Understanding brain science can make you a better writer.
I found this article about scientists studying the effect of fiction on the brain. Here’s a clip of something intriguing—and proof of that “avoid cliches” writing advice.
The way the brain handles metaphors has also received extensive study; some scientists have contended that figures of speech like “a rough day” are so familiar that they are treated simply as words and no more. Last month, however, a team of researchers from Emory University reported in Brain & Language that when subjects in their laboratory read a metaphor involving texture, the sensory cortex, responsible for perceiving texture through touch, became active. Metaphors like “The singer had a velvet voice” and “He had leathery hands” roused the sensory cortex, while phrases matched for meaning, like “The singer had a pleasing voice” and “He had strong hands,” did not.
For this week’s Inspiration Monday, I’ve continued the story from last week. They each stand alone, but if you want the whole story, read last week’s “I Dreamed This” first.
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This new room is all wrong. I want to go back home. Your pupils are still dilated, your eyes are still bloodshot. The glare of these lights make it so obvious. Don’t you know what will happen as soon as they put it all together?
My awareness is a shadow on the ceiling, anchored by the body in the bed. Witnessing everything, participating in nothing. Unable to be with you, yet unable to leave. You’re looking into eyes that aren’t attached to me anymore. You’re holding the hand I can no longer feel. I see your lips move, I hear your words, but my response steams the glass in front of my face and bounces around inside this prison.
This dream of ours stinks of reality. We did this together, but I know you will take the blame. And I’m the only one who can’t tell you I’ve forgiven you.
I’ve been busy writing draft one of my third book, which is actually the prequel in the series. I’m about one hundred pages in. My manuscripts usually end up being 500-600, but I have a lot of ground to cover in this prequel and I’m starting to wonder if it’s going to turn into two novels. Or three. I’m also procrastinating working on the synopsis for book one so I can start querying. It’s written, but needs major tweaking.
I dreamed this. Wind so violent, tearing at my hair, my clothes. The ground rumbles underfoot, and the city falls before my eyes. The dust becomes a new entity, rising up, higher than the top of the once highest building, yet suddenly the wind cuts off and I’m shielded inside a clean, soundless space, like an insect caught in an upside down glass.
You dreamed this, from the other side. Your distance flavored your terror with helplessness. You didn’t know I was inside that glass.
And when I woke up, you were there, but I was not. I was still inside that glass, watching you try to wake me.