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A Pocket Archive (14)

Writers' block is a plague, but writer's brain misfires are even worse.

I love words and stories, and for most of my life, I have wanted to be a writer.  The difficult thing about that is in order to accomplish that goal, I actually have to write, and I have to do so habitually. And I do, of course, to an extent, but it's just in spurts when random ideas strike rather than executing large projects to completion.  I'm glad that I'm usually able to capture the framework for them in some capacity, but I have trouble getting the bigger ideas out of my head and on to paper, mostly because it's hard to sit for long when I have other obligations, and sometimes it's more fun to focus on scenes rather than a story as a whole. Also, it seems that the majority of the rare, precious moments when creative ideas and the part of my brain that makes words come out properly are operating in sync, I'm usually occupied with other obligations or it's the middle of the night right before I have to be up at 5 for work. Last December when my mother visited, she told me she's always wondered if I don't have a little bit of ADHD. Trauma doesn't help, of course, but I feel like my brain is constantly having massive misfires on cylinders 1, 2, 3 AND 4, but I have no idea what mental sparkplugs I need to swap out in order to fix it.

I did get a lovely idea for a story earlier today, however.  The problem will be avoiding tropes and clichés, and I can't decide what to do with it, which is driving me crazy because it's perfect for Halloween/spooky season. I'd like to write a love story or friendship between an artist and a vampire. Because vampires can't be photographed and don't have reflections, they would have no idea what they looked like. Imagine how strange that would be- to be totally invisible and to have no idea what your own face looked like. I think, especially for a vampire that had been turned, it would further divorce them from humanity/their former selves. But imagine having an artist capturing your likeness and seeing his drawing of you after hundreds of years had passed and you'd forgotten yourself...Nothing airbrushed or too perfect, no attempts at flattery, just real and just you. I imagine that would be heart-rending and beautiful at the same time. Or utterly surreal feeling, like the stage between waking and dreaming, when you're not quite sure if things are real or not.

It's also kind of a strange thought because stereotypically, vampires are said to be very beautiful, or at least very vain. But why be vain if you can't see yourself in a mirror?  Are they secretly overcompensating because they have no idea what they look like?  Do they overdress just to be sure they are presentable in at least one aspect, since they have no other way of knowing? Is it actually just a mask for insecurity? Sure, everybody talks about how beautiful vampires are, but is that actually just because people are afraid they'll get eaten if they don't suck up to them (no puns intended)?  If I were a vampire I think that would bother me and I'd wonder, at least a little bit.

Now the problem is... how do you have an artist drawing a vampire and why hasn't she eaten him yet? Is he a street artist or something more intimate?What century do I want to put this in?  I feel like he would have to be unaware that she was a vampire, but then how do you put them in the same place together without copying a Twilight or Dracula motif? Is he someone who can draw very quickly? Or maybe he knows but he's depressed and secretly wants her to end him? Maybe he's just a madman because the top hat he's worn for years is lined with too much lead? Or perhaps he's just love-struck and doesn't care. Should I make the artist Vincent van Gogh? Perhaps he wasn't the one who amputated his own ear afterall? Do I avoid the clichés, or do I embrace them? And would this idea be better as a drawing rather than a story?


I don't know the answers to any of these questions or hundreds of others humming around in my head. All I know is that conceptually I like it, and my brain isn't going to let me write anything tonight. I also doubt that I am going to sleep very well, because I can't stop thinking about it.


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