Curiosity, especially intellectual inquisitiveness is what separates the truly alive from those who merely going through the motions.
– Tom Robins
Sitting at the table surrounded by my writing group I was asked a question. My peer had read a scene in my upcoming novel where the two main characters are separated during a riot. She asked how I could come up with details like I do, being I’ve never experienced it. I was reluctant to tell her the truth but it came forth. Anxiety leads me down dark paths of worst-case scenarios. I’m not sure how many of us visualize what a riot feels like anytime they are in a crowded arena, stadium, or street fair. I used to try to stop these thoughts but now I recognize them for what they are. Intrusive, irrational, and completely helpful for writing a book.
I ask a lot of questions of myself and others. Curiosity fuels me. I want to find out what’s ticking inside of others so I probe. There are times I back off when I worry I’m prying too much. We’re all so very interesting, aren’t we? Every person on this earth has a story. I often wonder what makes us alike and what divides me from others. It can be clear, yet often there are layers to peel back before the true answer is revealed.
Characters should be developed this way and I’m toying around with how to do this. Not many people get it right the first time and I’m sure I’m not either. It’s okay, it really is. I’ll doodle along with the craft of writing. At the very least it’s a fun ride.