A fiction writer's story market fit?
TLDR: It's different for everyone.
I tend to hate using tech analogies for creative ventures, since there’s always this pressure to scale, have user retention, churn churn churn - these incentives don’t match the creative journey of each individual since we’re all so different.
We all achieve the story that we want to share after lots of life experiences, different growth rates, different ways we absorb the world and characters around us. They’re very different time durations.
And plus - to synthesize those, and make them our own - it’s impossible to compress that in a perfectly nice schedule.
The delicate balance between production-ready commercialized art and the time/care required to create good art
A good creative director or art director can recognize that delicate balance between production ready commercialized art vs giving the artists time/care to produce good work. These are attributes I make daily room to practice each day to document.
The analogy I’d use is that:
Imagine your favorite TV shows, movies, books, comics you watched over and over again. Imagine the impression they’ve made on society, but with your own lens based on your day to day life experiences.
Imagine the process of synthesizing these ideas together. A heavy pre-production stage of mood boards, image references, character studies, you name it.
And now you put those into pen and paper into a blueprint. A manuscript. Revising your prose, structure. Character development. What you want to leave off. What you want the reader to think about. What types of emotions you want to imprint upon?
Plus the part where you overthink, or you get feedback. You spend a weekend on one chapter, one page, whatever you may be.
That phase of overthinking, after you finally synthesized - it’s now time to get the editor to review, recommend edits for the publisher. Go back and forth between curation and your voice. Internal debates / internal demons.
And finally the publisher says yes and ready to ship.
This process can take anywhere from 3-6 years, or even longer 6-12 years. For screenplays, you might be looking at a shorter time duration - but you get the point.
Fiction writing is a combination of your personal voice that is being curated for the purposes of meeting your audience’s desire/demand to be moved.
They want your impression on how you make sense of the changing economic, social, or political structures around them while using the right characters to explore these themes.
Wait? Why am I writing about fiction writing if I’m not a fiction writer?
A lot of people are quite surprised that while I have very detailed interests in architecture, fashion, urban design, costume design - my goal is actually less to become a specialist in these fields.
When I got into VR/AR, I saw them as broader tools for film, animation, and television, and visual effects production to make world building far easier.
My ultimate goal is to really go deep into production design for film/TV, while exploring virtual productions. This is a long term process that takes at least 1-2 decades to achieve. (I’m very deliberate with using the word process)
However, the 3D authoring tools still need work! (that’s another topic for another day, and where I choose to focus my time)
For me, I really, really love working on story-driven productions.
However, as film/TV is a very collaborative effort, I find more value in working on an existing screenplay as a blueprint for the director’s vision I want to build.
My desire to explore fields like architecture, environments, fashion, urban design, and costume to work on more story-driven experiences vs pure merchandising - is more shaped by my sensitivity of how story has a far bigger influence in how people see the world - and focusing on developing the visual aesthetic / look of a film/TV - to me is far more rewarding intrinsically.
It is great to sell fashion garments or virtual spaces on the blockchain. It’s definitely something I’ll still do. But they’re not means to an end - rather they’re daily routines, small bites that help me get to a larger goal. It’s also a good way to get paid to learn.
Final note: inspiration from the Production Design / speculative architecture of Belle
Before I end this post, I want to share a video I made that analyzes UK based architect Eric Wong’s approach to production design and speculative architecture on the recent anime movie hit Belle.
One of the most fascinating things to me, watching this, is how he designed the techno-utopian magical city to defy many of the laws of gravity and physics - and by doing so, allowing the movie goers to explore social structures in the anime movie that wouldn’t have been done before in the past.
I believe that’s the power of production design in amplifying story, and where I want to keep exploring.