“I didn’t take the farm because I didn’t want to work 24×7.” The setting for the Lanchester Farm, a key location in “The Story,” was admittedly inspired partially by farms in popular culture. The quaint aesthetics and hard working characters must have subconsciously appealed to me more than any familiar city setting. The reality is much more involved. Let’s plow through some highlights of my agriculture study notes to see how the farm may change.
Spoiler Warning Scale: None (just worldbuilding)
“Leasing is better [to say than buying].”
The conflict is that while the setting for “The Story” will be based around the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, I didn’t grow up on a farm, so how much of this narrative should be steeped in reality? In my post-highschool drafts of “The Story,” called “References,” the farmer character Vispog planted crops unique to the garden planet Akin. Though perplexed, John, realized there as “everSOL the Valiant,” accepted that. There wasn’t much plot focus on the farm or crops. It was just where he landed, quite literally.
My learning focus is getting the finer details right.
Humble family farms are like any big business. It’s all about getting as much money as possible. There’s everything from the accounting side of how people get paid, the medical side of treating the sick or wounded, to the interpersonal negotiations between neighboring farmers and organizations. Compared to restaurants and other businesses in cities, the competition would be globally rather than locally. Any local competition might be more friendly, with farmers chatting about farming techniques or business techniques.
Trishna’s parents (above, left) are therefore keenly business-minded.
That business context is easy. Studying crops, for me, isn’t as easy. If “The Story” were to be more based on reality, then I’d need to thoroughly understand what crops or animals are grown in this area and other areas that might appear in the narrative. If I’m faking the details, I’d need to know even more about agricultural elements like chemistry, climate, soil, and any applicable sciences so the details aren’t offensively suspicious. This is tricky to pin down because there’s so much agricultural diversity in the Pacific Northwest.
Then there’s the narrative focus.
What will be the most important elements about “The Story?” Is it a friendship and love story between John and Trishna (above, right)? Is it a commentary on contemporary (late-80s through mid-20s) life and technology? Is agricultural just contextual set-dressing? How heavily does it factor into the careers of John and Trishna? That’s why I estimate it’ll be five years before I begin formally writing “The Story.” Besides writing skill, there’s so much nuance to understand first, especially if I want to give this story justice.
Meanwhile, I’m beginning to write tangentially-related stories to “The Story.”
Monday’s practice short stories are now inconsequential stories about Trishna’s sister Sam, her husband Samuel, and their daughter Alejandría (“Allie Pally”). Once I’ve sufficiently studied writing, along with agriculture, I should be ready to formally write.
|Sources: Study notes
Quotes: 1st, my dad. 2nd, Jun, agricultural consultant.
Related: Part 1