As I am scoping out the work I’ll be doing for this 2019 Novel – a thirty-day period at Eville Medical in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story” – some of the elements seemed clear. There are Sammohini and her coworkers, building out the set-pieces of Eville Medical, and throwing out pitches for story ideas. There was one missing element. It’s what resonates most with me, rather than cool character aesthetics, interesting set-pieces, or well-written prose: So what?
Although this novel I’m writing will consist of thirty disparate short stories, spread out over a 30-day timeframe in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story,” I could see it happening. When I’ve done that sort of work, both inside and outside of healthcare, I would have a ticket queue of about ten to thirty tickets, and I’d get all sorts of strange technical work orders. It’s been fun brainstorming ideas and tripping down memory lane.
I often think about how, if I had been too concerned over trivialities or thought too much about how each word tied into another to form an overall cohesive whole, I’d still have only written about twenty essays or short stories over the past three years. You have to be a bit of an exhibitionist as a writer. You have to cook up multitudinous ideas, see what sticks, then move onto the next. No hesitation.
Although it seems vulgar, when you’re considering the main settings of your stories, you should consider how everything smells. As I’m planning out the most significant components of this novel I’ll be writing – a thirty-day period at Eville Medical in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story” – like characters and settings, I’m starting to explore the smaller questions about Eville Medical. What are some of the things you might notice as you walk through a hospital?
I’ve been thinking about how much I want to research and reference tropes, as listed on TV Tropes, before I begin writing this novel – a thirty-day period at Eville Medical in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story” – until my thoughts surrounding putting these characters or story beats into convenient storytelling devices devolves into questions about whether such patterns actually happen in real life, then I just change the mental channel. It’s good to be aware…
Is it better to build out your characters or your scenarios? The two are so intertwined that it’s difficult to strictly go one way or the other, because the most well-defined characters are influential on their stories, and the most plot-driven stories have their characters guiding the way. When I’m writing casual short stories, my approach is closer to a middle ground, where I’ll have characters planned out roughly, then let them chew the scenery.
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?
Doing anything requires self-confidence. If you go to the store to bread, you’ve gotta pick your parking stall or pick a seat on the bus, get the bread, take your spot in line, and use the time to purchase the bread, which could slow down the line for others if you take too long fumbling with your currency. Although innocent enough, we can extrapolate examples from there; writing takes extreme self-confidence – or, more likely, delusion.
As a journalistic spectator of three game jams, I’ve seen many well-intending attendees burn themselves out 48 hours to produce playable games; even with lectures by organizers. I’ve seen others manage their time well, eat decently and sleep well, all without any health risks. The more you practice a creative avocation, working toward turning it into a vocation, the more you have to be your own boss at some gig that won’t let you work overtime.
Writing isn’t this mysterious thing. We over-complicate the whole process maybe out of a sense of wanting the whole experience to be more magical than it really is. The writing process is merely getting from the beginning of the idea to the end of the idea. If you don’t have the idea fully formed, you can’t write to it. Let’s consider some generic scoping for planning any project, then explore how I’ll scope this “2019 novel.”