[Novel 02] Manager’s Office Worldbuilding

After I got a Retro, some negativity, and a Speedpaint stream out of my system, I got back into my Minecraft map with a loose plan. Since my intentions are to tell “The Story,” I use my thoughts from having written “Novel 01” to guide me along toward “Novel 02.” If this world-building process can help me tell fiction, and if I can get support from those along the way, then it should be a win-win, right?

Spoilers?: Minor [spitballing my brainstorming]

I’m starting to get a good rhythm for how I do these builds.

I start off with some context for those watching the videos outside of the live context, then I tend to what I call my “dailies” – where I add in quotes to the “wall of appreciation” from people that have told me what they thought about my streams or add new followers. For the people I talk with somewhat regularly, I want to add their pronouns, to create a more inclusive environment. I consider an opt-in situation to be better. Part of that included adding a host of new text-based commands to my livestream’s chatroom – !pronouns !she !he !they !ask – to give people a wide variety of options. If they never come up, then, fortunately, it seems like I can use many text commands so we’ll see. I don’t want to force it so that it becomes weird for some people that maybe don’t think about pronouns, so it’s a balance between creating a comfortable space for others without forcing them, right?

I kind of let the chat guide my long-term intentions.

If someone new stops by, I might give a tour and look at various parts to see if there’s anything I need to add. As I look at this space – whether it’s Zeal or the apartment complex – as an iterative process. Each time I walk through a room, I can think about whether the details look correct or not. For something like Zeal’s restrooms, they’re fully built. I can use them as fully-realized examples of how I will tell stories about how people use the restroom, and give my perspective. I introduced it in this way during this stream: If I talk about how a character might use the restroom, the camera will stay outside of the stall, while the character goes in, returns back out, washes their hands, and returns. In that respect, I think it gives the sort of narrative realism weight to tell stories no matter how fanciful, so when I write the novella, I can plug four friends in the kitchen/cafeteria – BARF_FACE_9000, mindscan, Upsidedown_Matt, and KingOfApoc – it doesn’t feel super weird.

I look for universally common themes and specific scenarios.

One example of a specific scenario is when I built the apartment manager’s office.

I found myself in the leasing office on my tour and I noticed that the big “problem,” if you will, with the space was how the “carpet” was white concrete. I use white concrete as a grayboxing example of laying down the structural foundation without needing to make it flavorful with anything fancy. I can then return weeks or months later, having learned more about the building process or even having gone location scouting, to fill in what I missed. What I missed was how most businesses have ugly carpet, so I picked a gaudy purple and green block, set it down, was slightly repulsed by the visual, and continued along the process.

Then I ended up in the grayboxed manager’s office.

What I do in these situations, where I build out a set, is I imagine a hypothetical. “Pissed-Off Bob Ross” is my first, and possibly favorite, example because of how absurd it is and how it fleshed out a key part of the apartment complex. For the manager’s office, I imagined two scenarios: the annual review of a leasing agent, and, me going into the offices of powerful people to do computer troubleshooting. When I got into this mindset, what I realized and jumped into was almost like my way of teaching the listener how they could improve themselves by giving them hypotheticals from my own life. The office was an amalgamation of the offices of one manager, one doctor, one CEO, and the imagination restriction provided by a tool that I call janky LEGOs.

Janky is a common term in Twitch’s Retro community.

When I walked through my own career highlights, I reached a certain stride when it came to building and talking, where I explained how I handled myself through some tough situations. The doctor was, for example, pissed because his assistant had let me work on the computer before he was ready for it. Since that grilling, I’ve been much more careful and cognizant about my professionalism. The manager’s office provided some texture, but I drew the most inspiration, probably, from the CEO of a company of some success. It was fun for me to dig through these memories, adjust things like objects on the desk or things on the wall, while talking about how I can use these background pieces to help me understand the personalities of others.

Sets don’t immediately convey character, but they can subtly.

That manager had a large picture related to his military service, along with some business pictures, so, I put in some lime banners to further graybox [greenbox?] the idea of having ‘military and corporate propaganda’ around their office. When I see stuff like this, I understand the person’s personality without them needing to spell out that they’re a veteran or company-person, for two examples. Before starting this project, I’d normally write with the psychology first, and the sets secondary. I’d wing the details and it’d typically work out. Now, I can bake those psychological meandries into sets. The leasing office will always have “Pissed-Off Bob Ross” as a hypothetical, and, now “Mr. Nightbot” is the placeholder name for the apartment complex leasing office’s manager.

No one volunteered a name so it’ll be that for now.

Quotes: None.
Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.
Inspirations: Writing about my thoughts on the livestream.
Related: Essays helping buildNovel 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.”
Picture: Template
Written On: 2021 January 24 [11:17pm to 11:48pm]
Last Edited: 2021 January 24 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.