When we read books we enjoy with themes of meyhem, murder, paranormal beings and activities, we cannot help but be amazed. We may close the book with thoughts such as, "I never knew someone could commit murder in such a way," or "I wonder what'd it be like if that kind of vampire were real." As readers, we allow ourselves to be drawn into the fantasy. We feel safe and secure, knowing it's only fiction.
What goes through the writer's mind, however, when he or she is creating such a scene? I can't speak for others, but from my own experience, I can tell you the safety net of fantasy falters.
I don't care if what I'm writing is erotic or bloody, when I'm at my computer, and words and scenes come flying out, I am the one amazed. Where in the world did I come up with that idea? I wonder. Then I push myself. How descriptive can I make the sound of a leg breaking? How can I relay the frantic actions of the character?
Yes, this is something all writers do, else there wouldn't be anything fascinating to read. But to be that writer, to be the one coming up with the details of the story...can be scary.
Why? Because we have to break the boundaries of what is socially acceptable. We have to challenge ourselves to dig deep and tap that part of our minds that others keep hidden away.
We would never actually commit a murder, and even though the fantasy of meeting a vampire is exciting, we'd probably wet our pants should it ever occur. That's part of our reality.
What most don't realize is that we make these episodes a part of our reality when we write about them. We have to go beyond the obvious and ask, for example, how would a murder be committed, in detail?
I don't know about you, but I have multiple muses to assist when I break my boundaries. I have the one who directs my fingers to fly across the keyboard and put down every word zooming through my head. Then there's the second one, jumping and hollering, "that's gross," or, "I can't believe you had that thought, much less put it on paper!" Last is the third muse; the stoic. He stands off to the side and nods his head as I write. He hears the outrage of the one in the audience, but approves of what is written nonetheless.
Okay, call me crazy, but as I wrote down the above description, the first thought that popped into my head was "Freud." Didn't he write about our psyche: id, ego and super-ego? Hmm, perhaps I tap into all three when I write?
What about you? When you write - or when you read, do you find yourself amazed at what's on the page?