While I was in the MRI lobby, waiting for the scans to see what’s been going so wrong with my lower back, my mind went to “The Story.” I prefer thinking about my ambitious long-form narrative project to pessimism or other wastes of time because it’s often more productive. I first thought about something specific to my Minecraft building series for Novel 02, then perhaps a scene or concept I could later use for “The Story.”
Spoilers?: Minor [place for thoughts]
The Minecraft world I’m building is turning out really cool.
I say that with some reluctance because for years now, everything I’ve seen about Minecraft has been unimpressive, and outside of its creative mode, everything about Minecraft is almost completely disinteresting for me. Perhaps I have yet to find the Minecraft player[s] that are not overly annoying. Perhaps I would enjoy it if I tried it. For now, though, what I enjoy most is being able to quickly and efficiently build out elements of “The Story,” starting with Novel 02, and working toward “The Story.” An ambitious lifetime’s idea requires putting in the effort, and for me, that involves putting many of my resources into figuring out how to tell stories.
Today’s meandry into “The Story” started with the lobby chairs.
The chairs at my spine doctor’s office are the old school medical lobby chairs, which is to say, they have a one-piece seat and back with solid sides. Theirs were a pinkish-red seat-back with light woodgrain sides. I can recite this detail now because Minecraft doesn’t have chairs in the conventional sense. You can mock up chairs with a staircase block and two sign objects which look convincingly like… these sorts of chairs. What I found out both before and during the writing process of Novel 01 was that it is great having an external knowledge repository for all the little facts and tidbits about fictional worlds.
Building out the Eville Medical area is an example of externally storing this information.
I don’t have to remember what specifically Sammohini’s apartment looks like or how it spatially fits in distance to Eville Medical. These details aren’t terribly important for the reader, but as a writer, it helps to have these sorts of details readily available. When I thought about how to build these chairs, and thought about how I could add them into the lobby of the apartment building that Sammohini resides, this allowed me a place to dump this random detail that might have become lost in the ether of my mind. Now I will always know how these chairs in the MRI lobby, a special lobby that was essentially a large hallway area and a separate waiting room within the spine clinic, and by extension, I can more reliably refer to this reference point than if I hadn’t captured some obscure detail like this.
Then I thought about how Trishna and John might interact with this space.
I thought about how Trishna’s spine has been bad since birth. She probably shares some of the same back problems I’ve had over the worse part of the past year. Since this spine clinic has inspired elements of her character, her life, or even whether she would visit a similar place for her similar problems – although the danger is capturing nonfiction and turning it into fiction one-for-one – I thought about whether she would need to have any MRI work done as I had my MRI work done.
I don’t know the particulars, but it seems plausible.
The scene that eventually merged everything together was something like this: Trishna might have experienced a particularly bad spine situation necessitating a MRI. Let’s hand-wave our way through the details and go to the day of the MRI. John takes the day off so that he can care for her. He helps her undress from her clothes and into the scrubs that patients wear. He waits out in a lobby – not the same lobby, not the same chairs, but some inspiration and amalgamation are acceptable – while she gets the MRI; she’s had more than a few by that point. When she’s done, he helps redress her into her regular clothes.
Today was nice as we left the spine clinic after the MRI.
I thought about how John and Trishna, too, would experience a nice day, post-MRI. Maybe it was my optimism from having the MRI that could finally answer the question about why my life has been so impaired by my spine that made the day seem especially nice? As we left to get me dropped off at home, I thought about how John and Trishna would go out to eat after her MRI. Would they go to a restaurant or would they have a picnic at a nearby park?
Details like this tell only part of the overall story.
The details of Trishna’s MRI appointment could be analogous to the skeleton of a chapter, or even a section of a novel for John and Trishna. How I fill in the rest of that skeleton to create an entire whole is all up to me. I need to collect myriad details from every encounter in life in order to build up that skeleton into a fully fleshed-out story. Some details aren’t important. If John is waiting in that hypothetical lobby while Trishna gets her MRI, which chair he sits in or what color it is isn’t important, however, the more of those details I have ironed out before I start writing, the better. If I can vaguely plan out the building details ahead of time, when I go to write that scene, if it’s important about whether there’s a poster on the wall, I can explore that poster through John’s perspective as I write. In that sense, it’s better to iron out the objective building structures, like where the chairs are, before writing the subjective thought processes of John as he waits in the lobby.
I could always move that MRI scene from “The Story” to Novel 03…
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: Besides this essay? I’m enjoying this sort of weekly update on “The Story” now, even though it is mostly still about Novel 02 Minecraft building, because it lets me focus on one particular topic rather than trying to scratch for two different topics. Building stuff in Minecraft is fun, too.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.” Essays helping build “Novel 02.” This novel is formally called “A Story About Self-Confidence: Something About Anxiety,” and is a sequel to “Novel 01,” which is part of the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2020 November 25 [10:02pm to 10:40pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 November 25 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|