"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Monday, August 04, 2014

Hazards of the Obsessed Writer!

Hazards of the Possessed Obsessed Writer
 
1. Interrupting conversations. Your friend (or daughter) is enjoying a conversation with you, telling you something important to her or him.  Midstream, you interrupt to say:
“I’m writing a new story and I’m really feeling the character. Her name is Abby. She has red hair, because you know red hair is dear to me, and brown eyes, because you know that I like brown eyes. Anyway, I’m not sure why she would show up at the store when she’s can't drive.”  (Scenario made up since I can't remember any of the real ones.)
Then you recognize what you’ve done and say, “Oh I didn’t mean to interrupt you. What were you saying?”
2. Moving cars. Your pumping gas and James is on your mind. He's been on your mind   a lot lately. No, James isn't a new love interest, but a character in a short story you are writing. In the middle of watching your money fly out of your wallet and into the gas tank, you realize that when James lights something on fire, he uses gasoline to do it. Where did he get the gas? Then your tank is full and (because you don’t use a debit card) you must go inside to pay for your purchase. With James still on your mind, you walk toward the door and in front of a moving pickup truck. The driver slams on his brake. You smile sheepishly, shrug, then hurry to the door. Later you blame it on James, but really you walk in front of cars all.the.time.
3. While  shopping, you see the girl, and she’s everything you thought she would be. Fifteenish, red curly hair, pale with bright blue eyes and she’s dressed exactly the right way: cool jeans and a tight t-shirt. It's so perfect you would have thought you picked out her clothing. You glance to see if her mother is what you imagined her to be, but the girl seems to be alone. No, you’re not a kidnapper, you’re a writer. And that girl fits the description of Mona, a main character in your book draft. The Mona double catches you looking. You smile at her, and move on—ever so fast.
4. A friend tells you something confidential and personal. Immediately, you think, I’m using this in a story. Then you look into the loving, trustful eyes of your friend and wonder, is she really that good of a friend? Then you decide (darn it), some things are off base—or are they?
As a writer, do you find yourself doing any of these things? As a reader, do you find that after you finish a book or short story you continue to think about the characters you spent time getting to know?

12 comments:

  1. Hi Teresa - I'm quite sure it happens all the time to writers - moving from story telling to reality can so easily get blurred - and so frustrating that friends and family aren't on the same wave length as you ... perhaps you need to start learning telepathy - to stop those drivers trying to run you over!

    Happy week ahead .. cheers Hilary

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  2. Maybe next time you can take a surreptitious picture of Mona! :) Some things are off base...but maybe not forever. Watch out for those pickup trucks...eek!

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  3. The fourth one is hilarious! No, so far I haven't done any of those things. Although I have tuned out what my wife was saying a couple times because I was thinking about my manuscript.

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    1. Love this post. Stories I read or listen to definitely stay with me long after I finish them. I've had moments when I'll think of how I want to phrase something about a review I'm writing and it usually comes to me at the worst time possible. Watch out for James, he may cause you more harm than those he's after. :)

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  4. haha I've used much for blog fodder but haven't done any of those besides the tuning out

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  5. I don't write so no to that part of the question. Although I do get obsessed with some characters after reading the books. I am a complete and utter Harry Potter JUNKIE. I can't get enough. I want more. I will spend HOURS reading the Potter Wiki site. And on the Pottermore site too. I am so glad that JK Rowling is gracious enough to continue providing us with more and more information.

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  6. I don't know how many times I've almost been hit by a car because I've been lost in my little world. It's getting kinda pathetic really. I've wanted to use secrets in my stories but often my sisters read the book and then they know...

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  7. So so familiar Teresa. I so enjoy your stories. Do you have anymore on Amazon??? Sorry I haven't been here for awhile but I'm back and hope to be doing more blogging! Thanks for your plug for my book. I need to figure out how to do that for you and others! Hugs, B

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  8. Hahaha great post! I do the same thing, trying to squeeze in some relevance of my book into an unrelated conversations. But we're writers with passions and its what we do.

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  9. can totally relate to all of these to some extent! love it! books and characters always on the brain!

    and thanks for stopping by my broken branch falls blog tour at C. Lee's!

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  10. I see you've been inside my head again. How do you do that trick? Thanks for sharing my life :)

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  11. I have actually thought before, "If I use her story in my book, I won't be able to face her as a friend anymore. But is she really THAT good a friend? I could do without her..."

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