Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Human Mind (Yes this has something to do with writing!)



I like three word titles, but this time, The Human Mind was just too obtuse.

In one of my prior lives, I majored in Philosophy with a minor in Psychology. The academic choices of a naive twenty year old I don’t think are of interest, or relevant, except as background for why I thought this blog was a good idea.

Philosophy gave me a logical thinking grounding, and Psychology appealed to my interest in always wanting to know “why?” Nonetheless, I’ve ended up being more of a “pantster,” than a thinking ahead “outliner” and laying out kind of writer. And when it comes to “why,” I sure like leaving “what if” loose ends and unresolved questions in my stories. Especially about the future. Logic and "why"—apparently went out the window.

Which leads me into the heart of this post. The numerous articles on how to do this or that (especially if it’s something computer related!) are wonderful, and my saviors in our electronic age. However, the “ten things” you have to do, or the “ten no-nos” or the “ten rules” for writing, editing, etc. sometimes hit a sour note. And they shouldn’t, because people are always asking those questions, and we’re all eager for help and answers.

But in the background areas of my "human mind" runs the belief everyone is different, and contradictory. And picking and choosing what works for you is the only one answer I wholeheartedly believe in repeating. That being said, I’ve pontificated while on many a panel, in many a blog, and answered many a question about “should and shouldn’t” behavior. Even had numbered lists. Guilty as charged.

Madeline (M.M.) Gornell
Finally, here’s the conclusion and connections to these thoughts(which started as musings on my way home back to the high-desert from a lovely lunch in Arcadia with some wonderful author friends—you know who you are): Not only is every author unique in our approach to writing, but also contradictory in our thoughts, actions, personalities, and life philosophies—and these contradictions, whether we want them to or not, in many ways define our writing style, the characters we develop, and the tales we tell.

A good thing, I think.

15 comments:

  1. You are so right in that every author is unique in how they think, believe, and go about writing. Great post, Madeline.

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    1. Thanks, Marilyn, for stopping by. I think we've talked about "author uniqueness," in one of our gab-fests (sp). Sure hope we can get together for another conference down the road.

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    2. I love a delicious contradiction! Thanks for this--much needed as I'm at a writer's conference where some of the speakers don't quite know the difference between "what I do" and "what you should do." Though in their defense, they are really just trying to save beginners from beginners' mistakes. It's just that some mighty fine art can rise out of a beginner's "mistake."

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  2. I love this, Madeline. Especially, "Not only is every author unique in our approach to writing, but also contradictory in our thoughts, actions, personalities, and life philosophies—and these contradictions, whether we want them to or not, in many ways define our writing style, the characters we develop, and the tales we tell." Great post.

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    1. I know your "handle," Paul. I like the thought of Writing as "Mind printing." Not sure that's what you were thinking, but that's where my mind goes. Sooooo glad you liked my thoughts--you've made my day with your kind words. Keep safe, Paul.

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  4. Agents and publishers would like us writers to write like the last "big thing" never looking for the NEXT "big thing." But a true writer writes what he or she needs to write and what is in their heart and soul. Thank God. Good post.

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    1. Well said, Gayle--it's the heart and soul that drive the pen (well, computer keyboard nowadays!)

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  5. Great post, Madeline! Our stories should be as individual as our personalities. We need to be true to ourselves when we're writing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  6. Hi Marja, thanks for stopping by. When I think about the tales my author friends write, that individuality comes through loud and clear. And you're so on the mark about needing to be true to ourselves when we write. Sometimes it's hard, but sure makes a difference, I think.

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  7. Oh, we do think alike, Mad! How many times have I been admonished, "Never open a story with the weather." And how many times has that been used effectively to set the stage for a rollicking good story! As one of my favorite English teachers told us, It's OK to break the rules--although first you have to know them so you know you're breaking them. And then, break 'em to smithereens!

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    1. Indeed, it was on a dark and stormy night...yes, yes, know them, then break them. We are indeed simpatico when it comes to writing rules!

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    2. Great thoughts, Mad. And it's because the 'Human Mind' makes us all so very different, that we can have a one-line story idea written by ten different writers, that would appear as ten totally different stories....

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  8. You are so on the nose! I find those titles irritating...unless they are what I desperately need at the moment!

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    1. Exactly right, Jackie, if it's the three things I need to do to get my lost files back, or recover a crashed computer...(smile) But the three things you should never do in writing, that's another story!

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