I’ve been writing and rewriting “The Story,” scene after stochastic scene, for as long as I can remember. An idea will pop up while I’m riding the bus, talking to someone, or reading a book. I’ll see a couple on the bus and think about John [left] and Trishna [right]. Better than stressing about work! In these situations, memories, or maybe more, I wonder: how much of “The Story” will be based on real people?
Spoilers?: Minor (fiction building musings)
The side characters… partially so.
It’s easy to capture caricatures, especially if they only play bit roles. In the Sammohini Arc, for example, Sammohini is easier to write right now because her character is partially based on me and a few others, mixed with healthy optimism bordering on excited insecurity. Jane is plain. She, then, needs more exciting side characters to contrast with during her short stories.
Her work stories are also distant memories.
I talk with bus drivers nearly daily. In my casual interviews, I learn about the life and times of bus driving, the ups, downs, and it’s great! They may start popping up as amalgamated characters, starting with the most noteworthy traits, and after capturing the essence of some scene, I can start to play with conventions. Part of that is knowing the rules. Most of that is breaking rules.
What is a person but a series of conflicting character traits?
When I look around this bus, I try to look for interesting sights. People that might yield creative conversations. Even if not, we aren’t all that interesting all the time. Outside of my hobbies, I am very uninteresting, so I might listen to talks about cars without understanding a single word inside of context, which I often humorously state, “are words I know individually.”
So I practice character observation daily.
Maybe that’s weird? Who cares? It’s an enjoyable exercise that gets me out of my shell, even if it is just so when I’m back in my shell, I have more topics to write about. At least it’s harmless fun, and more often, people get excited over hearing I write fiction. It’s fun for everyone. Writing fast short stories enables me to practice that more: form, storm, norm, perform, adjourn.
All good fun toward serving “The Story.”
John and Trishna have a trajectory that is unique to them. I don’t want – they don’t want – to be cliche characters created carelessly. Who would? Psychology offends because it reduces us to basic emotions and personality traits. You might be angry all the time because of this or that. How trivial our lives might be if we were just slaves to inconsequential circumstances…
We want to be more than that!
John and Trishna will be a decent summary of mistakes made while telling everyone else’s stories. Even if I see a couple looking like them someday on the bus, they won’t be our fictional power couple John and Trishna.
Until then, I ride, write, rewrite, practice, and practice again.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: Realistic situations inspire fictiona situations.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Photo: John and Trishna in front of a bus LEGO set. Above, the focus is on them. Below, focusing on the precocious Pollyanna.|
|Written On: July 11th [30 minutes]|
|Last Edited: July 22nd|