Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sometimes it really is all in your head

No, I'm not talking about imagined illnesses, or even paranoia. I'm talking about writing the stories you want to read.

Why do people write? There are probably as many reasons and justifications (yes, sometimes madness does need to be justified) as there are writers. Some do so because they have a story to tell them world, vital information and insight that they feel the world will be weaker for not having. Bully for them. Not trying to be snarky, and in a few cases the author may be right. But it does sound a wee pretentious to me.

Could be because I'm not writing for the same reason they are. I write because as many wonderful, amazing books that are out there (far more than I can ever hope to read) there are some stories missing. You know how it goes. Sometimes you pick up a great sounding book, start to read, then realize the author had a completely different idea of the plot that you did. You start to think and wonder why didn't they turn left instead of right (yeah- Doctor Who reference there- go look it up ;)). A whole different story could have taken place. Eventually, in some of us folks with this odd illness, we start missing the books we think should be there. Sort of like a phantom pain of a missing limb, only these limbs never existed.

Trying to badger favorite authors into writing one of these missing tomes won't really work. Most of those fine folks have enough missing tomes in their own heads, they certainly don't need other folks dumping theirs in there as well.

The only option is to make it yourself. The idea pops in your head, prompted by other books, movies, tv shows, songs, pictures, whatever. It then kicks around, bouncing in your brain as it picks up more little bits of ideas, characters, concepts. Pretty soon you're thinking that man, you really want to read that book about the Girl and the Gadget who saved the world.

Then it hits you- it only lives in your head.

So, in self-defence of the valuable and limited space inside my head, I have to write the stories down. I need to get them out so I don't forget important things like where I live, what my name is, what I had for lunch. But also so that I can read the whole story. So that I can find out what exactly happened. Who lived, who died, who got drunk and started screaming for dancing minkies (you'll have to read my book for that one ;)).

Some writers write because they want to share their insights, some of us do so to see what exactly is lurking in our heads.

The quote for today:
"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison


  1. great idea !
    fyi .. tomb is actually tome

  2. LOL! that's what happens when I type with a cat on my arm- I make even more mistakes than usual ;)

  3. heheh...I thought tombs was interesting .. but, not written :D

  4. Oh my! I never thought of it like this--missing books that only I can write. Sigh. This is one of those ideas/thoughts I really wish I had come up with. Great.