I tweeted: the right brain always wins. What does that mean to me personally and to my characters? Do you believe it? You can decide that for yourself, but consider this. Do you have an irrational fear? spiders, snakes, heights, water, dogs to name a few common ones. What triggers your fears? Were you born afraid or did these become a pattern from your youth?
An astute colleague of mine and I had a conversation about public speaking. When I dissected the fear, I remembered how comfortable I had been in front of an audience until my freshman year in high school. Was that puberty kicking in or was it something else? Then I remembered my teacher in freshman year speech. My grade was a D. What? I never got a grade below a B in my studies—ever.
I eventually got up the nerve to ask her why the low grade? She told me I hadn’t participated in class enough so my B’s on tests and A’s on my speeches didn’t count enough. My fear of failure of public speaking embedded itself and messed with my profession for years. It’s recently I am at ease before a group.
This teacher had other issues in her right brain focusing on me. Heaven knows what! The hurt from then stayed nicely positioned in my right brain to sabotage me in front of an audience for years. No matter how prepared I was to present, the judgment of that freshman class speech teacher had a lasting effect, and I didn’t have a clue she was lurking in my right brain with her dreadful judgments.
Are you seeing how one’s memories, stored insults and beliefs might interfere with life when why it does lurk is not obvious? Even when we no longer acknowledge painful situations, they have a power that imposes itself on daily lives when left unattended.
So what does this right brain have to do with writing?
First examine present relationships of your own. Do you get your buttons pushed in odd, often puzzling situations, e.g. driving? I go to the red zone when a car is tailgating me to get me to drive faster. My inner bitch takes the stage. The button pushed is feeling disrespected by those drivers. Another is not receiving a smile or hello when extended.
When my husband and I “debate” issues, clearly, it’s his right brain and mine squabbling. He stands his ground and I do too based on messages from our pasts that jump into the “discussion” and take over.
Let this concept rest with you for a while and see if you can relate.
To understand what is replaying in your characters’ minds, determine what might have prompted responses.
Remember, the right brain always wins.