Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Lunatic is in my head...

Y'all know I love music. There are some songs that are so good that they always give me the shivers. One of them is Pink Floyd's Brain Damage. Actually, a lot of Pink Floyd's music will do that to me. (I wrote Wish You Were Here into Personal Demons.) I haven't listened to Brain Damage in a really long time, but I woke up with it in my head this morning. Specifically, the line "There's someone in my head, but it's not me." The song was accompanied by a whole cast of characters who I'm just getting to know.

That's what the writing process is to me: people in my head. They start out as strangers, but little by little we get to know each other. They tell me things and have conversations with each other, and I take dictation. Some of them, I really like. Others, not so much. But whether I like them or not, I'm just the poorly paid help with the laptop, so they all get an equal crack at getting their story on the page. (I don't play favorites.)

So, I'm still hanging out with my old friends, Frannie, Luc and Gabe, plugging away at Hellbent. But I'm making some new friends too. It's fun to watch these new characters emerge, and I'm dying to hear the stories they have to tell as we get comfortable with each other.

I'll leave you with a question and a song. Question: New stories come to me as characters with something to say. How do new stories come to you?

And the song: Pink Floyd's Brain Damage. As always, if you love it, please visit your chosen mode of music purchase and buy it.


  1. I'll see you on the dark side of the moon!

    Kidding, but I love this song, and Great Gig in the sky, and okay, basically every other Pink Floyd song ever written, even the Bike song. ;) Thanks for getting a good song into my head this morning.

    New stories come to me as premises, what if scenarios. I develop that what-if a little, then create the characters. Sometimes it feels as though they're creating themselves. Those are the good ones.

    Great post!

  2. Tere--I read that's what Stephen King does too. My stories have always flowed organically from the characters and I'm a little afraid of what will happen if I try to manipulate them. But it might be fun to try =)

  3. Most of the time I randomly see a scene from what would eventually turn into a story usually when I'm bored, or when one of my friends says something that triggers the scene.
    The scene usually reveals to me what the story is going to be about, along with the main character. Then slowly other stuff begins to happen to that character. And I just start writing all of it down, although sometimes I can't keep up with everything that's going on in my head.

    I always feel like I'm eavesdropping on all of the characters, until recently - one of them started talking to me for once. Which is turning out to be good so far, he is letting me know more about my kinda shy main character.

    I have to agree with Tere - sometimes it does feel like the characters are creating themselves.

  4. i remember being back in 10th grade and my boyfriend and i were talking about how we should have a song but not a really stupid girly one. brain damage is what he picked. lol. that song in no way had anything to do with our relationship other than the fact that we both thought the song was cool. haha.

  5. Nice to know I'm not the only crazy lady with people in her head! ^_^

    That's how damn near every story I've ever started has come to be: the characters (or just the viewpoint character) just sort of walk into my head.

    The one exception (so far) is the historical romance story I'm currently attempting. I was reading an historical novel set in first century Britain, with bits and pieces set in Rome. (Warrior Queen: The Story of Boudica, Celtic Queen by Alan Gold)

    By the time I finished the book, I had the beginnings of a story forming in my head. It's set in Rome in 50-something (roughly the same time period as the book I read, maybe a few years later) A.D.

    So far, I've researched gladiators and emperors and a bit on ancient Germania. Need to research more on Germania. But I keep finding things I want to work into the story. Christianity was just starting to really spread, for instance. (Me thinks I've got the beginnings of a blog post here. ^_^)

  6. Something I see or hear causes me to think A, leading to B, C, D, E and F. And then all of a sudden, I HAVE to write a story about a blind neurosurgeon.

    Most of the time a crazy/quirky title pops into my head and I really want to develop the story behind it. Like I'd say "Unlucky Devil!" to someone, and then I'd think, "Ooo, a story about a devil who got on the wrong side of Fate!"

    And off we go!