Rounding out the essays summarizing my experiences with media throughout 2020, this would be the year where I figured out my relationship with videogames. Videogames don’t exactly help me write fiction, so for years, I considered them a sort of nice distraction but nothing overly valuable. Through my continued health problems, I’ve found some solace in playing videogames, watching them, and when/if I should fully recover my health, I want to livestream videogame plays more often.
At the beginning of the year, I had what I considered a realistic goal for getting my life in order to where I could start dipping my toes into the waters of “The Story,” like I had with Novel 01, for Novel 02. My health went to shit, the world went to shit, but hey, if we can look at the bright side of these terrible times, I have made some progress toward writing “Novel 02,” I guess…
Spoilers?: None [considering efforts in 2020]
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I’ve been awake for nearly 24 hours now. What better time to formally announce a project that I’ve hinted at, directly referenced, and otherwise have been working on in the background? It’s colloquially called “Novel 02,” formally, “A Story About Self-Confidence: Something About Anxiety.” It will be the sequel to “Novel 01 / A Story About Self-Confidence: What’s In A Name?,” which was the 60,000-word novel I wrote in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.” I’ll start writing… someday.
Spoilers?: Minor [current status report]
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Until recently, I never saw much of the appeal of playing demos. Why play a demo when you can play the full game? Maybe it’s information overload in our current content culture, where you can spend a lifetime playing one small subsect of games without running out of new content, same for movies and albums? I ran into three examples that helped me figure out my stance: Without unlimited time, how can we play/do everything?
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?
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.
There comes a time when you must be decisive. Whether in life, Pokémon LeafGreen, or writing novels, decisiveness comes from trimming the fat that stands between you and your priorities. In this session, I trimmed my team down, benching as many as I could, and I’m down to 13 viable candidates to battle the Elite Four. In life, similarly, you should focus your energy on your main objectives. What about building side characters in your fiction?
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.
When it comes to storytelling, how much of a character should be prepared/meditated on versus learned about through seeing how they react to scenarios? Through my recent sessions in Pokémon LeafGreen, I’ve focused on progressing through the game, rather than assessing the movesets of each Pokémon to see what would work best for them or which I want to use against the Elite 4. Similarly, when I wrote Novel 01, I could have assessed and prepared more…