I’ve had to shelve and nearly scrap 1000 publishable words. They’re good words that tell two good short stories. It’s just the series lead in a direction that won’t accomplish what I’m trying to do with the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.” 90% of it should be fiction practice and 10% should build context for John and Trishna’s Arc, the final and most ambitious story arc. Here’s why I haven’t dived in and started telling their developing story.
Spoilers?: Minor (my writing process)
There’s a clear plot with their arc.
John and Trishna chat online, meet, go to college, then go from there. Those four narrative beats must go in a certain logical order. They grow, mature, and change throughout those four major beats. If I don’t have a clear understanding of how to tell stories succinctly and successfully, then I can’t do these characters justice. They’re too important to me.
The Sammohini Arc is pure practice.
Sammohini and Jane represent two archetypes within my professional career, the bumbling computer technician and the taker of odd jobs. They are still mostly me, but by changing their sex and root personality to klutzy and laconic, it forces me to at least try writing their story, or how they’d interpret semi-fictionalized situations, rather than my own.
Fiction helps tell a greater truth.
This arc doesn’t have a definitive plot. I have some overall ideas, but I am intentionally avoiding that now because of those two short stories. Those would set a plot into action that I’m not ready to tell. The writing felt a little awkward. I had two major revisions and it still didn’t work. I’ve shelved those, maybe later to upload as drafts, but they were useful in reminding me of this arc’s purpose.
I’m episodically building “The Story.”
Now that I’m writing two short stories and two updates to “The Story” each week, my frame of reference is more closely tied to this project. The past two years of writing have been useful in establishing the discipline to crank out writing. I am inspired by Jodorowsky talking in Jodorowsky’s Dune about how Mœbius drew: “like a computer!” I understand that pace now.
It’s all about the volume of work.
There is the occasional sentence that impresses me and lingers well after I’ve clicked publish. Through my first draft writing process, whether on the bus, in the library, or in bursts throughout a quiet day, I sketch the broad strokes. Then as I go to edit and publish, I coax out something more, so the equivalent inking and painting accentuate rather than cover up my mistakes.
I still have years to go.
Through constant practice, I’ve seen a pattern emerge. I can jump into “The Story” faster thanks to writing about Sammohini and Jane working in Eville. I’m also learning how to write fiction more effectively. I have plenty of inconsequential writing fodder.
I could practice for years “in the music jam room.”
“The Story” is the live performance in front of millions.
|Quotes:  Alejandro Jodorowsky.|
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: Looking over my publishing schedule, maybe I was feeling somewhat disappointed in efforts that I could not publish, yet triumphant that I could still use those two perceived failures as motivational material.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Screenshot: My camera’s gallery of every draft of photos for “The Story” I’ve taken over the past few weeks.|
|Written On: June 23rd [20 minutes]|
|Last Edited: July 1st [20 minutes]|