F. P. Dorchak
Blogs by F. P. Dorchak
Inside The Writer’s Mind
6/9/2009 3:22:14 AM
Depending upon what said writer dwells...yes, this can be a scary place, indeed!
Everyone loves and wants and needs to feel part of something. Special. We all want to feel a purpose to our lives...that what we do is not done in vain. There many jobs that cannot just be shut off at the end of the day, “the job.” That are “brought home”...or taken on vacation. Spouses, family members, friends, and co-workers not always understand this. Mind you, this is not just isolated to the writer. It can be applied to many fields; military/government, medical, law enforcement, and yes, the entertainment field.
The writer’s mind is always working. Churning away at What-ifs, plot turns and twists, character personas, ways at killing off characters or reviving them. How do I make this SOUND real? Was there really a flood back in 1889 I can play off of? Does what I wrote of this astronaut’s ride atop his booster hit home? Many times we stare off into distances blankly while with the ones we love, only to be kicked or nudged and or otherwise embarrassed, like having mustaches painted on our catatonic faces and our hands dipped into buckets of warm water....
We see or think of something and rush to write it down so it won’t escape our clutches and find it’s way into our next work. We sit and observe. Even when it doesn’t look like we are.
So that’s how a woman reacts when she’s REALLY pissed. Cool.
Look at that LOOK on that biker’s face. How he carry’s himself--even when off the bike.
How people behave when they think (silly Humans!) no one is watching? How do they behave when they KNOW someone’s watching? How is this movie going to play out? How do Mourning Doves or loons emit their haunting laments and yodels, and how are they different?
What is that person thinking of when they looked at me?
Why did that guy park along the street rather than in the empty parking lot?
THAT hat? Really?
The point is, a writer is always, consciously or unconsciously observing, collecting, collating, events and facts and emotions, you name it. We can’t help it. We write them down on toilet paper, our hands, our clothes, a banana peel--anywhere where they won’t be lost. The funny thing is they become part of us. Come out in ways we don’t always expect. Many a time I’d be writing away, and some word’ll come out of me. A word I don’t exactly, consciously, know of its exact meaning (heck I’ve used it before, haven’t recently, but got a good idea what it means...but does that word fit the specific meaning I’m trying to get across in this piece?). So, I go look it up--and sure enough, it does. Or I’ll write a description or scene that just floors me and makes me stop and reread what I just put down on paper.
How does that happen?
I’ll call it what Bradbury calls it: the Zen of Writing.
It’s all that observation, all that constant and unyielding effort we put into our work and it becomes a distinct part of you. It oozes out from your pores. Causes Time to stop and strips you or your personality to totally immerse you into your work and force you to BECOME the writing. You’re no longer Frank, or Karen, or Charlie. You just can’t help it. You think and act and look at the world differently. Not like a martial artist or extreme fighter who’s always thinking of ways he or she can take you down, but close. Your mind is simply never turned off. Yes, you take “diversions,” like movies or operas, even skydiving, but come on--are really, ever, totally turned off?
Okay, maybe when skydiving. If that doesn’t shut you down, perhaps nothing will.
The point is, we can no more change the operation of our mind and who we are than we can the weather. It is what we do and who we are. Spouses and family members, friends and co-workers should not take offense to us planning our vacations and throwing in a subtle, “Hey, let’s go check this out, it’ll make for a great scene in one of my books--and be a write-off!” Yes, I know, we can annoying to the uninitiated. Even trying. But, why not work with us, since you can’t just turn us off and on. It what makes our efforts readable. Enjoyable. That we can so capture and grasp the foibles and intricacies of Humanity and Life itself, throw it down on page, and make readers laugh or weep or angry or jealous or whatnot.
We spin tales. It’s what helps us better spin those tales so they seem real. Verisimilitude, we call it.
So, please, give us break! Let us ramble and zone out. Write down our secret missives to ourselves. Take those little side trips that become write-offs--and perhaps make that vacation a little more interesting. It’s all for a good cause.
It’s all because we want to CAPTURE you. ENGAGE you. Grab you by our words so you don’t want to put down that short story or book down and get into work late or call in a vacation day.
And, maybe, just maybe--it you’re so lucky--we’ll even put a little of YOU in our book.
All Writing Helps All Writing
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