May 1st, 2007
The subconscious can be a wonderful place

Yesterday I brainstormed a bit on the past and future of a secondary character in Witch Blood whom I hope to make a main character one day. He needs his story told. Up until now he’s been a tough guy with a sense of humor, but also a man with huge commitment problems and an inability to really get close to anyone. In order to figure out why he’s like that, I explored his family and his childhood, all that good stuff. Eventually, it became clearer to me why this guy is the way he is.

Then I thought about the woman who would shake this man up and give him a reason to care again. As I wrote, she became clearer in my mind. First came her name, which just popped into my head…but it was perfect. Then came what she did for a living, her past history, her background and family–all the things that helped to shape her personality.

When I was done, I could fit the two characters together and see that, while they’re opposites, they each have what the other needs.

What struck me about this whole process was how I pulled stuff from my subconscious. Sometimes it happens like this. I’m just writing and poof there’s this character and gawddamn it she wants to be written.  Like I’m channeling some person in an alternate reality who really needs her story told.

Yes, I know. Call the men in the white coats.

It doesn’t always happen this way. Most of the time I struggle when I write. I weigh and reweigh, delete and revise until I get it right. Writing is not usually easy for me in this way. But once in a while my subconscious gives me this gift and the characters just flow right into place.

I haven’t started writing these stories yet. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity in the near future. Maybe when I start this book the characters won’t make sense at all together. However, at the moment, I’m pretty happy with the part of my brain that spit them up so easily.

Fellow writers, does this happen to you? Does your subconscious ever hand you anything on a silver platter?

2 comments to “The subconscious can be a wonderful place”

  1. i can completely relate to this post Anya. my favorite type of creating is when it does feel like channeling, like it FLOWS and i’m just the instrument – be it painting, writing, poetry – whatever.

  2. I felt this way on a couple of occasions, but the strongest with the lead character in my second fantasy novel. I didn’t have her speaking to me or anything, but I felt her story and character so strongly I had to write it. It’s not published….yet….but I think she’ll have her day. And no, it doesn’t sound crazy. Not to me anyway : )