Since then, I've considered the helpful comments I've received, consulted with friends, and done one more trial. The biggest decision I've made is to diminish the starkness of the text by overdyeing the piece, turquoise over turquoise, blue over blue, etc. The photo below shows the overdyeing trial. I tried two different values of each color, and three different values of black. I prefer the darker overdye (towards the top of the piece, most easily seen in the black section). This also opens up another design possibility: I will leave a small part of the narrative in white, for the sake of emphasis. This will draw the viewer to one key part of the text, rather than reading the text as a whole. I have chosen a sentence to emphasize--not the one I happened to leave white in the trial piece.
I also decided not to use the "scratchy" writing in the bottom half of the trial piece. And I will make the ochre divider less of a line and more of a thin, varying shape. So, that left me ready to do the full-scale version. The first step was to write out the whole narrative on a large, taped-together sheet of newsprint. It ended up being about 52" wide and about 87" long.
I decided on a combination of printing and script, something close to my natural writing. It took me a few tries to get the size/spacing correct. By the third time, I gave myself room for error by writing it out first in regular pencil (easy to erase), and then going over it with a heavy graphite crayon.
I put the paper version up on my design wall so that I could work on the shaping of the ochre divider. Using a small watercolor sketch that I like, I drew a version on a separate piece of plain newsprint. I will cut this out and use it as a guideline when applying the ochre dye. It was possible to improvise this line/shape when doing the small watercolor, but when working large, on my knees on the floor, there has to be more planning involved.
Then the narrative-on-paper was laid down on my huge printing board in the basement, and a layer of polyester sheer laid over it and stapled down.
Now I wait 24 hours for the screen to dry.