I enjoy games like Pokémon LeafGreen and I enjoy some writing process spontaneity for some of the same reasons, including, when a new character appears that needs to steal the show. It’s fun learning how they’ll steal it. In this LeafGreen playthrough, I defeated Blaine and have caught a half-dozen new Pokémon. I’m been naming them based on characters from Novel 01 to help me brainstorm Novel 02 to help test out what characters I might need.
As I continue along toward completing my playthrough of Pokémon LeafGreen, I’ve wondered about the benefits of playing this game from not just a relaxation/escapist perspective, but from a narrative perspective. In “Inconsequentially Building Characters,” I have wondered whether having the names alone would be enough to help me brainstorm character ideas? I decided no, overall. Organic, non-contrived storytelling is usually better, in my opinion.
Novel Spoilers?: Minor [Are characters created? Discovered?]
Game Spoilers? None
When I introduce new characters into my fiction, as I did with characters in my first novel, I started off with a batch of characters that the main character, Sammohini, would interact with throughout the novel. I’ve been using my playthrough of Pokémon LeafGreen to brainstorm character attributes. While I decided on one new character during this session, I don’t think anymore that tangental character naming is an effective tool of deciding on new characters.
Novel Spoilers?: Minor [just naming names, processes]
Game Spoilers? None
My physical therapists have an office on the second floor of an otherwise empty building. When you leave their office, if your back remains facing the door, you’ll see an elevator to your left. Ahead will be a view overlooking more than a parking lot. I’ve always taken the stairs to the right, but after leaving PT the other day, physically sore, I was reminded of how many scenes in “The Story” will involve elevators.
Spoilers?: Minor [worldbuilding as character-building]
WANNA PRACTICE TAKING YOUR CHARACTERS WITH YOU WHERE YOU GO BY SEEING HOW I DO THIS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
When I go about my day, things I see will remind me of “The Story.” This ranges from seeing a dog’s smiling face to seeing pictures of characters that I save into a folder for later reference. When I wrote my first novel, I wasn’t directly inspired by any fiction in that I transposed a pre-established character into my fiction, [and I cited any examples,] but still, it’s interesting to think of the subtler nuances.
Spoilers?: Minor [use references sparingly]
WANNA CONSIDER HOW 80% OF THE FICTION-WRITING PROCESS IS YOURS TO UNCOVER FOR YOURSELF? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Early into FF7, casual Barret and formal Red XIII, play off each other with linguistic differences. This is a common trope in fiction. The writing process is easier when ‘sum-one dat tawlks all diff’rent’ ‘than another, more formal, individual’ interact. Overt examples like this tend to be common in fiction or some tangentially literate videogames, but this applies to ourselves as well. What if we write more formally than others in online communities we join?
As I idly walked around a neighborhood near where I live, a scene popped into my head, where John and Trishna were walking around their neighborhood on a similarly nice spring afternoon. After having this brief image, I remembered “The Story,” and my meanderings took on a different perspective. Before, I just wanted to explore. After, I used the remaining time as worldbuilding then topics of inquiry came to mind about building out their neighborhoods.
Spoilers?: Minor [scene-building and worldbuilding]
WANNA CONSIDER HOW SCENES AND WORLDBUILDING QUESTIONS POP OUT OF NOWHERE? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
When I was going to PT, I was letting the fiction worldbuilding for “The Story” do its thing. Whether that’s all me injecting my experiences into a world or me unearthing a fully-realized world is a debate whose answer, if there is one, will reside outside of this essay. However, going there did give me access to certain scenes where Trishna had been going to PT for years, and then after they meet, John joins.
Spoilers?: Minor (characters and settings) WANNA CONSIDER HOW YOU CAN WORLDBUILD ANYWHERE? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
After writing “Farming New Thoughts,” while taking a break from reading I thought deeply about how Trishna’s family might live in “The Story,” and arrived somewhere unique. When we brainstorm fiction, we might focus on plot or dialogue, but what if we take a detour to explore the surroundings? With my eyes closed, I opened my eyes to those surroundings and I didn’t see the Lanchester Farm as I once had. Instead, it was suburbia.
Spoilers?: Minor (considering background scenery)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW IT’S OK TO CHANGE YOUR MIND WITH BRAINSTORMING IDEAS BUT MAYBE NOT WHEN IT COMES TO AFTER YOU’VE SETUP FOUNDATIONAL MATERIALS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
There’s a part in my first novel where two characters are jumping down a retaining wall. One easily jumps down and continues on, while the other nearly stumbles down. I don’t typically write action scenes like this, because what really exciting ever really happens in life? How I alternated between both characters could have been more effective, but I find these sorts of linguistic, lyrical patterns in media fascinating. It’s almost storytelling in multiple layers.