Frustrated writers locate them easily. Sitting behind a keyboard for hours at a time, experimenting with words, characters and plots, generating rabbit holes all the time. One character will go left while her friend turns right. Their life courses diverge because of their independent choices. The first find Utopia, the other walks into Hell. A writer must allow themselves the courage to go to both places — or to any other their characters take them. That’s the deal. Nothing comes from writing safe.
Exploring the creative freedoms of the inner-self will allow an author to spend time in the light AND the darkness (or anywhere in-between). A good writing discipline starts journeys like these but, once they begin to move, open-mindedness chooses their directions. There’s no telling where a story will go. It can lead to an uplifting one, or something that frightens.
Hold that thought!
Hey! Did you ever dream and get a feeling of falling, and then you’re suddenly jolted awake? You know, your eyes pop-open, you find your heart pounding, nails dug deeply into the mattress and an inexplicable sheen of sweat on your forehead?
That’s the one.
What if you could stay asleep through the entire descent and go to where that fall was supposed to take you?
What kills the dream is something called a fear jolt. We wake because falling in the conscious world usually ends badly, and our mind applies that rule — but dreams aren’t like that, dream-falls can’t hurt us. We should be able to ignore the conscious jolt and continue downward into that subconscious world.
What if we could trick our minds and stop that jolt from spoiling the dream?
If it’s fear that wakes us, then it’s fear that needs to be suppressed. Instead of falling and fearing an outcome, why not fall and turn fear into curiosity instead? Let’s hand our destiny over to inevitably and just go with it — we should get past the jolt and find out what’s at the bottom of the hole.
Rabbit hole writing is the same. Rather than fearing our imagination and limiting the words that sprout from our inner voices, we should embrace curiosity and let them grow. Let’s nurture them and watch what they become.
Standing at a hole’s edge, looking into the abyss below, doesn’t give us knowledge about what’s inside it. We can speculate all we like, but we actually have to go down there to know the deal. Evil could lurk. Death is a possibility. Heaven and equality are on the cards too. Imagine the possibilities. Like a sleeper staying in dreamland during a fall, all quality fiction needs is a writer to jump and let themselves discover.
I’m going down my next rabbit hole right now, and I’m keeping my eyes wide open when I do it. Will you join me as I jump in wonder?
“Forman’s writing style is artful, with the protagonist Mitchell’s warped thought processes masterfully exposed. The author has a powerful and vivid command of language and his word pictures are stark and disturbingly real.”– Linda J Bettenay, author of ‘Secrets Mothers Keep’ and ‘Wishes For Starlight’.