FACT ONE: Writers are inherently curious.
People in general are, sure. All creatives, let’s say, are inherently curious. I’m only the Writer Kind of creative, so I can’t speak for artists or dancers or musicians (sigh), but I can’t think of any one of Them who’ll argue with me when I say “Creative people are curious.”
This requires more thought/another post, but for now it serves the purpose of evidence for the second fact.
FACT TWO: We are interested by everything.
I suppose you think “curious” and “interested by everything” are mutually exclusive.
BONUS FACT: They aren’t.
Curious people find odd/new/fun things interesting. Eg. “Oh wow, what is that you’re eating for lunch today?”/””You had to get your dog put down? Why?”/”Where DID you get THOSE BOOTS?”
I’m not talking about curious people. I’m talking about curious writers. Curious writers won’t ask why your dog had to get put down, they’ll ask to sit in on the procedure and examine the body afterwards. Then they’ll quiz the vet. About his life. And how he got from where he used to be to euthanising your friend’s dog. And if he’s happy. And why/why not. Maybe he’d like coffee later? Oh, and your friend is still in the room. Grieving, appalled. You won’t be friends much longer.
Anyway. For another post. As I said.
But “interested by everything” is also code for “distracted by everything”.
So. Total Time-Wasters. The things I stumble across at the most inappropriate of times and email myself to read later. I have a lot of these. And there’s only so much my Facebook friends can take.
Hence, the first of many perhaps weekly lists:
Why do Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes? Because Finland has got things all worked out. An ingeniously simple concept from a government that must genuinely care about its people. Faith in humanity = strengthened.
“Sometimes you’re writing and you hit a part in the story where you’re just like, ‘Nope, no fucking idea what happens here.'” Chuck Wendig, as always, gets me. He has a wonderfully simple trick for handling that writing-related problem, and nine others, here.
Sherlock Holmes is HOW OLD?
Passive Aggressive Notes. Does what it says on the can. Sneak peek: “Aggressive notes are more annoying than dirty plates. Let’s be friends.”
Pay attention. A History Of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson will not, ever, in any possible scenario, read your fucking script, “Do you have any idea how hard it is to tell someone that they’ve spent a year wasting their time? Do you know how much blood and sweat goes into that criticism? Because you want to tell the truth, but you want to make absolutely certain that it comes across honestly and without cruelty.” Be warned – reading them irrevocably changes your thoughts on asking someone to read your work, for any reason.
“In the romantic-comedy world there are many specimens of women who—like Vulcans or Mothra—do not exist in real life. Here are some examples.” Mindy Kaling identifies ALL of the “types” of characters written for or given to women in film and television, and her insight is as spot-on as it is mildly depressing. I find it motivating when it comes to writing interesting, complex female characters.
You know how you don’t want some songs to end? There’s a website for that.
Sometimes the smallest of sentences has the greatest of impact. The poetry of EC, as she signs her name, are all love poems, all brief, and all beautiful. “My name never sounded so sweet as it does on your tongue.” Sigh.
In fairness, there is no such thing as a new idea. This post is no exception. I was inspire by one of my favourite bloggers, The Everywhereist, to compile the random crap I find and think others might find interesting and funnel it into my blog instead of my Facebook page. So, paying my dues, seriously check out her site. It started as a love letter to her husband, in a way, with whom she travels the world, tagging along on his business trips, and who has the memory of a goldfish and so needs his (completely besotted) wife to make record of their adventures. Now it’s one of the blogosphere’s most popular places. She’s funny and thought-provoking: sometimes Geraldine posts about cupcakes, and other times the brain tumour she recently kicked in the crotch. #diversity.
I have more. Much more. But I think that’s enough time totally wasted for now.