Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Urges, hankerings, and disturbing thoughts

Call me strange, but I am one of those people who gets an urge to jump when I'm standing on top of a cliff or a tall building. As I'm riding up a steep incline of a roller coaster, I ponder what would happen if I was able to unbuckle my seatbelt. I have visions of me on an cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, leaning over the railing and plunging to the deep dark water below. I think about what would happen if I ran someone over in the middle of the night. I actually spend time thinking about how to make someone miserable.

On second thought, don't call me strange - call me mentally insane. Or, better yet, just call me a writer.

Seriously, we writers are a different breed, aren't we? Our brains simply don't work like other brains. We conjure up all sorts of weird scenarios, unfathomable to the "normals." But, I suppose our, um, different way of thinking is what makes us good at what we do.

In one of my current novels-in-progress, the main character discovers a dead body under her shrubs. I came up with the idea one morning when I was backing out of my garage while it was still dark, wondering what would happen if I ran over a dead body. When I started my story, I had her actually run over the body, but ended up changing it a bit, so the body is found under the shrubs. The main character does still back over something in the dark, it just isn't the body.

The point is my story started with my thoughts of running over a body.

No, the point is - once again - how strange I really am. Hey, at least I can admit it!

So what strange thoughts of yours have influenced your writing? It's ok. Be honest. We're all mentally insane. After all, we're writers.


Lynda S. said...

I can't stand on the edge of a subway platform for the same reason.

My novel-in-progress began with a story my cousin told me about a homosexual couple who bought a house next door to a Catholic retreat centre—that sent me thinking about what would happen if one of them ended up dead in the confessional. You are so right—we do think strangely, don't we.

But since insanity is a close relative of genius, maybe that's the only way it can be.

Blessings on the work-in-progress.

Karlene said...

WOW! And I thought I was the only one . . . I wrote part of the story in my WIP by thinking, "I wonder what would happen if I ran into that concrete wall on I-94 . . ." So my secondary MC is a victim of road rage on the highway near Lansing. I, then studied how long a person can remain in coma and live, how long it takes them to come out of it, what happens to them, therapy, and the like.

Thank you Lynda for letting me know I'm normal--not sane--but normal.

Jan Cline said...

I think all of us would have to admit thinking those "weird" thoughts on occasion. But I never thought of using it in my writing. Now that's an idea.

Dara said...

I think my thing is my love of cemeteries, especially the old ones in a farm field or overgrown in the forest :P

I haven't really used it in my fiction, but just walking through one (in the day, NOT at night) and reading the inscriptions on the headstones, it makes me think about the lives the people lived and what difficulties they had to face (especially when you find a set of stones with children's burial dates within a few short weeks of each other).

I guess it's my fascination with the past that connects me with the old cemeteries and then eventually to my stories.

Diana said...

That's what is wrong with me???? Seriously??? Thank you Dr. Lynda, I am forever in your debt ;-)

My characters live in a whole world tucked away between my ears. Always have (my mom used to worry about me, now she just shrugs). Soooooooo glad there is a valid, (somewhat) logical reason for it.

Hey, I kinda like cemetery walks too! My kids have even come with me and we've had a wonderful time imagining lives, families and lives. Hope that doesn't offend!

Caroline said...

My first tho't while beginning your post was, "Lord, don't ever let me stand next to Lynda . . ."

and then I remembered all the times that I've been guilty of:

imagining what it's feel like to fall out of a car . . .
imagining how it would feel to face a wild boar in the woods.
imagining how it would feel to stab someone . . .

etc. etc.
See, we're not strange at all. Just imaginative. And creative. :)

Lynda Schab said...

LOL, Caroline. I can honestly say I wouldn't tag along with me on a trip to the top of the Grand Canyon. Mwahahahahahaha!

Just kidding. Or am I?

Coleene VanTilburg said...

While driving home from the mall last week with my son, I happened to glance over at the view and I saw a homeless man tucked between a wall and a hedge sleeping. I really don't know how he was able to crawl back there and wedge his body where he was. It creeped me out though, for a second I thought he was a dead body...So sometimes, it's our real experiences that make us embellish a little more on our keyboard.

L'Aussie said...

LOL Wow, this is a comforting post. I'm always hanging over edges, wondering what it'd be like...I seriously thought I was neurotic, but it seems I am and I have a lot of friends. I'm sure it adds an edge to our writing.