s library than wandering around it.
I am not so worried about the advanced physics of its environment. How do these islands float in the sky? How do they get food? Why do they worship my avatar? These three basic questions should be answered within the pages of a novel, were I to use this as a sci-fi novel, but because it’s not, it will reside here for my archival purposes. Maybe I’ll make something of it? Maybe I won’t?
That’s what’s fun about taking random ideas with friends and acquaintances.
You can realize deeper truths about yourself without having to leave the comfort of your pajamas, sometimes, especially in a situation like this where I can say that I enjoy writing realistic fiction because for me, I like exploring the inner psychologies of characters more than their external socio-political situations. I would rather see how, or if, Sammohini can learn to cope with a particular situation rather than see how some hypothetical species of creature that live on these floating islands go about their lives waking up, working, worshiping my avatar, then going to sleep.
I’m sure there are ways to make that more interesting.
Those were the meandries behind why I haven’t been too interested in exploring big sandbox games like Minecraft. Although they could offer easy ways for me to build architectural recreations of settings I’ll tell in my stories, I haven’t yet found a program interesting enough to captivate me enough to want to build within it. Minecraft is too casual and Sketchup is too formal. As I try to develop my writing skills, I’m sure I’ll find myself in more artistic situations like this, especially since there are myriad opportunities in ENDLESS WAR to contribute to a vast canon of existing lore.
I guess what I’d say, to this point, too, is that variables don’t matter so much for me.
The specific setting, character, and name aren’t the most important thing to me in that some of these are arbitrary, preassigned values by factors outside of the narrative. Other variables are important, so allow me some examples before being misconstrued. My real name was arbitrarily given. I live in Seattle, which was named after Chief Si’ahl, and I live here because it’s more convenient for me to live here than to move. These are some arbitrary, preassigned values, neither bad nor good.
When I use a randomizer, it’s no different to me than picking a name from imagination.
What is important, to me, is how these random variables are strung together. Let’s say the variables are A [beginning], B [middle], and C [end]. A, B, and C can all have random variables inside of them, so let’s say A1 to A100. For me, it doesn’t matter what these variables look like, so long as they are coherent from a worldbuilding perspective. If all the worldbuilding elements of these crazy floating islands were ironed out for me, sure, I wouldn’t mind jamming on writing it.
Is that why the whole artist-writer combo is popular in comics?
If there’s some sort of weird plothole or worldbuilding inconvenience, one or the other could fill in those gaps to make a more cohesive whole, I suppose. For me, when it comes to media I’d rather meander through, I would rather meander through more realistic media since it could help me cope or appreciate reality more. If I, say, wrote this vast fictional series about floating islands with unique physics and specific societal restrictions, but these stories didn’t help me learn much about how to deal with people, then what good would they have done to me on a practical level?
Emotionally, they might have been a fun exercise to write.
I have written some short stories like that before I settled on focusing on the Sammohini Arc of “The Story” and I’m happy enough with that focus. It’s like when you play one game at the expense of hundreds of others. If you consider the totality of your lifetime, you might build yourself into a level of anxiety over the fear of missing out, because what if you miss out on some other videogame? But if you say to yourself, ‘nah, I’m happy enough doing what I’m doing, this is good,’ then it should be good, unless you’re not happy enough, then do something else.
These are the sorts of introspective thoughts I have while drawing.
When I write like this, I express all the thoughts almost completely fluidly. I cut a section here where I went on a tangent about asking yourself if you’re happy, but otherwise, I’m typically expressing myself well enough, but when I’m drawing, these thoughts just boil up until I’m finished drawing.
Or, I guess, as poor paintbrush was listening to, my thoughts on creative writing.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Meandering through writing thoughts, mainly.|
|Related: Other Media Meandry essays.|
|Picture: Groupboard drawn.|
|Written On: 2020 June 21 [7:50am to 8:41am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 June 21 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|