Krause, Diane. “The Peculiar Mind.” In The Rearview Mirror, O'ree Williams et al., edited by Megan Basinger et al., 92-104. Active Alumni Writers, January 21, 2021.
This story comes from a real-life “Peter” who heard voices. It took a ton of research and imagination to discover his nature. Turns out, like the authentic person, Peter La Reau is one of my favorite characters. Peter’s actions never ceased to surprise me until they were inked.
My character-driven stories often develop from thinking about someone. This could be a conversation with a friend, an exchange I overheard, (yes, I eavesdrop,) a movie, reading similar stuff (not plagiarism, reading, watching movies & TV spark your own ideas).
Of course, I must make at least four times the amount of the character’s conflict and inner struggles. Here, I might think of another situation with another person to mix in with my character. Peter’s overload of trouble stems from paranoia. This guy carries thirteen pairs of socks with him!
The plot began with the subsequent prompt by O’ree Williams: “Paranoid – realizes they ran out of their medication this morning and need to get to the doctor’s office, but insists on changing the route they take. ” Rearview Mirror is O’ree’s vision. He wrote MC, Harvey Cullum. The Active Alumni Writers job was to provide the rideshare fare Harvey picks up.
From the prompt, “The Peculiar Mind” changed The plot began with the subsequent prompt by O’ree Williams: “Paranoid – realizes they ran out of their medication this morning and need to get to the doctor’s office, but insists on changing the route they take. “
“The Peculiar Mind” prompt morphed to the succeeding plot. On Peter’s way to the pharmacy for his medication, scary voices come at him therefore, he harasses poor UrRide driver, Harvey, to stall, pull over, and change directions. His fifteen-minute ride takes over an hour. The authors were free to devise their own character trait and effectual, but I knew O’ree’s was the one for me. I write paranoid characters.
Successful writers don’t write alone. They have writing groups where they bounce
ideas around, critique each other, and share their books. The process result’s in a better, more decorated author faster.
I’m grateful Active Alumni Writers accepted me into their group. Once we had our first draft completed, the critiquing began. These critiques from spotting little timeline discrepancies to the huge no-no switching POV, made this story take shape. The final piece looks nothing like the humble beginnings. Thank you, fellow writers.
The next step was beta readers to fine tune the book and individual stories. My beta reader, Lori Palmer, complemented this story. She said she enjoyed the descriptions and added, “especially the dialogue from the Defender – the paranoid voice in Peter’s head.” 🙂
Then off to the editor, Megan Bassinger, Fine Fuse Editoral Services, LLC. Her turnaround was within a week, Grazie, Megan.
Barry, my husband and partner deserves a sweet kiss. You’ll be hearing more of him through this blog cause he’s that awesome. Barry encouraged me with his thoughts and ideas (the title is his). He complained when I hit the delete button. And he spent a few too many nights alone while a wrote.
Also, another thanks goes to Vickie Nault, who never fails to rewrite my not so good sentences. Plus, a just because credit belongs to Brian Nault for being his jubilant self.
Without further ado, it’s my sincere hope you enjoy our second anthology and my little contribution. Rearview Mirror is a different kind of story that is meant to be shared.