I’ve spent 250 hours talking about writing from a distance. What happens if I spend 4 hours talking about writing? It might be the most focused I’ve ever been on talking about a subject, which makes sense because this is my life. As I said most of the way through, I would like to write every single day until the day I die, and after I die, I want my writing to remain online. How? It’s complicated.
If I have any chance of writing “The Story,” I need to consider spending more time writing fiction and less time on things that create friction against my ability to write fiction. It seems easy spending my time doing what I love and not what I don’t… right? Within impractical applications, that means dedicating one month to writing Novel 01 only. With practical considerations, that means removing distractions to write Novel 02 at a more leisurely pace.
Before I can write “The Story,” my ambitious sort of life’s project involving however many novels it needs to be, I first needed to write Novel 01, and will need to continue on through Novel 02 and beyond. Now that my health problems are almost a distant memory, other than dealing with the lingering problems rather than fighting for even basic health, I can focus more of my time on figuring out how to write “The Story.”
Spoilers?: Minor [plodding through plans]
WANNA CONSIDER HOW CONCRETELY BUILDING IMAGINARY WORLDS CAN HAPPEN MYRIAD DIFFERENT WAYS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
In “Shopping With Characters,” I focused my fiction-writing meandries on how storytelling is more organic than mechanical. Inspiration can happen anywhere; you must first prime your mind to receive the inspiration. Since “The Story” is partially a commentary on contemporary life, it’s easy for me to, say, go to a restaurant and think about how characters might act or react. Let’s take an upcoming scene from the side story Novel 02 as an example of this.
Spoilers?: Major [Overview of Novel 02]
WANNA CONSIDER HOW INSPIRATION ISN’T SOMETHING THAT’S MANUFACTURED OR PURCHASEABLE? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Over my years of writing these essays about “The Story,” essays, and even Novel 01, I’ve realized that there is a difference between looking for writing inspiration and being “in it.” When interviewers ask writers about where they get their inspiration, they mean well, but they’re not asking the question well. It’s not like we sit alone in a dark room and these ideas appear… Maybe sometimes… It’s more likely we’ll go shopping with our characters.
Spoilers?: Minor [grocery shopping brainstorming]
WANNA EXPLORE REALITY AS A MEANS OF WRITING FICTION WITH ME? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
As a writing koan, which came first: the typo or the fix? Although we want to rely on spellcheckers, they might not catch when the mind goes in wild. During my writing meandry for S&M2, for my 2020 Album Review Game, I wrote: “While I give out forty 5-star ratings to albums….” Correction: “While I have given out forty albums 5-star ratings as of late 2020…” Would it have been a problem had I not caught it?
I’d like to take you through my process of writing the short story I published this morning. This essay has more to do with the nuts-and-bolts of preparing yourself for writing fiction. As a cheat sheet, consult the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. That’s how I assess any writer’s block I might have, but it should be useful to read an outline of my specifics because that’s how I assess priorities that might block the writing.
As much as I hate grabbing inspiration from real life when brainstorming ideas for either “The Story” or anything else in life, it’s just so tempting because I can vicariously experience what another character is going through. My right side has been hurting for over a month now. I’ve seen a doctor twice about it. He wasn’t concerned, and I doubt he will be too concerned, but how about John’s left side after “The Scene?”
Spoilers?: Minor [exploring character development]
WANNA CONSIDER HOW WRITING STORIES IS LESS ABOUT GETTING INTO THE CHARACTER AND GETTING INTO HOW YOU’RE TELLING THE STORY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
For the two main characters of “The Story,” John and Trishna, I wondered what would they name their plants? What diminutives would they call these little entities that Trishna developed a fondness for early into childhood then shared with John? After these questions popped up, I started to name plants in Viridi as they might name them. When you want to get into a character’s head, a useful exercise is naming something from their perspective.
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.