A code spoken among a group is relative. Universal frames of morality are for the most part inconsistent across humanity. There are core values that do thread among the masses, though situations and context dictate how these lines are drawn and redrawn throughout time.
All serves self preservation.
In pursuit of furthering the collective knowledge base that is the internet, I'm going to share a little bit of what I've been learning recently. On the road to creating this realm, I've been studying a ton and working to lock down a lot of the major story aspects that have to be resolved.
Manikk Realm is a portal to worlds.
In each of these worlds there are locations and characters that must be fully realized.
In order to get this done right, I've been digging into a few books.
Some of which are about story and structure,
some about characters and personality traits that we come across in the real world.
Once these aspects are more heavily integrated, the worlds that are created will tie in better to the one that we currently share.
I'll start simply with story structure. Got a little help from some talks by Will Smith on these.
When writing stories, at a point the story itself gets out of the way.
We know that all stories are about a protagonist, and they're faced with a few key questions,
more so , we as the audience are.
We must ask:
What do they want?
Why do they want it?
What will happen if they don't get it?
What are the obstacles stopping them from getting it?
The most powerful moments in the story are when the external obstacles cause the most internal difficulty.
If these are solved and arranged well the story should hold ok.
The next bit is the emotion.If we focus on the main human emotions : Hope,fear, love, hate, we can paint in broad strokes and then become more specific and more nuanced as we refine out works.
The third piece of information that's useful when creating stories is to Make It Honest.
In creating stories it's tempting for us to dream and venture off into all kinds of worlds, but in order to most effectively tell the stories in a believable way, we must speak from a point deep within ourselves.
Speaking from your own experience even if transposed into a different context will work far better because you know how things actually work. Sharing bits of insider knowledge , and "speaking the language" of your viewer or reader, will do two things. It will let them know that you actually know what you're talking about, and it will create a more complete world without awkward information gaps. If you were to write a story about dancers but had never been a part of a dance community in any capacity, then it would become a more daunting task. It would do you better to involve yourself and to consult people who live that lifestyle to more accurately portray it.
Doubling back to an earlier point
When writing stories, at a point the story itself gets out of the way.
The function of the research and key questions and the honesty, is that they form into a flow. This flow takes the reader from the beginning through to the end of the story in a clear way. They're driven forward, asked questions that they need to solve. They'll keep pushing through or be pushed from event to event in a way that just makes sense.
One other very important thing that I've picked up in terms of story is to eliminate the " Why don't they just...?" questions. If you can ask yourself this question throughout the story and pull the chords that lead the protagonist down any of these routes, you'll save yourself from quite a few plot holes. Put simply, burn the boats behind your characters. The only way that they can go is forward. In story this can be done with figurative lateral steps, but as a whole, if they can't just stop, or not participate, the reader and the audience will mostly likely be more heavily invested in seeing this journey through.
So, to recap.
MAKE IT HONEST.
BURN THE BOATS.
Keep these things in mind and your storytelling journey will be a little easier.
BONUS: Actionable Steps - Go watch 3 of your favourite movies and make notes on where each of these tips comes into play. Ask the Key Questions, Figure out the important emotional pulls at play , Look into who wrote and directed the work. Find a behind the scenes reel if you can and see where their point of honesty came from, and finally note the key moments where they " burned the boats" .
- MANIKK -
Tools are simply tools. It’s the wielder that decides their fate. Our technology is simply a means for us to modify and use systems and principles of the material world around us. What we once thought to be magic or impossible becomes commonplace. Reality is constant but our rational bounds are constantly being expanded.
Our tools often serve our basic drives. Survival being the primary. As we move through time this inevitably leans against our societal moral framework. In pursuit of longevity, the means that we come to use will change, and with that , what we know and accept as palatable will also change further.
Know that you are luck itself.
The spark is when your dream and your decision meet belief.
It's truly a bizarre and irrefutable law.
We operate from within our own heads. Our systems are built up through our experiences, our physicality and our chemistry. What you deem normal may not be normal. That is neither a good or bad thing. It is simply a thing to understand. Know that you must build systems to function in a world with other people, and you also need to build systems and routines that will foster your growth, and nurture the specific framework that you operate in. Mental health is as physical health. Train and maintain yourself. If you have one shot at this or many , health and longevity is key. It’s a marathon and a sprint at the same time. Move sharp and quickly on the day to day, but know that you must look to the future and set a pace to your actions to ensure a desirable result.
Expectations and patterns are everywhere. Understand that most people do not achieve what they set out to do. The societal norms may or may not be to your benefit. Carefully study them and hold them against your own core values. Question if obligation is programmed into you, and if you see fit, move past them. Understand where you really want to be, and who you want to grow into, and then ask yourself why. After this is made clear, take the necessary steps to become that which you seek. It doesn’t matter what others around you are doing, as long as you know that you can not be influenced in ways to your detriment. Stay cautious. Stay free. Stay creative.
I'm seeing it daily. People are becoming slaves to social media. They're becoming slaves to keeping up with the joneses. The obsessions with always showing up and always being in the mix is at a level quite dangerous. People are more concerned with posting every single day and always being around but they're no longer thinking about what they're actually trying to say. Of course there are efficient models of production that allow us to keep turning out posts or content daily. Methods like prepping a bunch of pieces ahead of time and setting them for an auto rollout is very effective. But, there's a point where we have to think about what we're creating.
The larger purpose of what we're creating means much more than showing up every single day with little bits of random nothings just to stay on the minds of viewers. It becomes a drug.
I've made a personal shift because this problem affected me for a while. I was finding myself tired, and worn down for no specific reason. I realized that it equated to running around in circles. All of the content that I'd see day to day would be a mix of funny little things, and interesting little notes, and quotes but none of it had any contribution in terms of what I actually had to do with my life. I want to create stories and films and make a difference in the world, but participating on social media had little part to play in it.
Of course all things are simply neutral tools and there are great advantages to using them correctly, but in large part the apps and sites that are used by most eventually turn into more of a time sink than a productivity machine.
THINK OF IT IN TERMS OF FLOW.
Management of the in and out flows of information are key. Compound this with the idea of direction and it all becomes clearer. We can ask ourselves, does this lead me closer to my goals or farther away? Am I supposed to be doing this or is this something that I know is keeping me back from something on my schedule that I should be taking care of?
When the directions are made clear, our time and our actions can help us become more efficient even when we're less visible. It's better to do important things and show up less, than to show up every day doing nothing of importance.
A SHORT STORY
Some years ago I was in animation school. It was a part of the industry culture to push yourself until you burn out. This was common. If you're not drawing you're a failure/lazy/etc. Due to this I saw many of my classmates get destroyed, both mentally and physically. They overloaded themselves and some of them ended up with irreparable damage to their hands , wrists and elbows. A few even had to leave the school and give up on their dreams of becoming artists. All of this to uphold an image, an image that they were working hard and they were dedicated to their craft, and that they could "do whatever it takes" to make it. It's poison really.
At a point I was going through a bit of the same , and I realized that it made no sense to train consistently in that manor beyond the point of unconscious competence. There's a point where the skills and the patterns and lines become ingrained in your mind and your hands just flow. You can create what you want at a level that your conscious mind no longer has to work over. After that point you actually start to learn faster by not drawing.
It would serve you better to just take the 80/20 rule into consideration and figure out what the little things are that make the most change. By going out and taking photos and video, and by moving the camera around, my direction got better. By reading through anatomy books and watching actual athletes move around, my sense of structure got better. By actually getting out there and training in dance, my animation ability improved, because it wasn't just a drawing, I was now physically connected to the movement. I could work out actions in my head. It was to the point that when I completed my thesis film, people asked if it was rotoscoped. The natural flow became intuitive.
The core of all of this is that, you can develop a deeper sense of understanding and competence in anything without always breaking your body. There is no need to die for your art. You can be efficient. It's allowed. It's ok. Forget all of that noise that people tell you.
You may very well find that you improve faster by actually thinking before doing something. I know , magic right?
The family that you stay with is not always the group that you were born into. People grow and change, and many don’t. Understanding that it’s a dynamic balance between many creates a much clearer picture. You’re not obligated to be close with anyone. Don’t force it. Understand all involved as best you can, and let go of anything resembling resentment. The aim is to heal and grow. Understand reality, and understand the ideals and projections that we are awash in on the day to day. Family can most certainly be found, though it’s done through speaking and living honestly. The balancing elements will naturally sit around you, though it also takes a measure of discipline to hold onto that authenticity.
I often feel like life is some beautiful sick joke. Having moments where the seams show has me laughing in a blend of confusion and wonder. I'm enjoying it and haunted by the horrifying potential
Forever and ever. Someone asked me where the love songs went. I told her, they've changed. Love is wanting the best for someone even if the message has to hurt them. Even if it has to shake them up, make them break routine, and face their fears. Love isn’t easy, but it’s not flashy. Many are incapable of letting actual love take hold. It’s masked in ritual, in displays but seldom takes on the core issues that the parties involved need to grow. This ties into self awareness. Not just simply in what one wants, or in what one wants to see, but in what the truth is, beyond any individuals’ intent. Embody love, the hard way.
At times you’ll face situations that don’t really have a clear win. All things come with multiple sides. Good or bad are sometimes grey. All of this comes down to the points of view for those involved. In those times all that you can simply do is your best, with the information that you have up until that point in time. Trust that, and move forward with as much confidence as you can muster. Some days, there are just tough decisions that must be made. They will change you , and may make you stronger if you seek the lessons that they bring.
Your potential is limitless. Often though many take these words as shackles. It’s more about a decision to do what you choose, than living up to what other people expect of you. Understand that you’re already a genius. You’re a living breathing supercomputer, with access to a massive network of information. You can build a road to anything that you want to accomplish. It takes time, but the potential is latent in you. Decide what you want and trust that you are everything that you need to get there. Skills will come with time, but you already are everything that you need.
Friendship is not simply a mirror. It’s more of a balance. Pairings and groups are often archetypal, as humans rely on each other to advance in this world. The challenge lies in finding out which bonds can help us and which bonds will hurt. A few simple steps to make this process easier.
Test the waters. Be patient with people. Don’t jump in head first. All actions are done with a why in mind. Try to find out their why. At times it may simply be that they enjoy doing something. Other times it may be that someone has ulterior motives. Be cautious but remain open.
It’s often hard for us to truly accept and understand our own self worth. We’re born whole, and open. Receptive to everything around us , we soak in information like a sponge. We can adapt and learn anything. Languages, diction, physical abilities. All of these are adopted as simply being natural. It’s like magic really. In our formative years , for many this comes the start of something not so easy to swallow. Our self worth is eroded. Not in its entirety, and not directly, but it’s put to us in the form of limits and doubt. Most times it's a reflection of those around us, putting their own built up doubt upon us. It’s easy to limit another from something that we fear. Some adopt it under the guise of safety but in truth it has little merit in the stories that we have yet to write. Our paths are virtually limitless, and the realm of current societal understanding has only gone so far. Much more is to be done. So in that, take great stock in yourself. Understand that self worth is essential. You’re complete, and you’re becoming more and more each day. Build yourself into the ideal that you seek. You will have nothing to regret once your cycle comes to an end.
In the coming months, I'll be sharing with you words and work related to a series that I'm developing. It's the first of many in the world of Manikk Realm.
It's called Gokiburi and I'm quite happy to let this project grow here.
This story deals with the topics of self worth, friendship, potential ,tough calls, love, family, society, mental health, technological innovation, morality , ambition and death.
Through these twelve branches, this story may grant you a better means to reflect upon yourself.
The stories of Manikk Realm aim to serve as a mirror in which you can grow and learn.
In order to maintain something, one can't hold too tightly to trends. Study foundation, and in turn at most pair yourself with deeper properties. Almost elemental, these qualities will span beyond a season, and speak to a deeper sense of humanity. Like darkness or light, emotion, they will extend beyond a single lifespan. This will serve as more than enough room to create and maintain something of deeper value.
In time, attitudes will be reformed over and over again, flowing between polarities. Keep track of this pulse and know that there is always room for a revival.
Show us your Realm.
By changing the words used to describe things we restructure societal flow. Perversion of this imprints ideology as fact in future generations. When things shift too far, the truth is lost. Modernity should not be a route to degradation. Definition rewritten should not be a route to oppression.
I don't think some people actually realize how fortunate we are. It's insane how much of a fast track we have to education. Seeking the advice of masters, having scores of lectures with critical analysis of past works, the ability to pick up any language with the option of speaking to people anywhere in the world ready to study with you. It only makes sense to try for absolutely everything we want to accomplish. There aren't many barriers to entry, and no real gatekeepers to say your content won't be displayed. It's simple. Choose, learn, create, and share. You're far more free than you think.
Honest with no apology, be yourself entirely, show us your Realm.
I'm learning that it's not about the resources, it's about being resourceful.
When your back is against the wall and there's no other option, you win.
There's nothing else. You must win.
Honest with no apology, be yourself entirely, show us your Realm.
Sometimes the challenge, is building momentum. It's not always a hurdle in terms of skill, but in terms of mental resolve. Being able to dial in and do what's required is the key. Sometimes it comes down to imposed time limits. At others it comes down to setting the location's atmosphere, or getting a quiet space. Sometimes it's just the right type of noise to get into the flow. Any way that it's looked at, there's a certain necessity that must be realized. Your greatest fear should be deep regret, due to not trying your absolute best at the chance given.
Don't give yourself the chance to experience this.
Live honest with no apology, be yourself entirely, show us your Realm.
If the people are kept divided, they miss out on the bigger issues. Yes there's a situation, and everyone has to step up to take care of it. The siblings of the perpetrators and the victims, one in the same. Get caught up in the fight too long, get split along drawn lines too long, and you'll miss out, the wealth will be taken out from under you. History destroyed and rewritten, present day matters repackaged and used to program. The solution is simple really, but not too many are ready to take on the bigger challenge. Override it, override it all, step forward and write a new story , then again, this is the original story delivered yet again.
Solve it. Get honest with no apology, be yourself entirely, show us your Realm.
You might lose.
It's a fact that you must come to terms with.
Sometimes giving slack even in the slightest means that you might very well lose.
Understand the importance of each opportunity.
You'd rather not fall short due to preventable cause.
No matter your disposition,
no matter the climate,
if you must do something, get it done.
You might win.
In a mere few hundred days, nothing will be as it is now.
In a mere few weeks, the season will have changed over.
In a mere few days, opportunity's windows will close, and yet others will open.
Although things keep turning over, one's reach is finite.
There are only so many revolutions, so many chances to grasp at an ideal timeline.
Be cautious of this.
Forget the minutia, delegate the lesser priorities, and seize the objective.
Remain honest with no apology, be yourself entirely and show us Your Realm.
It's certainly terminal, this condition. Called from the dark and back to dust in the same breath. To you, cherish it all. Know nothing is mundane. For you have the same condition as I do. Eternally turning.
Whether it be numbness or ringing of the ears, it's essential not to lose touch. In depth or shortness of breath, reddened skin , burned to ash, it's one in the same. Make the most of it. For just as I , your condition is terminal.
On a journey. Searching for something. Sharing what's found.