Thanks to Twitch and Zdiscord, I’ve met many close friends, friends, acquaintances, and strangers that might or might not help me write “The Story” in their own ways. Some wouldn’t offer direct help, help in any literary sense, or anything other than maybe casual conversations. That’s helpful. There are others that are great for deep meandering philosophical, literary, or even the sort of conversations that keep your spirits up as you’re guided through idée fixe.
Spoilers?: Minor [others reflecting self]
I read 30 minutes of Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas today.
Friend-of-the-website/stream VS posted in Zdiscord that they were reading that book again. I’ll paste in what they wrote here, since it’s a good summary: “It is a fictional novel about Brás Cubas, who, after being dead, begins to revive and act as a narrator of his own life story, is funny and sarcastic, it also presents some criticisms to the elite of that time course. I like this book because it is a very fluid and uncomplicated reading, which is very rare for a Brazilian literature book. All books are super dense, full of difficult words and terms, and it seems that there is no person in the country who is not traumatized by these books because he was forced to read when was in elementary school.” My response was: “I like the thematic idea of Brás Cubas being… would you say… a zombie?”
I’m not sure if that’s what “The Story” is to me, but I could relate with Brás Cubas narrate about idée fixe. For me, “The Story” is less an obsession as something that I can call to mind whenever I’m bored or looking for something positive to think about. I can think about the relationship between John and Trishna, where, John would be empathetic toward Trishna on her bad spine days, and Trishna would be empathetic toward John figuring out his way in a positive life after having such a terrible childhood. There won’t be any themes of romantic abuse, since that has never come up once in the close to over 15 years of brainstorming I’ve had along the way between John and Trishna, but maybe with others?
I like to look at pragmatic elements outside of “The Story,” too.
My search for others includes figuring out plans in effective ways. When I write “Novel 02,” I would like to have as large of a crew as possible in as many disparate fields as possible. If we can all have mutual respect toward each other and our differences, then we can learn to appreciate new ideas. Were it not for VS, it might have been years before I read Brás Cubas because although I had vaguely heard of Machado, I had no formal introduction. As I proceed through the processes of returning to better health, finishing up old projects, starting new ones, then focusing on my literary projects – the Tripping On essays will be next, then reading/editing “Novel 01,” then the novella, then “Novel 02” – I am continually looking for people that can add to my life in ways similar to this example. If VS can teach me about their perspective of Brazilian culture, then maybe I can think about new character ideas.
Do the characters happen because of the interactions?
I don’t think so exactly. Before writing this essay, I was thinking about how I would prefer writing about characters that I’m not writing about alone. When I wrote “Novel 01,” I had no one I could ask about some questions, so I’m sure some characters now feel weird, problematic, or otherwise “off” – some people might not want to read a page or listen to a minute of my livestreamed edits, but, maybe they’d be open to talking about character ideas, designs, or theories? The thing I’ve noticed about some people is that they only value people if they have specific skills, and I think that’s wrong. I don’t value people based on how much value they provide to me. It’s a weird sort of idea to navigate through, but value to me isn’t something like VS’s Brazilian knowledge, but rather, our friendship is first – the Brazilian context is secondary.
That said, I’m meeting many people from many disparate fields.
A thought popped into my head about one hour ago, after I thought of those character “consultants” – if you will – and that was having three different characters seemingly from a similar area. If I can speak directly here, I know many Spanish speakers now, so I can ask many of them broad or specific cultural questions when I start to codify the characters for “Novel 02” and beyond. I got some help with Jorge “Jaja” Juglar and I feel like Jaja is a solid contestant to be in “Novel 02,” but how does that look comparing now to when I start writing? Will Jaja automatically be in the story because of my planning from last year? Jaja feels realistic enough to me, but does “creating” characters with others or brainstorming them mean that they’ll be in novels?
Jaja wouldn’t be in any of the novels if he doesn’t feel right.
What felt right was a scene I just had – the briefest glimpse – where there were two Spanish speakers and one Portuguese speaker hanging out in perhaps a lunchroom and they were speaking in English. Was there a semi-racist question about why they weren’t speaking one non-English question that flashed and then left my mind? Would I feel comfortable tackling such a question? The cool thing, though, is that if I can have a wide variety of close friends, friends, acquaintances, and strangers to ask about these wild thoughts that pass through my head at lightning-fast speeds, then, perhaps, I can better figure out which of these thoughts are worth the time to flesh out into fully-formed characters and which thoughts are not. It’s exciting to think, now that my health is better, that this is possible.
However many years it takes…
|Quotes: [1,2] VS then me. I don’t think posting this here is a big deal since they wrote a good summary.|
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: I wanted to write this essay first instead of something related to my health – my spine health is getting better but the new pains thing is still rough – since “yesterday’s essay” can be a Zelda 1 essay, which is more fun than writing about my spine health.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2021 April 11 [11:24pm to 11:54pm]|
|Last Edited: 2021 April 11 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|