Today my argument, is for delusion as a writing tool.
First… How it can help you keep going…
Delusions of the gorgeous men you keep locked in your basement can cheer you from any slump.
Delusions of eventual fame and fortune fit fabulously with thoughts of revenge when you receive rejections.
Delusions of muses dragging their trunks back up your front walkway can set you back on track after a slump.
Delusions of fanciful romps with porn stars can just go straight into the book.
But the real strength of Delusion…
You see… it’s an exercise… Let me e’splain…
Once upon a time, on a forum not so terribly far from here, I met a band of marauders… LADY Marauders… set on taking over the world. They initiated me into their membership… okay, so possibly I was among the founding members if we are getting technical… with a mission of total world domination (the nudity was my idea *waits for gasps of shock*). This is where the basement dungeon idea was first communicated, and then I learned about Planet Spankmenow, and life has never been the same.
Delusional Thursday: A History
Anyway… we got to thinking about our reign… how we could influence others… and you know how people are hesitant to say… move somewhere without visiting first? Take on a religion without investigating the required practices?
I chose Thursday because… well… I was born on a Thursday. Isn’t the saying ‘Thursday’s Child is Loony as all get out”? You know the saying I’m talking about, right? So Delusional Thursday was born.
And do you know what was born out of Delusional Thursday? A writer. (at least one). Because that process of trying to rationalize the absurd, fit in the bizarre so it was believable and plausible was an incredible lesson in what is fresh and interesting. It led me to some theories I may never otherwise have voiced, and trying to PROVE them (never mind I originally professed them as delusional) resulted in the first long stories I ever wrote.
I spent some time at a website yesterday reading ‘successful query letters’ and then the agents reasons they thought the letters were so good. Do you know what the most stand-out feature was of those letters? Some KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF strange idea. Somebody had thought of something so INCREDIBLY novel, and written a book about it.
Now I’ve read some books based in these very strange ideas and the ideas aren’t always so strange when you get down to the BOOK, but they are fresh and interesting because they are tales we haven’t seen before. I’m coming to believe that is how you break in… nailing a normal story onto a very strange idea… Or at LEAST including enough really unique elements—things that make a reader sit up and take notice.
So I am advocating for the practice of spending a little time each Thursday thinking of really bizarre things and then ways those could actually fit into a REAL story…
Go on. Delude yourself. It's good for your soul. It will make you laugh. And while you're at it... it may just give you your next great idea.