During my 10th livestream session of building setpieces in Minecraft to help me tell “The Story,” based on my experiences writing Novel 01, I realized that talking the whole time is quite exhausting. Writing is easier. I’m not deterred, but I’ll need to adapt how I livestream these builds for Novel 02 and beyond. I imagine there will be sessions where I may turn the mic off, silence the audio, and may even record but not stream.
Spoilers?: Minor [building means rebuilding]
I enjoy the format of rambling into my microphone while building.
Yesterday I was not feeling well. My spine has been acting up, and even with painkillers, I still feel a vulgar amount of pain frequently. When the days are fair, I have enough energy to do many things. On other days, I can barely do anything at all. Yesterday was an in-between day, but I found that I was burned out by the end of this session. My filler words were still minimal – the automatic subtitles picked up 20 uhs, 18 ums, and 34 you knows – and I made good progress toward my objectives, so let’s focus on that.
My first objective was cleaning up the exterior areas.
Friend-of-the-website ViridianJack built a series of furniture items to show Minecraft’s capacities for furniture. I want to start building a parking lot in that space for visitors and such, so I studied the furniture items I didn’t have within Sammohini’s apartment, copied them to the lobby in relevant areas – where I’ll need to further refine them, but I can work on that later – and cleared out that space. I don’t know when I’ll work on the area next, or how it will look, but I like the idea of having a more organized exterior area for when I do work on that.
Working on the exterior area will require me to study or consider other exteriors.
Writing fiction is a weird balance between the fiction itself and reality. I would say that characters and scenes are purely within the realm of fiction. The background material is what I need to fill in with more realistic things. This is where I can more directly borrow from reality. The two apartment communities I’ve lived in were less of the compact, one building approach that I have here, so it’s not a simple matter of borrowing from those memories. I have to study how buildings of this nature work. I would consider the exterior of this apartment community to be similar to office skyscrapers in smaller cities, which is to say, there is enough space for a parking lot for visitors, but there isn’t enough space to have a massive on-ground parking lot.
I have some inspiration sources I’ll refer to when I work on the visitor parking lot.
My second objective was redoing the closets.
Before I realized the potential of livestreaming as a means of recording iterations and having the Minecraft files backed up themselves, I thought that I might want to have the closets as portals between the various iterations of Sammohini’s apartment. This wasn’t a terrible idea, but as I considered my options, I realized that there would be no need for me to specifically refer to a previous version of Sammohini’s apartment while working on Novel 03 or whatever. If I needed to do any referencing, I could always consult my previous build videos. With that in mind, I cleared out the ladders and openings that would let me go between these hypothetical iterations, put in water heaters – or attempted to, with levers misbehaving, and cleaned up the closets.
This might seem like a waste of time, but it cleans up one element in my mind.
I sometimes wonder if I’m wasting my time building this stuff in Minecraft when I’m away from the game. It would traditionally be a big waste of time compared to studying literature, reading, writing fiction, and all of that. Instead of that study, I spend hours of time building and rebuilding. I don’t want to imply that I have achieved some sort of mastery of writing. I do think, however, that this building process has been helpful for me to figure out how I want to tell my stories. Filling in closets doesn’t directly help me tell stories, but indirectly, I can use that time to think about how Sammohini’s closet might look. Since Minecraft is acting like external storage for the various setpieces that exist within “The Story,” having the setpieces cleaned up and organized helps me feel less distracted.
My third objective was extending out the balconies.
As I write about in the previous essay, between watching [some of] Irony of Fate and studying khrushchyovka and danchi, I realized the balconies of the apartment building were inefficient. I realized I could stretch them across the entire space that was otherwise empty. During this building process, I’m considering the background of the architect and what they’re trying to achieve. Given that I have unlimited resources to build from, which is inherently unrealistic, I have to make sure to keep these elements grounded in some sort of reality. My current thoughts are, then, that the architect[s] drew inspiration from the sort of mass-housing buildings I mentioned and attempted to turn them into higher-end buildings. It’s nearly there, too, because while these do look like fantastic apartment units, there are a few things that are off-putting.
Apparently, within Minecraft culture, diorite is considered an ugly block.
In reality, diorites have a distinct black and white look that I enjoyed when I was a child, whereas in Minecraft, they look like cheap concrete. Perfect for a sort of environmental storytelling to say that this apartment building isn’t as great as it could be… but I’ll still work on it to make it as great as I can make it before moving onto the next section of the Eville Medical area. With further practice, I’ll feel ready to work on Eville Medical itself.
First, however, I have to “master” cloning.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: I would say this Minecraft experiment is a great way to store thoughts on how setpieces work within my fictional world. I mention this in the video and I’ve probably said this before, but the idea of entering the lobby of the apartment complex and knowing that the cash register will always be on the left – where people can pay bills or talk with an employee of the apartment complex – is an efficient way of not needing to remember or memorize these details. When I don’t need to memorize details like that or remembering whether the word I use to refer to something is one thing or another, then I can, with these details ironed out, crank out stories. That’s my intention and I think that this Minecraft experiment will be helpful for me to tell stories with fewer background inconsistencies.|
|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.”|
|Screenshot: As I’m practicing the livestreaming and recording process, I’m learning to get my thumbnails from my outro scenes. It might spoil viewers over the work I did in the video, but I suppose there’s the balance between showing people the work I’m doing and inticing them toward watching the video. I figure if you’re interested, you’ll watch, and if there’s a detail that could spoil something big, I won’t use it.|
|Written On: 2020 November 27 [9:40am to 10:14am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 November 27 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|