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.
I was part of a discussion about lore-building. Someone asked about whether there was any codified lore for a particular character. There was not. Through my time analyzing writers and their fiction-writing strategies, I haven’t found any particular common lore-building codifications. Although I didn’t reference “The Story” directly, I barged in by saying that for my works, I think writing anything related to wrote lore is what you should write last, to bring everything together.
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.
As we approach the end of my playthrough of Pokémon LeafGreen, let’s consider that we begin with an innocent search for easier living. What we can objectively see is that these essays evolved into something I didn’t predict, as evidenced by their non-serial labeling. They went from searches for easier living into minor reclamations of what makes this hard life we live easier for me: writing fiction. So I did find that easier life… right?
Brainstorming new characters like Zhanna for Novel 02 in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story” has inspired interesting brainstorming thoughts. My fiction writing strength is building the narrative for how “X” goes to “Y,” rather than brainstorming ideas for “X” or “Y.” Those variables could contain any ideas. I’m just building the homes for those ideas to live within. Am I doing the reverse now by brainstorming “X” or “Y” then fitting them into the narrative?
Spoilers?: Minor [character, setting brainstorming]
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When you’re not scared of edits, there’s a certain pleasure that happens from seeing the edits that were made by your collaborators. You forget what you specifically wrote or changed. You look at what’s in front of you, and you think, ‘wow, this is really coming together!’ Today, I started editing a story taking place within ENDLESS WAR somewhere around 12:30pm and wrapped up my edits through chapter three at 2:12pm. Here are thsome thoughts.
I nearly went up against the Elite Four in Pokémon LeafGreen tonight. Sometimes, in life, this is a good thing, going into battle when you’re first viable enough to not be defeated outright. It’s how I wrote Novel 01. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, I could have said no if, after my two-week gestation period, I didn’t think I could viably write a 60,000-word novel somewhere in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.” Other times, patience can help.
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?