At times I have a problem silencing the writer. For example, I can be in line at the local supermarket and I’m studying the cashier. What kind of character would they be? What are their goals, quirks and weaknesses? In my mind I’m running dialogue between this cashier, who I’ve named Melanie, and her best friend. Melanie found five thousand dollars cash in her husband’s tackle box. She knew fishing couldn’t be that costly a hobby so why would he have this kind of cash? For two months straight they’ve struggled to pay the power bill, among other things, so why was he holding out? They must be after him again. She hopes they won't have to move.
The story is cut off when the cashier politely reminds me that I have to hit YES on the card reader to accept the purchase. I’m holding up the line. Again. Sometimes I get lost between where reality begins and fiction ends. It’s a thin, thin line. Inspiration is everywhere. The next great character could be sitting on the bench beside you at the bus stop.
For this reason, people sometimes view me as shy and maybe even a bit antisocial. When really they would be right, but not because I’m afraid of people or because I dislike people. Quite the opposite; I study people. They fascinate me. My family would simply say that I’m weird, but show me one writer who’s not a little, well, different. But, we’re okay with that. One of my favorite things to say is “I’m much better on paper.” It happens to be true. Most of the time I feel socially awkward, even a little out of place, because there aren’t many situations where I’m not writing in my head, creating dialogue to go with a new idea that just hit me.
Last year I had the amazing opportunity to hear Sandra Brown speak in Savannah, GA. She is hands down one of my favorite authors. So, when she said she can’t always silence the writer in her head I decided maybe it wasn’t such a problem after all.