How Writers Think

“If when you wake up in the morning you can think of nothing but writing…then you’re a writer.”

I learned that from Sister Act 2, which is a fantastic film by the way. And it got me thinking two things. Firstly, if I could sing like that I’d give myself a ten. Secondly, I had to know if that was true of me so I decided to monitor my first thoughts in a morning (all those years of chemistry taught me something about experiments). It’s not as easy as it sounds, plus sometimes my first thought is ‘I’m hungry’ or ‘I need a wee’ or something like that. But I somehow managed to find a correlation.

My first thoughts when I wake up are, what did I just dream and how can I make that a story. So I’m a writer, that’s good to know, wouldn’t have wanted to have wasted my life. But that also got me thinking. A huge part of writing is thinking, I mean huge. Potential stories are the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I remember thinking about at night (or scary things sometimes). I zone out during the day, just thinking about my characters, what they’re going to do next, why they do what they do. It’s just constant. Will this plot work? Here’s a new character, let’s plan out his life over a sandwich. Can I get away with ripping on Twilight? Seriously endless.

I managed to spend nearly two days playing solitaire and planning out Lord Hallworth’s life (of War for the North). It feels like being the Doctor and having all of space and time buzzing around in your head, except you don’t, you have several different worlds and about fifty characters buzzing around. I know their past, future and present. I know what they did last summer. I even know, generally, who’s going to play them if it ever became a film.

And new ideas are always rudely barging their way into my brain. I wanted to focus on War for the North for a while now that I’ve finished my assessments, but no. I had a dream. It was set in a theme park/old town and it was really misty. There was a cyclops on a unicycle. It tried to murder me and the paramedics I was with left me to die, so thanks a bunch. Anyway, it gave me an idea. What if the monsters were real? In short, now I’m writing a film (or trying to) with the tagline ‘Monsters are Real’ and I’ve been researching urban legends and scaring myself shitless. Although if anyone knows any good urban legends like Spring-Heeled Jack, Slenderman and Jack the Ripper (OK, he was real but he ties in nicely) then please let me know. So far I’ve only got those three but I’d like some more in hibernation.

So being a writer is dangerous! All you think about is writing and how everything could fit into a story, like eating a mango, and it can hinder concentration if left untreated. All that thinking is pretty relaxing though.


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