DL Fowler's Blog

My Journey Inside Someone Else’s Head

Posted in Characters, Inside a Writer's Head, Research by DLFowler on February 9, 2011

It fascinates me how we get surprised when we notice other people don’t see the world through our eyes. The way this plays out most often is think that if something worked for us, it should work for everyone else. “Take this medicine – it worked for me.” Or, “I know just the exercise you need.” How about “What do you mean it didn’t work for you. You just didn’t try hard enough.” 

The toughest part of getting inside someone else’s head is getting outside of your own. Distancing  yourself from your own experiences so you don’t confuse them with the other person’s. You have to turn off your memory and open your ears.  Both are hard.

Sometimes I get so pissed off by what I find inside another person’s head, I start yelling at them. Next I close my ears and start digging through my own memory banks. Nothing gets accomplished. I have to settle down and come back at it again. And usually, I can’t handle doing that right away. I need some time to decompress and reorient myself. 

Whether the journey’s successful or not I bring the stuff I found back to my own head and file it somewhere in my brain. So what do I do with the stuff I find inside people’s heads?  Hey, I’m an author. I create characters out of it.

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