28 November 2013

Author Crazy-What Causes It?

Have you ever noticed that most writers are a little…off?  Not stark raving mad (most of us anyway), but just not quite connected to reality in the correct fashion.

I may have figured out why.

As an author, I’ve created worlds, histories, religions, characters, backgrounds, plots, intrigues, rivalries, love triangles, magic systems, technology that probably can’t actually exist and names. Lots and lots of names. Some people create whole languages (go them).

With all of that rattling around in your brain, no wonder writers get a little twitchy.

But, I came up with a reason for the author crazy. One that I feel is pretty close to the mark. Well, close to a mark. There are several marks. But I digress.

I was listening to the radio on the way home tonight, and there was an author on the program pimping his book. At some point he mentioned that some faction of the novel was racist.

Now I know people who are racist. I know people who think women are inferior. I know people who think religious followers are foolish dreamers.  Everyone is some sort of an “ist”. Don’t deny it.

If you want to go all the way here, just say what a guy at my work says, “You bet I’m racist, I hate all people equally.”

It works.

Back to writing. Sorry.

An author has many duties in a story, but the most intense is getting into your characters heads. Which means that if you have a killer in your story, you’d better start thinking like a killer. If you’ve got a love-sick teenager then you’d better start watching teenagers—in a non-creepy way of course. If you’ve got a racist in your story, you’d better figure out how deeply your character can hate someone for no better reason than they are different than the character. If you’ve got a geek hanging around, you’d better brush up on the difference between a geek and a nerd, and dive into comic books.

It’s exhausting!

I especially hate it when the grouchy characters demand more one on one time because I try to keep them in the background because, well, they’re not entertaining. They’re grouchy.

And I believe that this is why authors are all just a little, uh, special from time to time. That’s a lot to keep running around in your head.

Anyone agree? Disagree?



Sus House said...

The only real difference between being insane and being an author are the voices. Insane people have voices that tell them things about real life: "everyone's got it in for you," "wouldn't that look prettier if it was on fire?" etc. Authors have characters telling them things about their plot: "I'm the kind of person who would have a pet cat," "You don't really need to kill me off." etc.

-Jo- said...

Nice way to put it, Sue!
I'm glad they don't generally tell me to light anything in the real world on fire.

Raphyel M. Jordan said...

Psh, whatever. I don't care what any of you say, I'm perfectly normal human being for an author. The little guy on my shoulder even agrees with me :P