Picture
I loved the title of this photo: I Hear Voices...

One of the many little quirks of writers is the tendency to make strong connections with their characters.  Sometimes, like with me, it's like the character is me, albeit in an alternate reality.  I now every hope, every dream, every pain.  There isn't a single part of the character's life I don't know by heart.

Others, see it more like conversing with a friend.  The friend tells them what they like and what they don't, what they want to do and not.  Even going so far as to flat out refuse to allow the story to progress until the author gets it right.

My good friend, Glenda Poulter, falls more into the second category.  This is one of her favorite stories...  

She has a condition which she sees a psychiatrist to control.  When she was first diagnosed, they had her on a drug that deadened all her emotions.  She couldn't smile, laugh.  She existed, she functioned, she didn't live.  She hated the meds and begged her psychiatrist to give her something else.  She did and there was an almost immediate difference.  She had emotions!  She was alive again!  She went back to her psychiatrist for a follow up and the doctor asked her how she was going.  She said, "I can hear the voices in my head again!"

The doctor's responded with, "If I didn't know you were an author, I'd be concerned."

 
I had a eureka moment this morning while driving in my car.  I love those moments.  I hate when they happen while I am in the car.  I want to write it down, but I can't.  My brain runs over the idea again and again in my head as I try to keep all of the key details in my short term memory so that by the time I get to my destination, I will be able to blast it all out of my skull and into my iPad.  It's a good story.  I think it has a lot of potential.  It will keep the reader guessing and it will blow you right out of the water about halfway through.  I can't wait to start working on it.

After the fact, I think back and realize, from the moment my brain came up with the looney idea (and of course it's looney, I write paranormal stories), I don't remember a single detail of the drive.  And this isn't that unusual (happens to me all the time).  I rarely remember the details of my drives.  I get so absorbed in the world in my head that the details around me simply become secondary in my notice.  Though I consider myself a good driver (great really, I'm always avoiding other drivers' moronic moves - FYI, I live in NC so that should be explanation enough), I can't help but think this doesn't bode well for the other drivers/inanimate objects on the road/side of the road.  I have yet to cause an accident in a fit of literary genius but I wonder if other writers have.  

I could just imagine a writer driving down the road and coming up with the perfect story idea or suddenly that scene you've been having so much trouble with is corrected in a beam of beautiful light.  Oh!  You start digging in your purse for your voice recorder.  You have to get this down.  You're pulling the wheel to the right as you reach but manage to keep it mostly between the lines.  Ah hah!  Voice recorder.  You turn it on, glancing down to find the stupid button and SMASH!  CRUNCH!  SCREECH!  And lots and lots of horn blaring.  Oops...