As a kid, I’d devoured books about General Relativity, black holes, wormholes, pulsars, exoplanets—anything far away and foreign. I had gone into astronomy because I was interested in objects and places and scales that dwarfed me. But now, I was dwarfed by nothing except the “Assistant” in front of my title. I—we, me and Lisa—had turned into accountants or insurance adjusters, manipulating mere columns of numbers for a living.
I looked into her brown eyes, which I loved for the pattern etched into their color.
“I used to love Mars,” I said. “Now I never think about it.”
“Alternating ecstasy and despair characterize resident life in particular, and medical practice in general.”
“When I started here about a year ago, I didn’t think people could get so worked up about cable TV.”
We published another short story from the flawless archives of NOON: “Today’s Story,” by Susan Laier.
Writing treatments and writing for television has really helped me to learn that you can tell a story in any number of ways. Adapting your own novel for television means trying to tell it in another way; it’s like taking a new road, a different highway into the city, when you’ve always taken the same road in the past.
I told the story in my novel in a very particular way, and I’m happy with that, but if I want to tell the story for television then I have to tell it differently . . . I’ve had to ask myself the same question I ask when writing any other treatment: How can I best tell this story for television? There is more than one way, hopefully, to tell a good story.
Nicole Chung’s debut memoir All You Can Ever Knowwill be published inOctober 2018. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Times Magazine, GQ, Longreads, BuzzFeed, and Hazlitt, among many others. She is the editor-in-chief of Catapult magazine and the former managing editor of The Toast. Find her on Twitter: @nicole_soojung