“Favorite” and “Neurosis” are not terms a sane person would mush together. I don’t recall which of my fellow Word Whores came up with this gem of a topic, but it’s nice to know I’m not the only nutter on the blog.
I might be the only nutbucket.
Allow me to regale you with how I have to reorder the sugar packets at the table so the labels all face the same direction. Splenda sorted from Sweet & Low, Sugar in the Raw placed before regular granulated sugar. Little blue notches pointed up. Gods help my dining partner if we’re at breakfast joint that has jelly cups. Oh yes, there will be flavor sorting and alphabetization.
It’s not a need for order that drives me to do it.
It’s a need for control. More precisely, it’s my civilized reaction to an uncontrollable need to escape. Public dining is pure hell for me. I can’t get up and leave when my brain decides it has had enough of being trapped, confined. Organizing the stuff on the table is my only available means of distraction. You’d think that stimulating conversation would rein in my neurosis. Tragically, it all becomes din behind the ringing in my ears.
CLANG. CLANG. CLANG. TIME TO GO.
Don’t take it personally. It’s not you. It’s me. No. Really. It is me. I can’t always help it when the mind goes. Sometimes, it likes to drag the body along with it. That’s when Public gets oogey. But when mind leaves body alone, well, now that’s when the anxiety and the obsession become creative paydirt.
It’s why I’m a 5,000-Feet Plotter.
The loose outline employing the GMC (Goals, Motivations, Conflicts) keeps chapters, or episodes, linked. The protagonist’s goal shapes the walls of the restaurant. Conflict is delivered on china at unexpected times, and there’s always the offer for more…at a price. Dialogue flows to the beat of conflict. The neurosis I loathe in real life becomes the motivation that propels the action. It builds from mild discomfort to violent desperation that explodes in resolution.
It’s great in fiction.
Total nutbucket in real life.
What about you? Do you have a behavior that works against you in public, but works for you in your creative endeavors?