[The Story] Context and Nuance

“It’s like going into a landscaping project best suited for a rake with a shovel.[1]” “I’d get in there with a backhoe![2]” I prep my writing like landscapers prep the land with a backhoe before using a rake. Some projects just require a light raking or editing. I’m teaching myself how to use the writer’s equivalent of a backhoe because writing John [left] and Trishna’s [right] stories – “The Story” – is like landscaping for someone important.

Spoilers?: Minor (worldbuilding brainstorming exercise)

Sammohini’s arc is practice on a small scale.

It’s like being part of a crew, where as the rookie, all you need to do is the basics. ‘Put this here, do that, don’t mess it up too badly.’ It’s like having a safety net where nothing falls on your shoulders. When writing short stories, if I forget some continuity details, it’s not too important or could be excused.

They are usually 500 words, after all…

Once that writing becomes nearly effortless, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Take on more responsibility. ‘Be more ambitious, take more risks, fail big time.’ Each of these short stories in the Sammohini arc tangentially builds up “The Story.” Their details might impact scenes with John and Trishna.

If not, it’s still not ‘show time.’

There will be other arcs, more learning, and more failures. I’m not rushing this learning process because through it, I’m picking up skills in other fields that will help me write more nuanced stories. Just like writing myself into every story wouldn’t be interesting. It’s gotta be their story.

I pick up details daily, if not hourly.

Instead of letting fatigue about work, life, or the politics of the world abroad get the better of me, I plan. I am less concerned about convention and telling the same old stories, and not just John and Trishna, or the myriad side characters, but everything reflects that. You’ve gotta be patient with landscaping.

That might be where the family farm comes in.

John starts learning life skills on Trishna’s farm. He refines the discipline he learned from Mr. Ebersole, learns how to be the rookie on a crew, and learns to be held accountable for his actions. He also learns what it means to be in relationships, not just with his best friend Trishna, but others.

There’s a lot of landscaping to do for that.

I don’t know how much of it will require me to vicariously live. Maybe a little? With every opportunity, there are risks, and I’d rather not risk it all right now. I don’t have the writing tools available for me. Eventually, yes. Until then, I balance giving and withholding information in a way that interests me.

Hopefully, readers will find this interesting as well.

While it is good for me to know the character nuances of John and Trishna, it would just be boring if I were just to list their generic traits.

The Sammohini arc, therefore, is grunt labor practice for a grander landscaping project.

Quotes: [1] Me. [2] Colleague.
Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium
Inspirations: The conversation about landscaping at work along with more directly clarifying my writing process.
Related: Essays building “The Story” and short stories within the Sammohini Arc.
Photo: My bin for frequently-used parts.
Written On: June 7th 7:14 AM
Last Edited: June 17th
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.