The human brain is a truly wonderful thing. The most sophisticated computer every devised.
There’s only one thing wrong with it.
It doesn’t come with a set of instructions.
There’s no ‘how to’ or reference guide, quick tips or shortcuts. No undo, delete or escape buttons. No handy little question mark to click, help desk or IT geeky guy to call when you have a problem. No cute plug-ins or apps to cut through the crap. No defragg software and no temporary memory that can be erased just by closing the lid.
Why? Because the mind is so incredibly complex no-one really knows how it works.
This realisation came to me recently when I was describing the reaction of a character in my next book and how she was so overwhelmed by emotion at the disappearance of her daughter. If only she could hit the off button. To power down her mind, to turn off the debilitating thoughts about where her daughter might be and stop imagining what might be happening to her.
And, whilst all humans come equipped with a brain that, to all intents and purposes, is identical in composition, shape and construct, every person acts and behaves differently.
How people react to different situations is what makes us all unique. There is no one accepted/standard way to deal with pain or loss or happiness. We have to work it out for ourselves.
Because of these differences (not to mention the physical differences between us) and the lack of any instructions on how we should behave, think and act, each person’s journey through life is unique.
From a writer’s perspective, understanding these differences is how we create great characters. Is it easy? No – certainly not for me. But it’s part of my journey to discover how to be a better writer.
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