Nov 19, 2022
The Mind of a Writer
Last month, I wrote about the Creative Eye and how those who have it tend to perceive the world around them differently than those who do not. This month, I'll attempt to explain the Creative Mind, particularly the mind of a writer.
There seems to be this idea that a writer is someone who comes up with a story, and writes it down. They invent the characters, decide the various aspects of their personalities, and develop their backstory. Then, they apply exactly what they want to the plot they have developed. While that may be true of some writers, it can be an entirely different experience for others like me when push comes to shove and we sit ourselves down at a keyboard.
That's when all of the little voices inside our heads really come out to play!
There's a saying most of us have heard that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Religious or not, I think a lot of writers out there can related to this saying on a different level. These writers have learned that what they plan to happen in their books, and what they are ultimately forced to write down, can be two entirely different things.
What do I mean?
Well, without giving away too many of my own spoilers, there was a time while developing the idea for my book series, when I was absolutely certain my one character Rayna and her story would be the first book I wrote. I tried and I tried, but as much as I planned and tried to force myself to write, it just wasn't happening. Why? Because Rayna wasn't ready to talk. She wasn't ready for her story to be told.
Then, two other characters popped into my head, and boy were they ever a chatty couple. Their story flew out onto the paper as if on it's own. Plan as I may, plot as I might, whenever I went to write something that wasn't their truth, they put me in my place telling me what needed to be written instead, and my typing fingers obeyed (sometimes far quicker than I felt I should have been physically able to keep up with- those who have seem me typing know exactly what I mean.) What was more, I had developed a perfect companion for one of them, a character I loved and had created a rather interesting backstory for….but alas, she had other plans and disappeared a few chapters in to go live her own story.
In her place however, a character I had not thought up in the least, snuck up behind my other character one day while I was writing, and introduced himself. His words were written on the page before I even had a chance to ask him who the heck he was. He just made his snappy joke and appeared fully formed in my head. No notice, no invitations issued, there was Monty. And honestly? He's my favourite character so far!
(I know, I know, we're not supposed to have favourites, don't come for me.)
So yes, while some writers do write exactly what they want just as they are believed to, others are forced to learn to listen, and must quickly accept that quite frankly, they're just not the ones calling the shots.