Small minds

Small minds Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle.jpg

Antagonists in the making – The disappointing realisation of what people do when they are threatened, and how it can provide gold for your writing.

I was out celebrating a family member’s birthday recently. It was a big deal for me – I’ve been living on the opposite side of the country for most of my life, out of reach from extended family, so getting to share a special event like this was close to my heart.

We celebrated in a small country town – and consequently the people attending were also from small towns… and a few things that had been said about me (behind my back) got back during the night. Which was confusing because everyone was so lovely. Well, to my face anyway.

Small minds Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleThe things they had said were by no means true; and managed to upset my family to the point of tears. I was a little urked, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t register what some twenty or thirty something thought of me, especially when their idea of a great time was going out on the weekend to get so wasted they could barely stand. It says a lot for their integrity, and frankly I couldn’t be bothered putting stock in the opinions of people who are destructive and do little with their lives. As I’ve stated before a brush with cancer has taught me to value the time I have left on this world, and follow my passion…

(Unleash my inner bitch for a mini rant! My feelings were hurt and I feel protective over my family, so be prepared for my wrath… over-dramatic much?)

But what a great character study for my writing – those two-faced gossip mongers.

We’ve all experienced the passive aggressive nature of others. How someone is inevitably threatened by you in some manner: maybe you are closer to their friend than they are, or have a better body shape, or appear to be genuinely happy or successful. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter – you have no control over what triggers these types of people to turn nasty. It’s the mean girl syndrome. Gender doesn’t play a part in this type of behaviour, but I’ve seen it a lot in the female of our species – what is it that make girls want to tear other girls down?

Most of the time they are probably not even aware they are doing it. An underhanded way of manipulating things to place them in the centre of attention and cast you in a bad light.

It has given me renewed vigour with a story arc I was having trouble with. I needed something to amp up the motivations of a certain character, and now I have it. Granted it wasn’t the most pleasant thing to experience, especially at my age – I left high school behind 30 years ago. But I continue to find inspiration in real life for my writing all the time. Snippets of overheard conversations, personalities, physical descriptors… people watching can be a valuable tool to offer relief to writers block.

From a party that was straight from the script of a CW television show, it has reminded me why I sometimes prefer fictional characters over real ones. And how little patience I have for fakers.

Experiences, both good and bad are fantastic tools for your arsenal. Be vigilant writers and make that manuscript gold!

Small minds Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

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© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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5 thoughts on “Small minds

  1. frazzledfictions says:

    The frustration, upset & ultimately anger this causes is character development gold. But it’s so horrific when it happens. Something similar happened to me & I rage cried 😂 It’s always people who haven’t bothered to learn anything about who you are. As if their low self esteem gives them the right to assassinate your character. It’s great that you’re channeling your experiences into your work. I’d be tempted to write them in, only to push them of a cliff in chapter two 😏

  2. Eternal Gypsy says:

    It always sucks when you find out people have been spreading rumors but especially more so when it’s family. I always thought the “Gossipy, Holier Than Thou, Mean Girl” archetype was only a small town America thing. Clearly, I’m wrong! But I understand how you feel. I got hit with a similar situation on Facebook. The community we lived in had a lot of “Groups” to connect with based on your interest. I was pretty active in the one for my husband’s hospital since I also volunteered there. Long story short, when people would complain about the hospital or its staff, I’d try to explain why their visit might have gone the way it did or point them in the direction of someone that could help with their issue. I found out from a friend that a lot of these ladies had taken to giving me a particular moniker on a separate “Closed” group I was not a part of. At first I was angry and hurt because all I was trying to do it bridge the gap between my people and them. Medical personnel, specifically emergency medical personnel, are a special breed. Then I was downright amused because these ladies were way too chicken to say it to my face or even online where I could see it. So the next time I posted on the hospital page, I signed off with the name they christened me with in that private site. 😉

    • femaleinferno says:

      Way to own it *thumbs up*

      We can’t control what other people say and do, but we can control the way we react (and what we write). As an author, state of mind is important to me, and not letting in the negativity helps stave off writers block, and I get to view others not-so-nice personality traits with amusement and use them as inspiration to add layers to my character development.

      Plus it’s a good practice in handling criticism if we ever make it big as an author. There will always be hecklers – just like the two old muppets in the theatre yelling out obscenities… bless their cotton socks 😉

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