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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Writer's Brain: A Serious Affliction

I’ve crawled out of the deep dark pit of revisions to bring attention to a very serious problem out there. Some of you may know about it. Some of you might even have it. But this condition has made itself very known to me in recent months, and I think it's something that we need to acknowledge is a real issue affecting people worldwide.

Yes, I'm talking about Writer's Brain.

Recently I’ve been diagnosed as having this condition. I’d call it a self-diagnosis, but I’ve been accused of it in the past, and having Don Rocko roll his eyes a few months back to say, “You have your finger on the zeitgeist/pulse of that thing” for a certain fairy-tale-themed show we watch confirmed it. I have writer’s brain.

Symptoms involve more than predicting the ending to a story, though that’s a big part of the condition. A person with writer’s brain can pick out tropes, characters, “surprise” events, and even solve riddles far in advance of the characters in the story. Caution when watching movies and TV with others in the room; not everyone enjoys having details spoiled.

All of which is my roundabout way of saying that while I absolutely love, love, loved Star Trek: Into Darkness, loved the humour and the dialogue and everything about it, I saw how it was going to end, and couldn’t help smirking at the screen in some parts when I knew I should have been more upset.

Part of me would love to turn off that bit of my brain to just enjoy things, but I think that it’s something worth having. I have a better sense of plot. And I think that with more recent projects, it’s helping me to be a better beta reader, solve plot problems, and overall feel more in tune with the Storyverse.

(And I only ever say things around Don Rocko or other writers who don’t mind; around others or in public places like the movie theatre, I keep my lips shut. That didn’t stop my darling husband, one who has a milder form of the affliction, from leaning over to whisper the plot solution in my ear, only to have me hiss back, “I know! I figured that out way back when X happened!” Sigh.)

If you or someone you love has Writer’s Brain, be patient with them. They don’t mean to ruin your enjoyment. It’s just our gift, our curse, one of the many issues we face as writers.

Thank you for understanding.


  1. *raises hand* I've got it too. Drives my hubby batty.

  2. Yep. We all have our crosses to bear. :)

  3. Heh! Yes, definitely a gift and a curse. :)