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 was talking to a friend that was feeling burdened by his creative hobbies. As I’m recovering from this spine surgery and making sense of my physicality, where I may never be able to push my body to its “limits,” I have to learn to balance my health with my aspirations. Last night, that meant going to bed early, when I stopped feeling productive or interested in doing much. I’m learning to reduce superfluous obligations.
If “The Story” is anachronistically a mixture of sensibilities from the 80s to 20s, then it would make sense that John and Trishna would, especially during their college years, want to go to Halloween parties. They might dress up only somewhat. They might prefer, even, to stay in on the otherwise festive occasions. I tended to stay in during my college years for Halloweens, but maybe they’ll be more interested in going out? Maybe not?
Spoilers?: Minor [fiction/nonfiction storytelling practices]
WANNA consider how fictional storytelling is just factual storytelling but through more convenient fictional narratives? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
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.
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.
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?