I haven’t thought that much about “The Story” this past week. The main characters of John and Trishna, or any of the side characters, might usually appear when my mind is idly exploring our reality. This week, I have been focused primarily on my healthcare, so I haven’t invited them into my psyche to share bits about themselves, but I have thought of them throughout scattered bits. I think most importantly, though, is one difference.
I didn’t know, when John and Trishna both presented themselves to me as the characters that would be central to “The Story,” that I would essentially be writing a young adult story about two characters in the romance genre, but, is it that simple? Is this going to be a romance story? I don’t believe they will be involved in any nuclear family dynamics, but I think that’s what makes their story worth telling more.
Prior to becoming disabled, I wondered about the scope to which I’d need to research disability for “The Story.” After learning John and Trishna are disabled, naturally, that means I have to learn about their disabilities and their lives to share their stories accurately. I don’t believe it was necessary for me to become severely disabled to know “how it’s like” to be disabled, but, I think it does help solidify the narrative and scope.
Today, I wanted to go out to get groceries, but I woke up with one of the many perks of being disabled: being disabled by physical problems. I did the best I could to take care of myself, but, no new groceries. Applied to “The Story,” that would manifest most as John or Trishna planning to go do something and then the day of, either of their disabilities kick in and cause a plan disruption.
Before becoming disabled, I used to never take midday naps. Now, barely a day goes by where I don’t sleep for more than one hour during the day unless I have a particularly busy schedule going to doctors’s appointments, or at least, I will lay down to let my spine rest. I’ve thought about that with “The Story” and I think Trishna, at least, may be similar. Maybe not daily, but more than weekly.
On the drive up to the neurologist’s office for my long-awaited nerve conduction study, the results of which almost seem to prove that it’s not a neurological problem but will only find out tomorrow when I get the official word, I thought of “The Story.” I thought of how John’s arm and finger disability is much worse than mine and how John might go in for a study like this, and also, silly fantasy tropes.
This past week, I went to two different podiatrists over two days. Do experiences like that directly or indirectly influence “The Story?” I think, at best, these experiences help me meander through parts of the narrative that maybe I could have figured out otherwise, but, sitting in a doctor’s office is the best way to “method write” your way through your character’s motivations, I suppose, except, it gets weirdly dissonant regarding reality; don’t overdo it.
Earlier this week, I had two doctors’s appointments on the same day, and if there’s anything that American healthcare is good at, it’s making the patient wait around, so as I waited in the waiting rooms and patient rooms, I invited John and Trishna from “The Story” along with me. They are fictional characters, but, that doesn’t mean that I can’t imagine how these characters might act or react in situations like mine, even, temporarily.
I had a scene possibly from “The Story” pop up earlier this week. I don’t often chase these scenes down as potential story ideas that will anchor elements of the narrative. I’ll explore the scenes to see where what happens and to see if there’s any weight. I think the best stories for realistic fiction, even if abstracted somewhat, are the ones where there isn’t a whole lot of forced narrative guidance from the writer.
After my recent spine appointment, I went to a graveyard to visit a local celebrity, but also to incidentally think of “The Story.” While I was waiting for the appointment, I wondered how Trishna and John would handle such meetings, and what might inspire them to go visit graves. These moments are impetus for ideas for me. Whenever you have any sort of writer’s block, explore your local area, and let things inspire you, perhaps.