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This one time at Writer's Camp…

Into the Mind of the Imaginary

I’m having some slight difficulties right now working through Kraken Mare. It’s not because I don’t get the story, because that’s pretty easy.

Supporting characters? Got those in spades.

Bad guy(s)? Oh yeah, covered.

Science? Science!

No, I think the reason I’m having difficulties right now is because I’m happy, and the protagonist of my story is not very happy at the beginning. He’s happy to have am exciting new job, but he carries a chip on his shoulder because he’s no longer doing what he loves. He’s angry as well. Angry for the way he’s been shafted by the military, angry at the way they turned their backs on him, angry that they refer to him as “broken and not repairable.”

And I’m not able to channel that anger properly, so the character and book suffers. All because I can’t get into the mind of the imaginary.

Being a writer is weird. I mean, really damn weird. You are inventing worlds, people, conversations that never happened, places that might never exist, all because they are in your head. You translate these images in your head onto the computer, and you try to craft a story linking them all together. You need to somehow translate the untranslatable (FYI, my spell check says that’s a real word. Go me!) in a manner to entertain and still paint a vivid enough image that they feel what you’re trying to get them to feel, to see what you’re trying to draw.

All this while having conversations with yourself that usually wrap with “No, I can’t kill him there… it has to be later” while standing in line at Wendy’s (this has happened before on numerous occasion). You almost always look around and smile sheepishly because the girl taking your order is suddenly wondering if she needs to call the police and is slightly less interested in your “No onions, I’m allergic” note.

Right now, I’m at the point where it’s “No no no… I don’t want to kill that one off. We need to figure out a way to work through this” and my muse is replying with “shaddup, do as you’re told, and get me more peanuts.”

It’s a strange and complicated relationship.

But I’m lacking that directed, focused anger right now to properly channel my character. I’ve got some anger, sure, but it’s not focused. It’s not directed. And that is causing this book to suffer, which makes my checking account suffer. This is insufferable (ha!).

Maybe a day, perhaps two more, and I’ll be fully involved in this. Until then, I guess I’m just going to keep plugging away with the supporting cast until I can get into the mind of my imaginary creation.

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7 responses to “Into the Mind of the Imaginary

  1. Martin L. Shoemaker February 23, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    I wouldn’t normally suggest this, since it could be distracting, but… Maybe play a violent video game to get in a more ruthless mood? Or watch a gangster movie?

  2. T.L. Knighton February 26, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    An odd suggestion for a long term fix, but have you ever taken an acting class?

    Actors often have to pull up emotions that they aren’t necessarily feeling at that moment. That was actually my background before I started writing. As a result, I don’t have any issue getting into my characters’ heads regardless of what their emotions are or what mine are.

    Just a thought.

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