There are many ways we can call them. Neuroses, obsessions, unresolved conflicts – you choose. But we can be pretty sure of something: everyone has some inner demons.
Psychologists often suggest that their clients keep a personal diary. They argue that personal diaries can help people successfully deal with such inner demons.
Although this can have some drawbacks, I’m generally sure Write a diary From a medical point of view, that’s good advice.
Life and fiction
However, we should never regard our personal diary as a kind of literary work. The reason for this is simple: personal diaries are rarely, if at all, good fiction. In fact, they are indescribably boring.
Sure, if we read our own diary, we may find it interesting, even exciting. But the truth is that when we read a story about ourselves, we are not in the best position to assess its potential and quality.
I repeat: Personal magazines are boring. And so we should never try to turn our diary into a memory unless we have had truly incredible experiences in our lives.
Also, even if we do, we should never try to disguise such a treatise under a veneer of fiction and call it a novel. Instead, let’s call it what it is and let the readers decide if they really want to read about our lives.
From what I just said, magazines should be viewed with mistrust at best. And that no writer in his own mind would ever try to squeeze a story out of one of them.
The opposite is the case.
A question of perspective
The point is that magazines can be used like cards. We can follow them to face our inner demons, not to relate our everyday banal and repetitive struggles.
For example, an inner demon might be dealing with binge eating. However, this compulsive behavior is often a reaction to the feeling of inadequacy that we experience about something completely different. For example, we are single, divorced, and feel that we are not offering our child the kind of family that we think we deserve.
If we work our diary hard and be honest with ourselves, we may be able to pinpoint some of these root causes – these inner demons. From there, we can work on developing the idea for a novel based on one or more of our inner demons. We can even pick some anecdotes from our lives and use them as a basis to create unforgettable scenes.
As is often the case with writing, there are no unbreakable rules, but a process to apply them as needed.
First we have to know them exactly. Then we find ourselves in a situation where such rules need to be twisted somewhat, and we act accordingly to break them as effectively as possible. But if the result is bad, we have to be ready to start over and try again.
Nor is it that magazines cannot be used to develop a new novel. Rather, we need to know how to look at them when we read them.
We should not only look for what makes us unique, but also for what makes our experience similar to that of many other people. And only when we have reached this common ground can we work on making our story brilliant and original – knowing that there are usually no memorable, larger-than-life anecdotes in our diary.
For example, if we continue with the example above, our main character could binge when walking. Then our protagonist could be woken up by her son’s cry and sit on the floor in front of the fridge, surrounded by chicken bones and chewing on a frozen chicken drumstick. I don’t know exactly, but to me this scene seems to have actually seen a few people, if any.
In short, let’s think of magazines as launch pads that we can use to drive the rockets of our imaginations into the stratosphere.
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