Anticipating my Arrest

I’ve just finished the first draft of my second novel and happily sent it off to my lovely beta readers, so I’m feeling a bit frivolous and in the mood for some light-heartedness.

A recent occurrence led me to think about my Internet browsing history during the course of writing the novel. It makes for some pretty disturbing reading:

  • Drug abuse
  • Machetes
  • Guns
  • Bullet wounds
  • Gang culture
  • Drug skimming
  • Law enforcement
  • Dog attacks

And that’s just in the last few weeks.

The occurrence that led me to think about my Internet browsing history was something as innocuous as searching online wool shops. (Yes, despite the graphic nature of my novels I’m actually quite Knittingboring and mainstream in real life). Within a few hours of searching the wool shops, I was seeing advertisements for wool on Facebook and other social media sites. I was flabbergasted at how they had managed to get hold of this information. If advertisers can cash in on your browsing history so easily then the possibilities for the police are endless.

At this point I want to add that as well as carrying out online research I also have “brainstorming sessions”. Most of these occur while I’m at my computer and usually entail me sitting at my desk talking to myself. Then, to capture certain scenarios I sometimes mime my character’s actions just to check whether it would work in practice, and to make sure it would be realistic. Sometimes it’s necessary to use a mirror so that I can study the positioning of limbs, facial expressions etc. It’s all in the name of my art, you understand, and has nothing whatsoever to do with being slightly eccentric.

Simple-Teddy-Bear-1-5496-largeSo, I’m picturing the scene. The police have had a tip-off from their technical team about a dodgy browsing history so they start monitoring the house. One of the officers spots someone carrying out what appears to be a frenzied knife attack but when he zooms in the perpetrator is attacking a teddy bear with a biro pen. He calls for support. When the two officers arrive they approach the house with caution and creep up to the window. There they spot a middle aged woman sitting at her desk having an in-depth conversation. After a few seconds the conversation becomes heated and she seems to be taking on the roles of two different characters.

Ooh dear, how would I explain that one? Maybe this home working isn’t such a good idea. While writing the plot, I’m also losing the plot!

Is it just me or do other authors find themselves acting out scenes and talking to themselves while they work? I’d love to hear your views on this one. Talk to me please; my sanity depends on it! 🙂 🙂 🙂



6 thoughts on “Anticipating my Arrest

  1. Acting out scenes and talking to yourself is understandable considering the circumstances Heather. I talk to myself too whilst I work and at other times, but haven’t tried out the acting out scenes as of yet. Congratulations on getting your second novel written. I appreciate what you are saying about the targeted advertisements. When it happened to me the first time a few months back I was shocked too.

    • Thanks for your approval Guy. I do get some funny looks from my daughter when she’s at home and overhears me talking to myself. Yes, the targeted advertisements really freaked me out – I had no idea they could get hold of that kind of information just from your Internet searches.
      I’m glad to be nearing the end of the second novel. I might have a little celebratory tipple tonight although I’ll probably be whistling a different tune when I get my beta comments back – lol. 🙂

  2. When I first noticed previously searched items showing up on my Facebook page I assumed it was a coincidence. I now know it’s not, but it still amazes me how they do it.
    I talk to myself all the time – I’m actually talking to my husband, but he is usually oblivious.

  3. Thank you for your feedback Barbara. I’m not sure how Facebook manage to find your browsing history either – we’ve definitely entered the Big Brother era. I’m glad I’m not the only one who talks to myself although I seem to be the only one who acts out scenes. N.B. The bit about the teddy was an exaggeration for comedic effect – honestly. 🙂 Thankfully, I’ve not quite lost it altogether, yet. 🙂

  4. I’m always talking to myself, inside the house and out (particularly on the dog walk!) I write whole scenes and dialogue like that – unfortunately it always sounds great then I can’t remember the fabulous phrases I’d come up with by the time I’m back at my computer. I’ve taken to recording voice memos but handling that and 2 dogs isn’t always easy!!

    • Thanks for your comments Georgia. I always find that I get ideas when I go for a walk and I’ve heard lots of writers say that too. I think it’s something to do with the creative brain being able to work more efficiently when it’s in a relaxed state. When I go for a walk it starts off as an amble then I practically jog home so that I can get those ideas down before I forget them. I have been known to stop in the street and jot things down on a little pad that I keep in my handbag – I’m getting this eccentric writer thing down to a fine art now. 🙂

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