Although I wrote about my thoughts on whether playing Pokémon LeafGreen made my life easier in my penultimate essay on this series, that essay was also concerned about the question of whether playing with a strategy guide would ruin surprises for me. No, since I appreciate narrative surprises more than gameplay surprises. Did playing this game make my life easier? Similarly, this question has perspective-dependent answers. I can answer no, and without narrative irony, yes.
As we approach the end of my playthrough of Pokémon LeafGreen, let’s consider that we begin with an innocent search for easier living. What we can objectively see is that these essays evolved into something I didn’t predict, as evidenced by their non-serial labeling. They went from searches for easier living into minor reclamations of what makes this hard life we live easier for me: writing fiction. So I did find that easier life… right?
Brainstorming new characters like Zhanna for Novel 02 in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story” has inspired interesting brainstorming thoughts. My fiction writing strength is building the narrative for how “X” goes to “Y,” rather than brainstorming ideas for “X” or “Y.” Those variables could contain any ideas. I’m just building the homes for those ideas to live within. Am I doing the reverse now by brainstorming “X” or “Y” then fitting them into the narrative?
Spoilers?: Minor [character, setting brainstorming]
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I nearly went up against the Elite Four in Pokémon LeafGreen tonight. Sometimes, in life, this is a good thing, going into battle when you’re first viable enough to not be defeated outright. It’s how I wrote Novel 01. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, I could have said no if, after my two-week gestation period, I didn’t think I could viably write a 60,000-word novel somewhere in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.” Other times, patience can help.
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
Before starting this essay, I researched the whole notion surrounding the Abraham Lincoln quote where, if given 8 hours to cut down a tree, he would spend the first 6 hours sharpening his axe, and nearly distracted myself into reading his biography. I can’t find the specific speech or letter for proper attribution, so I think it’s a fake quote, however, the intention is still worthwhile. Before starting any task, be informed and prepared. That’s obvious, right?
World-building is merely window-dressing for storytelling. While it certainly is important to loosely understand genealogical, socio-political, and geographical backgrounds within our stories, we are telling stories via subjectively relaying communication rather than objectively deducing science, so the focus should be on the point of these stories. My ambitious project, “The Story,” is about a few topics including overcoming adversities. Considering this more specific topic, would one of Trishna’s great-great-great-grandparents be thematically relevant to the narrative?
Spoilers?: Minor (just an essay…?)
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I don’t yet know how much variation there is from our world and “The Story.” The easiest variations on fiction are real life and completely divergent paths. If I just wrote about India, then I’d just have to fly there, explore the area, and report my findings in a convenient way, just like writing about some imaginary location. Writing about a pseudo-India, Sindia, would require more research and nuance for John and Trishna to explore.
Spoilers?: Minor (artifacts within worldbuilding)
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If my ambitions for “The Story” include comprehensive commentaries on the nature of our reality, how much nuance should go into those commentaries? A thoroughly-built restaurant might evoke patron conversations idly chatting over the fine flatware or reveal restaurateuring price negotiations for finer flatware. The narrative should always guide the focus. It’d waste your time and my effort if Trishna (left) and John (right) only visited Zbigniew’s (center) Teriyaki once. But if they go frequently…?
Spoilers?: Minor (worldbuilding, character development)
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After re-kindling my efforts toward writing The Story, I’ve been using idle time to brainstorm ideas about character and plot. I came up with their names in high school: John and Trisha. John is intentionally like John Doe. Trisha’s name isn’t set yet because her character has been becoming much more complex over the years, including what I’ll cover below.