The feeling of excitement over conversing happens quicker to Trishna than John in “The Story.” It’s not that John is callous or skeptical. Maybe somewhat. It just happens differently for both of the central characters when they begin talking on an anachronistic past-present-future mix of instant messaging technologies called Messe. Trishna reads his opinions, posted from a distance, likes them, and is the first to initiate conversation from a fan’s perspective, but John soon reciprocates.
Spoilers?: Minor [capturing a spark]
This introductory conversation played, plays, and will replay in my head from the years I first uncovered it through the years it takes me to practice writing – fiction specifically, although essays can help – until I can sit down with the confidence of having written smaller novels to begin writing their story in the level of detail I can imagine it. The storytelling details like the colors of the rooms or their clothes are less important than the narrative or emotional details like how they act and react.
John is cold, at first, because that’s all he’s used to when interacting with others.
Trishna pierces through that coldness with warmth and sincerity that is perhaps almost immediately intoxicating for John. I can see him quickly thinking significantly of Trishna, excited to see when she’s online, where their conversations would flow naturally and without any hesitation. He initially wants her to be more formal in communication, but only because that’s what he’s used to, rather than out of a sense of control. Disagreements or arguments they might have later on, once they meet and formally become a couple, are practiced and resolved in their budding remote relationship. I would like to imagine that they will only have fights seldomly, but I don’t know specifically how deep their fights will sting, or whether it will be an airing of grievances followed by a mature-for-their-age resolution.
These elements will take time to nurture, grow, and see bear fruit.
Does writing about things like this fully constitute, however, as spoilers since these essays act as thought meandries? My thought process for these has always been to write how I think it’ll go then once I actually begin writing, like with my first novel, it’s all up to the actual writing process. These essays are like planning for all contingencies before the start of an important event, the writing itself, where it’s possible that the writing will take on new directions as it goes. I feel like it’s important to let stories tell themselves, rather than force them down certain avenues. This is why I’ve relied so much on stream of consciousness writing, to let the writing flow as it may with minimal interruption from the writer, so that I can channel these scenes I imagine while I’m walking back to my computer or while writing.
These introductory scenes have deep roots, so they should be fine.
Were a reader want to go into the writings, in however many years it takes before I’ve completed enough novels to where I feel confident telling “The Story,” then they would probably want to go in not having read any of these essays. When I approach new media, the concept of having it completely unspoiled is not a concept I’m concerned about. I’m OK if I know someone I respect is in an episode of The Midnight Gospel, if I know the basic premise of Dead Don’t Die, and if I glance through a FF7 walkthrough to avoid missing one-off items. I’m not OK with, say, knowing if X-character is manipulated by Y-character because of Z-reason, or something like that.
In those regards, I think these relationship narrative arcs are minimally spoiling.
They can all be encompassed under the basic premise as reinforcement for supporting my efforts versus others out there. Phrased differently, these narrative elements of vicariously feeling John’s or Trishna’s excitement in these scenes are why I continue to develop “The Story” rather than go with other ideas. They’ve stuck around in my head for nearly twenty years now not because they’re terribly original characters or live incredible lives. They’ve stuck around because their relationship might be something close to an ideal but has played out, realistically as a dream, throughout the most strenuous times in my life. Only now, ostensibly within the past few years of writing but really because I’ve prioritized writing time to them, have I been able to practice channeling those thoughts more often.
It’s in this mindset where I say writing reviews doesn’t help write “The Story.”
They do because those writings can help increase attention to me as a writer, which might enable me more opportunities to write more often, as I would like to create enough of a writer’s buffer and lifestyle buffer to write long-form fiction more often… but that will come in time. I would like that day to be today and now, but I know it won’t. I know it might not even be next year. I’ve only written one novel and several dozen short stories I’m truly proud of having written. I still have much to learn, including, capturing this fleeting feeling of friendship and romance between John and Trishna’s early relationship. I could see them quickly becoming infatuated, and not in a sort of lusty sort of way, but just as friends deeply trusting of each other do.
Or, free up time in one’s day to chat with the other.
I can imagine John figuring out all that he can to enable himself more time to talk to Trishna, whether that means skipping out on sleep, playing fewer computer games, or doing less homework. Maybe Trishna catches him do this once and maybe they have an argument about that where they agree that they’ll help each other with their homework? Those sorts of narrative beats are less consistent in my imagination because they’re just hypothetical situations rather than what I experience.
I prefer writing about the scenes I watch unfold in my imagination.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: I had a conversation with someone where I realized that I was becoming somewhat infatuated. We didn’t have a second connection, but I wanted to capture those positive feelings here, perhaps. Through “The Story,” I felt those excited feelings as both John and Trishna, which feel more real to me than spinning the wheel with hypothetical scenario generators online. “What if Trishna did X? What if John did Y?” Those sorts of arbitrary writing prompts are a good place to start for writing fiction but I’m already decades-deep into this thought process, so now it’s just writing about what feels real. I suppose with more practice and reading more books about fiction writing, I could have written this clearer, but this was as clear as I knew how to write it.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Picture: This template has remained for so long because I like its romantic subtlety.|
|Written On: 2020 April 25 [From 7:01pm to 7:10pm, stopping just after the introductory paragraph to put my washed clothes in the dryer before writing the spoiler tag and on from 7:11pm to 7:46pm.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 April 25 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|