You will know, or most of you will know, I am an author.
It is not a secret.
What many of you may not know is how I get the ideas, not only for storylines but situations, characters, actions, sub-plots and such.
The answer is the stimulus comes from the everyday.
There is no magic.
A short while ago I posted a heartfelt outpouring written by someone going through a low patch in their life. You can read it here.
That post, or rather the content, the spirit in which the content was written will, no doubt, lend itself to a character, or reveal the personality of a character going through a situation, in one of my stories.
Along with the above I often hear or read a certain line which is so special it deserves, nay, demands to be included verbatim. Referring to the same post, one such line is…
“My worth was stolen by minuscule measures, so slender the slices, I failed to feel the knife…”
Okay, it may not be the most beautiful line ever written, but pretty is not what good writing is all about. What it is about is touching another’s mind, sharing feelings, understanding and stimulating thought, which these words do perfectly.
It is the normal, the every-day, the simple events, basic routines, the regular, the nondescript which gives rise to great storytelling. (Not the artificial sensationalism favoured by the modern media).
Yet, it is only those with certain minds, with a sight which sees far more than what is visible, who understand the depths of these moments. Often these are people like me, writers, authors, artists, creatives, but sometimes they are greater minds, scientists, engineers, inventors and geniuses.
Yesterday, I read of such a man, a chap called Abraham Wald. (No, I had not heard of him either.)
Abraham was a person who had the type of mind I refer to.
Allow me to elucidate…
During WWII, the Navy looked at where they needed to armour their aircraft to ensure more returned home.
The Naval intelligence collected data and ran analysis of where their planes sustained the most damage.
The resultant conclusion was the planes needed to be armoured on the wingtips, the central body, and the elevators flaps because this was where they were being hit by enemy fire.
See diagram 1.Diagram 1
However, the chap I mentioned earlier, Abraham Wald, (Who, by the way, was a statistician), disagreed with the top brass.
Abraham Wald suggested the planes would be better with armoured noses, engines and mid-body sections.
Wald was called crazy by those undertaking and running the study because, as they told Wald, those areas were not where the planes were getting shot.
Which brings me back to the point I made above, about it taking a special mind to see beyond that which is right in front of you.
What Abraham realised, which the others did not, was the aircraft were getting shot in the locations he suggested to armour.Abraham Wald
But those planes were not making it home.
Without realising it, the Navy had analysed where the aircraft could be hit the most without the planes suffering catastrophic failure.
The planes the Navy studied had not been hit in the areas which caused their loss, the ones which had been hit where Wald highlighted were the ones which had crashed and burned.
Therefore, Wald saw the Navy was not looking at the whole sample, but only those planes which survived battle.
Now, I don’t claim to be an Abraham Wald or that any of my insights may change the world or save countless lives, but I do claim to see deeper into the simple things than many.
However, I would like to share some of my insights into life with you. On that basis, may I suggest reading ‘Within the Invisible Pentacle’, it’s a good place to begin. You can find it on Amazon UK here or on Amazon anywhere else in the world here
Before I finish I would like to give you the ‘Heads-up’ about a new literary magazine due out this May, called the Electric Press – literary insights. Click on this link and head over to the Electric Press website for more information. It will be well worth your while.
Thanks for reading Ramblings from a Writers Mind.
Until next time, Keep Happy, Paul.