not what I would do

I know why I’m stalling on tonight’s scene. It’s because the thing Eliza’s about to do is very, very stupid. And it’s not that she thinks about it and decides she’s got to do it anyway, for one reason or another; she doesn’t think about it at all. She just snaps and does it, for no better reason than because her temper gets the better of her.

Which is so profoundly not me, I’d probably find easier to get into the headspace of an alien. I keep trying to figure out how to make the necessary moment happen — but my thoughts keep going in the direction of finding a rational reason for it, something that she hopes to gain, when that isn’t what this scene is about at all. Then when I try to hit it from another angle, figuring out what makes her snap, I come up blank, because my subconscious can’t imagine anything that would make me do the same. My temper can get the better of me, yes, but not to the extent of doing something this ill-advised.

And yet, I know people like this exist. What I want to write isn’t unreasonable; it’s only going to seem unreasonable if I fail to represent it right. Which means I need to figure out the inside of her head, what mixture of emotions produces this explosion, and what its precipitating factor is.

But like I said, an alien might be easier for me to figure out.

0 Responses to “not what I would do”

  1. akashiver

    One thing you might want to do is think about describing the physiological aspect of her anger. Decisions like the one you are describing are driven by the body, not the mind, and from what I understand the conscious mind is often playing catchup to the body & rationalizing its actions after the fact. In other words, if you were *really* able to ask someone with poor impulse control why they punched someone else in the face, the *honest* answer would be “because my heart was pumping, my adrenaline was up, and my hind brain said FIGHT instead of FLEE.” The “rational” explanation – “because he looked at me funny” – comes afterward, and is the mind’s attempt to explain the actions of the body.

  2. pentane

    It would really depend on how her personality drives decisions. This isn’t foreign to me because I make lots of decisions because I trust my intuition. I can rationalize after the fact why, but I just do it.

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