There’s much less formality for me now to livestream and record builds of Sammohini’s apartment, which will be one of many locations in “The Story.” When I wrote Novel 01, I realized I didn’t have many good visual references or relationship proximities for how setpieces, like Sammohini’s apartment, relate to Eville Medical. Before I begin writing Novel 02, I want to build out everything here in Minecraft and in the novel’s Gdrive, so I can write efficiently.
Spoilers?: Minor [non-Minecraft stuff, mostly]
The most useful thing about Minecraft has been enforcing a space restriction.
When we write fiction or when we create things, we can be as bold and open as we want, but when we’re confined to certain restrictions, we have to become more decisive. That’s why in these essays, and even Novel 01, I wrote to a specific word limit. Although it goes both ways, where I might subconsciously pad out the writing to get to the 1,000-word essay limit, it also meant that I had to be conscious about what I wanted to include in the novel as I did revisions. Had I given myself more editing time and adding more things into each chapter, I would have had to become decisive with my editing. Instead, I did the best job I could given the restrictions.
I had one big question going into this “play”session: Where’s the apartment door?
In my last build, the apartment door was along the side of the living room, which gave the apartment a lengthy kitchen. The design worked well within the apartment, but outside of the apartment, it wouldn’t have worked for modularization. Before I go into my next session, which will be building out more of the floor, I’ll consider how many apartments would be per floor of this apartment complex. If it’s hotel-like, then there could potentially be a dozen or more apartments. I haven’t seen apartments without balconies, so I imagine that’s a primary constraint. In more rural areas, it’s unlikely to see any apartment building over three stories with more apartments than, say, two apartments on either side of the building.
Would the interior, non-balconied, non-windowed apartments have cheaper rent?
Although it’s simple to hand-wave this off in a novel or short story because we may never go to any of these other apartments, in Minecraft, we could feasibly go into these apartments of characters that aren’t featured anywhere in “The Story.” Even if Sammohini never interacts with the residents of these apartments, they still exist within the world – even if I wouldn’t consider what their names or backstories are, unless it’s relevant. They exist, too, if only because their existence guides Sammohini into choosing her apartment versus theirs.
This might be where having a tool like Minecraft is useful for writing.
Let’s say I wrote Novel 02 now, instead of this essay.
I have a good framework for how it goes and I know its rough outline. The problem is that it’s like knowing that there is a route from Sammohini’s apartment to her desk in Eville Medical versus planning it out. I’m using Minecraft to plan out that route. While not writing fiction, it might seem easy to connect the dots between one location and another, filling in the blanks as you go in the writing process, it would have been much easier for me to have thought about some of the locations and how they looked, build them out visually, so that way I could call them out in the novel rather than rely on my memory and imagination.
This does mean it will take considerably longer for me to write Novel 02.
The upside to that is that I couldn’t write Novel 02 today even if I tried. I don’t have the physical energy required to write for much more than 30-minute stretches. Although my Minecraft sessions have averaged around 45 minutes, which is longer than my 30-minute sitting restriction, I will be seeing a pain management doctor in a few hours[*], so I can get my health back on track. Were it not for building Eville Medical out in Minecraft, I wouldn’t be productive toward writing Novel 02, because I haven’t over the past few months. Understandably so, because even though I write to the point where it seems like I am a machine, I am unfortunately only human, and being in pain for so long distracts me from thinking about fiction.
As a coincidence, I’ve been thinking about John and Trishna more now.
The reason why I’m writing Sammohini’s Arc of “The Story” is that Sammohini is effectively a side character to the main characters, John and Trishna, who require more nuance and continuity. If there’s a weird continuity error between Novel 01 and 02, I can hand-wave it off in the novel, make a note of that error in the liner notes, and move on. It’s not that it doesn’t matter at all, it’s that the spotlight isn’t as focused. I would compare it to livestreaming for me at this point. I’m trying some image manipulation within OBS, but I forgot to change the images over, so I was “away” during the first part of the build, and I forgot to include “Minecraft” in the bottom part of the image.
It’s not a huge deal, but those are two examples of continuity errors.
The whole point of writing these essays about “The Story” and Novel 02, the essays and other things I write on Better Zombie, and the Sammohini novels themselves is so that I can practice and refine my writing abilities to then write “The Story” without worrying about the formalities of the writing process. Having published 1,745 things on this website as of this writing, I can say I have less formality and less worry about “screwing up” when I publish now compared to years ago. It’s not that the efforts have become trivial. It’s that I have a better understanding of the writing process now.
I believe building out Eville Medical within Minecraft’s 3D space will do something similar.
|Quotes: [*] These essays published between late-December and early-January have a chronological inconsistency because I wanted to have some end-of-year features but didn’t want to spend all my time working on them at the expense of writing, so even though this note is fairly late in the publishing process, I figure if I write it here, I can be more succinct for the late-December essays.|
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: I want to write about each session I do in Minecraft so as not to distract me from my writing. It’s easy to get sucked into playing videogames.|
|Related: Essays helping build “Novel 02.” This novel is formally called “A Story About Self-Confidence: Something About Anxiety,” and is a sequel to “Novel 01,” which is part of the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2020 November 06 [8:17am to 8:48am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 November 06 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|