So, I’ve started to notice a trend in my own writing as of lately… and, well, I kind of wanted to share it with y’all today!
Without any explanation, here is the tidbit I’ve just conjured up…
As soon as you say or think, ‘no, I can’t write that…’, you have to write exactly that.
Okay, now with the explanation…
When a new story idea, or a scene idea for whatever you’re currently writing, pops into your head while you’re, you know, doing the dishes, taking a shower… or going to the bathroom (as usually is in my case, no shame), and you immediately think something along the lines of, “Wow, I mean, that would be so funny/embarrassing/depressive for the character, but… I just can’t do that. It would be too funny/embarrassing/depressive for the character. It’s just too… too extreme.”
No, no, no, no, no!
This idea came to you. You can’t push it away because you don’t like the sound of it, or it seems like ‘too much’ for the storyline, or you’re just plain stubborn and don’t want to change the plot you already had in mind to incorporate this new idea. Think of it like this…
This idea came to you, and thus, it is your fate to write it.
Here’s an IRL example from my experience.
So, I was, you know, doing something in the bathroom one night, and then this idea just came to me. It involved a possible scene for the story I was currently working on, a story that I wasn’t sure where it was going yet. But, for background information here, I had a feeling that it should be going down the comedic route.
Now, this idea… it sounded, I do admit, very extreme… at first. And, without really understanding where my book was going in those early writing stages, I was, to say the least, very opposed to incorporating this “scene”.
Now, what was that scene?
My main character was to be forced, at gunpoint, to buy a women’s vibrator from Walgreens for an older gentleman too embarrassed to go get it himself.
Now, I laughed at that idea, but in a good way. It was so ridiculous, I thought, and I could probably make it pretty funny in my story. But… I wasn’t actually going to write that because… well, that’s just too much, right?
But, then, when I went on to wash my hands, as a hygienic human being does… another part to this idea came to me.
Now, what was that second part?
What if… the cashier my character had to buy the vibrator from was actually someone she knew? Someone… she’d be embarrassed, herself, to buy such a thing from?
And then I thought, well, damn. I know who the cashier character has to be.
The teacher my main character has had a major crush on since the beginning of the story.
Now this idea was just too funny, and mostly tempting, for me to write. I mean, it really was too much/extreme… but, that’s exactly why I had to write it.
And so, I took this idea as fate, or something of that sort, and… guess what?
I wrote it!
And thus, that little idea came to be chapter three of the first book in my Emma Lenford series, in which my main character, Emma Lenford, was forced to buy a lady’s vibrator for the middle-aged man waiting outside from her major teacher crush, Mr. Mortinez. I titled that chapter Mortification.
Now, I turn to ridiculous ideas whenever I’m stuck in writing this series (which I am doing right now!).
But, even if your story isn’t meant to be a sort of ridiculous tale, you can still use your extreme ideas.
Often times, your idea isn’t as far out there as you think it is. One common example which we all try to avoid… is killing off a major character.
Is that extreme? Maybe. But, if you keep constantly considering the idea of it… you have to do it!
Our characters need to be pulled to the extremes sometimes. Actually, most times. Otherwise, our stories wouldn’t be, to put it simply, interesting.
So, just remember this…
As soon as you think it’s “too much” to write… you have to write it.
Don’t you think?