Before I begin work on “The Story,” I had to work on Novel 01, and before I can work on Novel 02, I have to do other areas of work first. I have to find work that will pay enough to provide a lifestyle to where I can write. That will probably be full-time technical support work. If I can get supplementary income elsewhere, great, but working full-time in technical support is the short-term plan before writing.
My ability to write “The Story” will be forever impaired by my body’s disability from April 2020 to August 2022. I wrote Novel 01 with reckless abandon for my health and got away with it – barely – but I can’t do that for Novel 02. If I overexert myself and find myself needing more rest and recovery time, I can’t drink more energy drinks to overcome that. I have to rest and recover, which feels disappointing to me, maybe somewhat.
Up until recently, I would say the majority of reading I’ve done has been related to digital media like videogames or social media stuff. I’ve figured out a format now to where I keep a PDF open on my phone and read whenever I’m anywhere where I might otherwise feel “bored,” which should help me write “The Story.” I didn’t do this for Novel 01 but I can for Novel 02 – how will this change the novel?
In order to write “The Story,” I had to write Novel 01 first, then Novel 02, and however much I need to write or study before I can write the long-form narrative that has been banging around inside my mind since high school. Focusing on Novel 02, to write the story well, I feel like I want to have everything lined up before I begin, so I can fill in the blanks rather than imagine while I’m writing.
Before writing “The Story,” I had to write Novel 01 to get the practice of writing long-form fiction, and I’ll continue that practice through Novel 02 and beyond. Each novel in this series will tie into “The Story,” as they will feature minor characters in “The Story.” How much of that should I predictively work on before I start writing and how much of it should be improvisation? What if I say something like 70% planning and 30% improv?
I don’t know how I’ll write “The Story.” For Novel 01, I wrote it with the idea that each day would take place over a different chapter, there was an overall plot and theme, but otherwise, it was just a story. Novel 02, conversely, will have the traditional setup, conflict, and resolution that all stories have split over four parts, but how long each part will be is open to interpretation. How much do these parts need?
Over my past few weeks, I’ve been coming to terms with my own physical recovery from my two-plus-year disability. Learning to deal with the body that I have, with the invisible disability I have, will help me write “The Story” over the long-haul. I wrote Novel 01 in too short of a burst. I know my writing pace now for Novel 02, so, is that my road to recovery? How about Sammohini’s recovery after her health problems?
In order to write “The Story,” I have to be well enough to work, and not just to work, but to write. I wrote Novel 01 while I was working and I will need to do the same for Novel 02. For novels after that, I’m not sure. Would those novels support a humble life of writing and engaging with reality in a meaningful way? If not, I would need to work at other tolerable enough jobs.
From August 31 2020 to August 12 2021, nearly two years, muscles in my body caused havoc. I lost my job because of these muscles. I was demeaned in many ways by many of the employees of the American Healthcare System from doctors to medical staff. All because after my surgery, my surgeon was ignorant about pelvic floor muscles. How will that influence “The Story?” I wrote Novel 01 before becoming disabled but I cannot write Novel 02 without those experiences.
I’ve been burning through my life’s savings and by this essay’s publication, I’ll hopefully be planning to move somewhere cheaper, or even better yet, have figured out the physical problem preventing me from working, so I can return to work. Taking “The Story” will take several more years to write, and if Novel 01 had anything to show, writing isn’t a sprint but a marathon. To write Novel 02, I need to secure the finances to write.