The subconscious mind is a marvelous thing. According to crime dramas, the subconscious mind is capable of remembering everything we see, hear and learn in our lifetime. We may not be able to consciously recall the tag number of that car that cut us off in traffic, but our subconscious never forgets.
I rely a great deal on my subconscious to enhance my writing. It never fails when I am at a crossroads with my characters a solution seems to magically be made known to me. Accordingly, I credit my subconscious.
This was really brought home to me when I recently revised a couple of novels published prior to the Sword of Tilk Trilogy.
I reread 9.5B first published in 2010. I created a character named Stormy Rose Prometheus. Excuse me, Dr. Stormy Rose Prometheus who was known by the moniker Prometheus.
I didn’t do any research on the name when I initially wrote the book. I don’t know why. I am usually anal about that sort of thing, but I liked the name.
Before I began revising the book, I took to the Internet to find out exactly who and what Prometheus was. I especially wanted to know because there was a movie released in 2012 of the same name and I needed to know if any part of the movie overlapped the book and vice versa.
What I found surprised me.
Prometheus was a Titan from Greek mythology credited with the creation of man. He gave the gift of fire to mankind then was punished by the Greek gods for doing so. He was tied to a rock and an eagle would eat his liver. The liver then grew back and the eagle returned each day to feast upon the organ again.
I remember studying Greek mythology in high school. It was one of my favorite subjects at the time. I recall being in a cramped little room, sweltering from the heat even with the windows open, desks crowded side by side against one another. I even remember the cover of the book: kind of a peach and teal color, very pretty I thought. But I do not for the life of me consciously recall the name Prometheus.
But we must have studied Prometheus at some point. The name obviously stuck.
I also learned from my research that the original title of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus. The subtitle has been dropped but it refers to Victor Frankenstein himself due to his attempt to create life through scientific means or by means other than natural reproduction.
It is a similar credit given to Prometheus the Titan when he created man from clay: a being into which a spirit could be breathed.
Once I had done all my research, the irony of naming my character Prometheus surprised me.
You see, Dr. Stormy Rose Prometheus is also a scientist. One who clones herself a daughter, thus creating life by means other than natural reproduction.
Talk about the subconscious working overtime.
There are many other smaller examples of my subconscious contributing to my writing efforts, some of which came directly from personal experience. But the Prometheus name really took me by surprise.
I have learned to listen to my subconscious when I’m writing. If I am struggling with a scene, a dialogue or a character, I sit very still. I allow my imagination to visualize the idea I am attempting to get on paper.
Before I know it, I am breezing through the scenario with ideas that had not occurred to me but which work very well with what I am writing.
Some call it inspiration. Some call it a muse. It’s really both.
No matter what you choose to call it, pay attention when it comes calling. More than likely, it’s your subconscious working overtime.
That’s what it’s there for.