Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday #101: Your #1 Reason for Writing

Wow, this is kind of a big question. I don't know if I'll be able to answer it in the fifteen minutes I have available to write this blog entry. All the same, I'll give it a whirl.

I suspect my reason isn't so different from anyone else's. This is the way my mind works. It spins stories up until the moment I fall asleep at night. As I go through my day, little things jump out at me and scream, "Me! Use me in your story! I could be good!" When I talk with people I wonder about their histories and what pivotal moments might have brought them to their current point. Sometimes I devise histories for them. When I was a kid, if I wasn't writing plays or directing my friends in elaborate games of make-believe, then I wasn't happy. I gobble up stories in the form of books, dances, music, and art and my brain churns them into each other and spits them out into something new. Much of the time I don't even realize I'm doing it, until a morsel of an idea emerges and we're off to the races again.

The truth is: I'm full to bursting with stories and if I don't get some of them out, then I start to go crazy.

And crazy me isn't a pretty thing.

9 comments:

  1. Great answer! I have to agree--if I was incapable in every possible way of putting words onto a page, I don't know what I'd do. Probably go crazy, lol.

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  2. I find myself looking at people differently, I think, because I'm a writer. I see each person not just as someone in the moment, but as someone with a past, a history, a story to tell. And, especially if something strikes me about that person, whether in their appearance, or in the way they talk, I wonder what that story might be. What kind of child was s/he? What were his or her parents like? Wow--you can't take people for granted when you do that. I think it's why I've come to appreciate the importance of the developed, believable character in novels. Great answer, Sarah!

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  3. "Use Me! I could be good!" Yes, they tell me that all the time. Sometimes they aren't as good as they think they are, but sometimes a lot of them come together in a brilliant way that surprises even me.

    I try not to look too closely at people because when I see the bad I want to change it. So I just listen and try to let them live their lives. Meanwhile, I wait for anything that I could possibly use when creating my characters. Life gives a lot of opportunities for that.

    Great post, and I think you did well for a fifteen minute squeeze!

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  4. I love this, so well put. I love your description of inspiration springing out from life, so true! It's a very certain type of processing.

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  5. Exactly! Good crazy: churning out books. Bad crazy: hunkered on a rooftop with a bandanna wrapped around your head.

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  6. Very true. I said stories were secondary in my post, but I definitely recognize a lot of what you describe. My mom would encourage me to make up histories about people whenever I got antsy as a kid, and I find that the more I write, the more everything I see and experience seems like potential story material. Great response!

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  7. Bursting with stories--now that's a great problem to have. :) Good for you. Best wishes to getting all those fun things down on paper!

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  8. Aw, thanks for your comments, everyone. :) Nice to be in the company of such great writers.

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