I was in Bellabelluga’s livestream, who did an Astrology reading for me, and we were talking about respecting our crafts. Sie didn’t feel like doing any astrology, but wanted to livestream, to which I said: “I can respect that about respecting the craft, Bella. I’m not writing fiction, which I love to do, because it requires so much. Writing fiction,” like “The Story,” “is closer to divination than writing essays which is just observing reality.”
Spoilers?: Minor [divining these characters]
Where do John and Trishna come from?
They popped into my head around high school and haven’t left. They “are unique from me, but they are part of me.” I recognize them as unique individuals but they aren’t from, say, any kind of wish fulfillment or inspiration from movies or culture. They’re just there, along with all their other relatives and friends or acquaintances of acquaintances. When I write essays like this, or about whatever I do, it’s straightforward observations in a stream-of-consciousness style to observe and comment. My review-writing and journalistic-writing aren’t terrible, it’s just they tend to be stiff and lifeless, whereas I feel most at home when writing fiction.
Fiction-writing, for me, does suck up a large amount of energy or spoons.
I feel like writing fiction is divination and when I summon these characters to navigate through the words I write, there is some kind of magic that happens. I am a consenting actor through all of it, so I am the one controlling the words, but outside of that, when I write the words just happen in my mind. I am closing my eyes now to observe what I am doing – the words flow from my mind. There isn’t much of a thought process conflict between my mind and the words, unless I don’t feel confident about what I write. When I think about the characters I see in my mind, they are there, good or ugly, and I write them as I see them, giving them full honesty.
They are like my podcast guests that express their own opinions.
Even when we may disagree, we respect each other, and there is no conflict unless I am not seeing them well enough. It took John and Trishna a number of years to reveal their disabilities to me, and when they did, I started to learn more about their disabilities and how that affected them. Then I became disabled myself and I felt that even closer. I felt like they both had shame in their disabilities, which was why they hid it so much, similar to how whenever I go out, I try to hide my disabilities whenever possible to decrease myself as a potential target or as a pull for sympathy. My life is hard living with a disability, as theirs are, but when people meet me they shouldn’t shape their reality around that.
So, too, would I say about the divination of these characters.
Divination feels most comfortable to me in terms of how I think about these characters and the stories I want to write. I summon them whenever I am idle – they never force themselves onto me – and it’s great hanging out with them, but I know they’re not real characters at least in our reality. They might be real somewhere else, and I might be summoning them as a sort of truth-teller through fiction, but that’s closer to my idea of how they exist than any time before. When Trishna, for example, has a low-spoon morning of waking up with next to no energy, that isn’t me writing from my own experiences – my experiences heighten theirs, my contexts help explain theirs – it’s them expressing themselves and their own lives.
That’s how I might explain parts in “Novel 01.”
When characters did what they did, to whatever degree they did, it wasn’t me controlling them. I think there is a misconception with writers of fiction, or at least, I do it differently. I don’t have a character like Sammohini that I pose in certain action-figure-styled actions. I don’t move her around as like I’m a puppeteer. She is, instead, her own unique character or person that moves around as any of us would in our daily lives. I don’t control her. I’m not some god-like figure. As the writer, I am at most the writer of her experiences, and as such, I move the camera of my mind behind her or with her as she moves.
If she gets into trouble, that’s her own doing, not mine.
I might censor bits or try to edit or figure out what is going on, through multiple drafts of writing, so this doesn’t mean that I write everything perfectly, but it’s more that… as I go, I see more of the scene and maybe see the foreshadowing bits that might happen later. The first draft might include some innocent bits that I might bring to the forefront in later drafts.
Fiction-writing well gives some of the most profound experiences of my life.
They are better than any other achievement I’ve earned or breakthrough in any other media or work-style, so it makes sense that the more divination I do, the better I feel about it, and the better I get at it. But it’s draining, it truly is, and when it’s draining against limited health like I have now, then there’s not much else I can do but wade it out until things get better. Will they? I wanted to go get groceries today and drive around, but I woke up without any energy, so I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. Instead, I did do some things that I felt were positive, so it wasn’t a complete waste – including hanging out in that livestream this morning, talking about how much I enjoyed the astrology reading, as a newcomer open to new ideas. Bella enjoyed my take on fiction-writing divination, which put me in a better mood.
I wanted to capture that positive memory here.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: This whole essay’s about inspirations.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2021 June 22 [11:08pm to 11:37pm]|
|Last Edited: 2021 June 22 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|