What I've Learnt from My Visual Novel

2022-09-21 12:44:42

Rubble and Rust started out as something that meant a lot to me. A chance to share an intimate concoction of feelings around my experiences living in the Australian countryside every weekend, and some of my thoughts on how I had experiences 'psychosis'.

With time however, and chaotically dazzling life experiences that hit me in 2021, I lost my enthusiasm for writing a project about mental health which honestly, ended up having little to do with it.

Rubble and Rust is kind of a mess, it just didn't turn out how I had imagined in my head, or not really imagined at all, because I didn't know what I was doing. Still, there are some aspects I both enjoy, but am also fearful whether anyone else will appreciate them.

Themes of adolescent love

Peoples' feedback has mostly hurt me. Someone early on who read part one that said (indirectly) they thought it was weird for a grown man to be hanging out with kids and teens. They appear to treat the relationships in my cherished Berserk as so beyond anything I can do, that my influences drawn from it don't count!

Yes my story has themes of a blossoming feelings of a teenage girl towards an older man. This is not reciprocated, that is important to note, only a friendship connection is enforced from Lachlan's side. I attempted to explore adulthood, fatherhood and what not. I attempted to depict a complicated male desire more than a female one, despite being a woman myself. My story barely passes the "Bechdel test" for female representation, as many of the girls in the story have a connection to Lachlan which brings them together. Other times they are talking about turtles, video games and general childish playtimes.

Inclusion of graphic violence (in writing form) related to mental health.

I guess my story falls prey into the stereotypical depiction of a mental health 'sufferer'. I tried to make it less predictable, I tried to make it more human but I changed too much last year to be able to make it better. I ended up with a busted brain that couldn't see this story ending any way other than how it did. It may come across a cringey, but I attempted to make it human. I attempted to write a resolution where we see Lachlan come to terms with his 'disorder' later in the hospital, which was excruciating for me.

The altogether struggle of narrative writing

You are putting yourself out there for nobodies to read your hard work. At the end of the day, I've put in more effort to create something. If they find it distasteful my main girl begins to have her heart stirred for the older male character, I couldn't care less. They haven't felt it. They don't think it could happen, and they maybe haven't been in Bel's shoes.