There’s a scene from Moyashimon that gave me some thought and consideration for “The Story.” I would say these moments happen somewhat frequently. Nonfiction will inform fiction; life informs media; but, visa versa. In this scene, a male character helps a female character with an errand and she invites him over for dinner. There is a sort of reverence from the male character in regards to being over at the female character’s apartment. I thought…
Spoilers?: Minor [considering scene locations]
After “The Scene,” what room would John and Trishna end up in?
I imagine that one of the many parts of “The Story” takes place directly before and during “The Scene,” where John calls on Trishna and her family to pick him up from his hometown. He’s been badly beaten by bullies and has no one else to turn to, so they pick him up, and when they bring him back to their home… I had imagined that they would bring him to Trishna’s room. Logistically, that makes the most sense, but then, I wondered: Sammohini has already moved out, so her old room turned into a guest room, and although they trust John, they still might prefer he not sleep in her bed immediately. As one does with fiction of this magnitude, I wondered while this anime episode played, what room would John and Trishna sleep in?
The guest room seems like the most logical location.
After Sammohini moves out, as she is Trishna’s older sister by a few years, the family and Sammohini probably use that as an opportunity to turn her old room into a guest room. The room might be more generic. So when they use it for John, and Trishna wants to snuggle up next to John to make sure he remains warm, there might – too – be a chair or something for someone to sleep in as well. My initial interpretations of this scene were variations of John or Trishna waking, where they’d chat for a little while before Trishna would summon her service dog, Pollyanna, to then retrieve her parents to help. This does seem like the best way to build up their characters, but is this how it actually goes?
As a writer, there is a balance between what happens and the writing logistics.
These scenes unfold in my imagination like I am possessed by “The Story,” so to that extent, I don’t own these scenes or “The Story,” but as its writer, I can only do my best to channel everything into reality by the words I use and how I understand these scenes to unfold and piece together. There might be some flexibility, but I’ve found that when I don’t follow the natural order of fiction, it tends to feel stilted and wrong, whereas if I try to follow these unfoldings as they should go, they tend to be natural and even surprising for me.
Let me explain the flexibility elements.
I believe a majority of the scene, from the characters to the dialogue, may actually have happened before in some kind of imagined universe. However, they exist as wire models or skeletons, and it’s my job to move these skeletons throughout their plot while also adding meat onto their bones. What I mean by that is that the scene might unfold as it does, but if I am imagining the scene, and I think the wallpaper might be blue or yellow, it might be my choice based on how I’m feeling or whether it’s relevant. I don’t believe in much overt symbolism, so blue wallpaper wouldn’t represent any sort of overwrought emotion.
That wallpaper is blue because of any reason I choose.
This is similar to the “show, don’t tell” “rule” that often pops up in amateur writing textbooks. The notion is fair and almost noble. When we show a scene, the idea is that things happen naturally. However, I am “told” these scenes through the aforementioned brainstormings that happen at anytime – while I’m watching some show, talking to people, or even while writing something unrelated – so wouldn’t it make more sense to be more authentic to that experience and, too, “tell” these scenes? I think the intention of this rule is to not overwhelm the reader with superfluous information, rather than advocating against telling readers anything, because exposition is a valuable tool, if used in moderation.
Otherwise, too much exposition or telling is like placing the scene in the wrong room.
It might seem OK, but it would feel weird, which might be why it’s so often touted as the primary rule of writing fiction. When I write fiction, I don’t think about rules or anything other than conveying the information of the scenes I’m imagining clearly. I would rather let the characters tell their stories from their own perspective than have things muddled by my interpretation. If there is none, then I can feel free to fill in the gaps, but I’m not going to force a character to act in a certain way, or have them reside in a particular location, just because I think that it’d be cool for them to live somewhere or have a scene take place somewhere.
Having John’s post-Scene scene take place in Trishna’s room was convenient.
However, having that location move to the guest bedroom makes more sense because it’s not that Trishna’s parents don’t trust John. It’s more that they would prefer him to have some space of his own. They would prefer he have the space to act of his own accord rather than act in ways to only make Trishna happy. They might have had enough marriage counseling or relationship therapies to know that if John immediately becomes dependent on Trishna, then he won’t be a confident person of his own, and won’t be a good partner for Trishna. The guest bedroom, then, might be his initial space to stand up on his own feet.
That room, too, probably helps them monitor him to ensure he acts properly.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: Besides the aforementioned? Exploring my thoughts on the “The Story’s Imaginarium” thoughts and whether fiction is uncovered or formed, as I’ve done many times before, and will continue to do so.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2020 August 31 [Midnight to 12:26am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 August 31 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|