One of the things I’ve discovered recently – discovered in the emotional sense, not intellectual – is that when, right at the start, you begin to blur the lines between what happened and what could have happened, and then again what might happen in the future – you discover a supremely powerful tool. And like all powerful extensions of the human psyche, its power can overwhelm and terrify.
Lately (well, these past few days!), I’ve realised that whilst the job of the writer is to make absolutely credible everything they say, absolutely truthful even we might add, it’s not quite the same to go and do the latter as to be totally factual.
And the terror and horrifying nature of writing is when we immerse ourselves in the world of the author, sometimes quite despite ourselves, sometimes despite our better natures, and actually begin to believe and relate to actions we’d never – in our real lives – consider.
Now if this is possible for a reader to feel, imagine how the creator – wrapped up in the creative process for hours, weeks, months, maybe longer – gets to experience the realities slowly honed up into the credible truths I mentioned earlier (where not factualities).
So although I’ve been writing for most of my 53 years, I’m a very recent convert to the right of a writer to explore almost everything – without then feeling obliged to put it all into practice.
That is the dividing line which I always knew intellectually existed – but emotionally is only something which now I am beginning to properly appreciate.