The “What ifs” Of Imagination

Imagination. Without it we would never go beyond what we can see, touch, smell and hear. Creativity and imagination go hand in hand.

I’ve talked about the joys of pretend world. Fantasize and imagining things and then acting or writing them down for entertainment value. I love visualizing and then recreating what I’ve imagined.

Having an overactive imagination is a challenge. I can look down a set of stairs and envision all the terrible things that could happen if I fell. Fear, paranoia and negative thinking right? Well sure I can come up with some pretty gruesome ideas. Yet, there is a flip-side to that too. Me looking down the stairs about to fall and say… someone slips an arm around my waist to prevent me from falling… It takes a whole other spin.

While it’s easier to go dark and see the potential for sensational terror, it can be rewarding to not shake off the imagination process and instead guide myself to see more than the negative. Such as crossing the street. On average one simply gets to the other side – hum drum nothing fun. What if something happened along the way? What if the destination was not what I intended, what if I set out in the morning to go to work and by the time I got across the street and set my foot down on the cracked concrete it’s suddenly night? What if the puddle I’m about to step into is reflecting something different than the actual world around me?

In any given situation my vivid imagination can break off and follow quite a few possibilities. Some will work for a story some wont. I don’t dismiss any of them because what doesn’t work with one story line may be a Cinderella’s slipper fit for another.

Amber straightened her blouse. “I can do this.”  She said to herself and envisioned beyond the door, the friendly greetings she would give and the casual conversation that followed. She took the five steps and went into the staff-room. Conversation hushed to near none existence. John and Burt got up from the table and left brushing past her. Alice, Preeta and Li muttered lame excuses and shuffled out leaving only Rachael behind. Rachel dumped out her unfinished coffee and headed toward the door before Amber could start in on her. 
“I’ve become the social pariah.” Amber said quietly to herself.
Rachel stopped in the doorway smacking her hand on the metal door jamb and turned. “You haven’t become anything. That would imply you were ever liked by any of us.” 
Amber swallowed her bile at the harsh comment. “I’ve been nice lately.”
Rachel rolled her eyes. “No Amber you’ve been quiet, living in your teeny-tiny, itty-bitty little bubble of self-importance. Not being mean is not the same as being nice.” 
Amber closed her mouth, clenched her fists and watched Rachel leave.
“Oooh she’s such a bi-” Amber snapped her mouth shut, relaxed her fists and rubbed her face. Rachel isn’t a bitch, she’s honest and if Amber wanted to be different, she had to make the world see her that way too. 

That was not the only idea I had for relaying that particular life lesson to Amber, but it was the one that fit the best. Amber’s used that staff-room as a bullying platform more than once, therefore it seemed fitting that she get gobsmacked there too.

My advice about vivid imagination.
Let it roll, play it out in your mind, but don’t forget to imagine from multiple angles good, bad and every possibility between.

-Sheryl

Related posts

The joy of pretend world

Mystery Items

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved
Vivid

Two-faced phony-baloney

Fakers, liars and the pretenders. The people that move through life insincere and artificial. I’m talking about the ones that smile and say nice things to your face but then plunge the proverbial knife ten inches into your back the moment you present it.

From the mild emotionally damaging gossip to the all-out sabotage life altering warfare, the back stabbers hide behind deception and cruelty and thrive there. The two faced person can become very dangerous very quickly if provoked. Developing into a nemesis, enemies or villains. Even if they aren’t already.

Artificial people are opportunists and as a writer I present them with opportunity, which is key. Small moves at first leading and building to their grand finale. Whether it’s a side story to build the protagonists character or the main plot doesn’t matter. Someone who presents two selves to the world likely has an agenda, they are clever, tricky and tend to be very good at it.

Good choices for two-faced people

A best friend
Their lover or spouse
The neighbour
A boss
The sweet kind co-worker
Any relative the closer the better 

The list above is not set in stone, anyone can be two faced when it suits them, however in the interest of excitement, the closer the faker is to the protagonist, the better the drama and emotional fall out. A person like this has motive, they must have a good one or it wont make sense. Here is a list of some reasons for being two-faced.

Why the deception?

Jealous
Covets
Revenge
Aspiration or ambition
Love
Hate

Of course any reason for selfish behavior works. Make sure the reason behind their drive to be deceitful is clear. Amber can’t just cause Sasha to lose her job for no reason out of the blue.(Unless shock is what you’re going for. But if I did this I would write it well or it will be frustrating.) There has to be some hint or clue to the reader that Amber is up to no good, directly or indirectly. Whether or not Sasha catches on before it’s too late will depend entirely on whether or not it is part of her downfall to rock bottom, or part of her rise to stand tall and stop Amber from succeeding in her self-gratifying plot.

Sasha walked down the hall half-excited and half-nervous. Scott asked her to help him with the children’s shoe advertisement after hours. He couldn’t very well make them sexy and he was stumped.
She knocked on his apartment door, the diner he promised wafted to greet her as he opened the door. Aside from his method of getting this account he has always been nice, kind and flirty. Perhaps she should have tried partnering with him in the first place and not forced him to go behind her back?
Smiling at each other he stepped aside sweeping his hand for her to enter.
“Come on in Sasha.” His approving leer validated her decision to go home and change into something more casual and revealing. Straight to work, Sasha poured over his ideas and made notes and suggestions while he prepared the meal.
“Go on and make a draft if you want.” He tasted a red sauce and she wondered if it was homemade or canned. While he set out dinner she finished three options, pleased with herself she saved the files and sat at the dining table. Small talk. Sasha hated it. Despite them being co-workers she knew virtually nothing about the  handsome Scott Dekker.

He filled the silence with subject matter he enjoyed. He asked no serious questions about her or let her start a new topic. When he could, he touched her hand and smiled suggestively.
|Frustrated and unimpressed by the bland cannellini that was store-bought she glanced at the door. He was treating this like a date and her guard flew up hard and fast. He eagerly looked over her ideas with too much enthusiasm. The wine he drank might have played a part. Sasha was driving so declined.
“These are great, I can’t thank you enough Sasha, my ass is on the line over this account.” It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him not to backstab her again but she let it go.
“I should get going.” She headed toward the exit. “Thanks for dinner.” A complement was too hard a lie to tell.
He moved, put his hand on the wall, blocking her escape.
“Stay.” He brushed her long blond hair back. “To talk or whatever.” He leaned in to kiss her and she let him. Why not? The words fluttered in her mind like her eyelashes as he pulled her closer.

It was nice, butterflies flew in her stomach, a mild excitement stirred then fizzled. Scott backed off and smiled a cocky, victorious smile. It was all wrong and the flicker of anger in his eyes at her frown confirmed it.
“I’m sorry Scott, I don’t…” She looked around. “I can’t.”
“I know you’re attracted to me so what’s the problem? Is it because we work together?”
“No, no it’s not that.”
“Then what?” He dragged the back of his index finger down her cheek. She licked her lips. “I just… can’t.” Why not? Her mind screamed at her. He was hot and willing and other than they worked together there was no logical reason for her not wanting to. The problem is there was a reason.
“Goodnight Scott.” She opened the door and left quickly.
Scott breathed out hard through his nose and slammed the wall with the palm of his hand. “Stupid shrew.” He spat the words at the closed door. “I’ll win, yes I will. I’ll get you Sasha, you stupid little uptight celibate bitch.”

Are all two faced people bad? No, but it’s more thrilling to read about a deep personal interaction. In this Sasha is aware of the problem, her secret, the reason she shuts all potential suitors down. In her misery she sits comfortable and safe from whatever it was that might repeat.  I want her aware that Scott is up to no good, but not specifically what. Not yet anyway.

My advice about two-faced artificial people.
Boy oh boy can they cause some chaos. Embrace their destructive capabilities and run with it, have fun and let their evil grow.

-Sheryl

Related posts

Wisely Perpetrating Gullibility

Setting the mood

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Artificial

The joy of pretend world

When my son plays with his toys, like Lego, dinosaurs, hot-wheels or whatever he chooses. He is lost and submerged in his pretend world. Happy carefree and having fun.

It is fascinating to watch. Most children’s shows, movies and books are based off of the imaginary world they so easily dive into. They are written by adults who can successfully still access the mysterious world of child’s play. I envy this play this ability to create entire worlds in their heads and become part of them.

Wait, isn’t that what I do? Yes, yes it is. When I sit and write, my pretend world is a little more grown up, but it is still an imaginary place. It’s mine and its a crazy wild and wonderful world. So when I look at my son and he comes up with fantastical scenarios that only he can see, I smile realizing I do the same thing. Only I write mine down instead of acting it out. I play the story in my head I move the characters and change their environments at my whim.

Every aspect of my book is my doing. From the people, their clothes, what they eat and do. To how they act, behave, their history present and future. Their love lives or lack of, their tendency toward good or evil. The worlds in which they live interact and move through. Ever little single thing is created in the creative corner of my mind, the play-center of my adult life.

My pretend worlds bring me great joy and I am so happy to know that I’m still a kid at heart. I haven’t forgotten how to create pretend worlds they are just different. Now I can share my imagination with others and when I read a book I know I’m sharing in someone else’s pretend world playtime.

My advice about pretend world.
If you write fiction, you’re a big kid like it or not. Welcome to the club, love it, embrace it and don’t forget to play well with others. 😉

-Sheryl

Earlier posts

Silliness and seriousness

Eyes that carry worlds

That sounds complicated

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

Pretend
Center
Imaginary