Emerald Specter 33: A Story In Everything

I’ve thought about making this particular column about a great many things, I’ve started and deleted several drafts… some that dealt with political climate things, some that dealt with “President” Trump, some that dealt with religious organizations, and I ended up deciding to look inward for a more solid topic. Don’t think this is necessarily all about writing, though that is definitely addressed.

Since starting my bullet journal, and getting that second session of writing my “fiction” in, I’ve been champing at the bit to get back to writing that particular story. The creative juices are flowing and they are building up… and need to be released. This is aided by the fact that I have done several personal “rules” to prevent my normal downfalls. Those rules are 1) no editing on the fly… that is for the END of the process, 2) there is no specified word count required, and 3) don’t start anything else until you’re done with that. Failing to follow those rules will get my ideas published on the Internet and there won’t be a point of writing them anymore.

My first session ran a whopping 200-500 words. I don’t remember the exact count but I do remember that when I was done I was slightly disappointed that I couldn’t seem to squeeze out any more than just that meager word count. My second session had me blasting out over 2,000 words and I wanted to write even more, but I stopped where I did so that I didn’t completely blow out all my energy in one sitting. Thankfully, that seems to have worked because sometime shortly after this column I’ll be sitting down for session three.

What’s my ultimate word count goal? Well, I don’t have one set up specifically, but I’m hoping to have a story longer than 50,000 words when I’m done. But enough about the fiction and progress, let’s get to the more general sense of this topic.

I’m an MMA fan. I follow the UFC (watching all of the PPVs, and a good chunk of the non-PPV events). I also follow ONE Championship (the Asian version of the UFC, they’re as big there as the UFC is here) as well as following Invicta FC (the only all female MMA organization). Something I’ve taken notice of in the past few months is that regardless of what the event is, they talk up storylines that aren’t necessarily there. The UFC is stellar at this, Invicta would be somewhat decent at it, and I can’t really say that ONE does anything like this but I don’t see a lot of the build up material with them, I really only get to see the event.

For example, Dominic Cruz was the UFC Bantamweight Champion defending against Cody Garbrandt. There was a lot of smack talk between the two of them and the UFC played that up, building a compelling narrative about the two of them fighting. Both of the fighters certainly played into that, something the UFC talent has been really good about doing, and we all got to see the “pay off” in the form of the fight… in which Cody Garbrandt won the Bantamweight Championship.

MMA has picked this type of thing up from professional wrestling, which is essentially modeled after their titan organization: WWE.

In the WWE, two wrestlers will be paired to square off against one another at a pay per view event finale. This may happen in a 30-day stretch, or be a much longer program (60-day, 6 month, 1 year, etc) but you’ll always get an ending and in more recent times that hasn’t always been satisfying… but WWE has been setting the standard for this type of promotion of “battles” since professional wrestling hit TV. While many people look at WWE as some sort of entertainment to be derided, you can’t fault them for creating stories.

If you take the same basic theory that the WWE, UFC, and so on create around fights, you can look at damn near anything and get a story out of that… some being more compelling than others. This type of wondering happens to me often enough that I’ve had to hold myself back from just randomly starting a writing project about something I think I can turn a super awesome story out of… get asked a random question at work about something? I can turn out a random life story item that makes me want to elaborate even further. See a car that looks like one I’ve owned, but in a little worse shape? What is the story of that car between when I owned it and when I next saw it (knowing full well it isn’t the same car)?

Something I’ve been tempted to do would be included in this column from sometime in the near future until I’m tired of writing about it. This will take a little setup to explain.

I’ve been involved in “creating a fictional backstory” at a couple of the jobs I’ve had. The choice to make them just believable enough to be true but totally not be true. My family, my actual blood relatives, haven’t always treated me with respect. This is so much so that I had to do some digging to find out if one of my grandparents recently died because I “had that feeling,” and I wouldn’t put them not telling me past any of them.

So, I’ve contemplated retelling my “origin story” to be something I’d be more proud of… something that ended where I’m currently at but have been more fun getting there. I’m toying with the idea of including a chunk of that story in each edition of the Emerald Specter column. It’s a writing exercise, first and foremost, but it would be fun to see what I can come up with that I would have rather done in life.

Wouldn’t that be a neat way to spend some time?

I already have writing this column on a schedule. I am going to reach high numbers and that means that I’ll continue to need topics. I may not always have a “1,000 word topic,” so having a little sub feature to help out would be a nice touch. In the cases where I can talk all day about something, that means the column would just be longer.

What do you think about that? Let me know.

Think on it.