Thursday, December 8, 2011

Inspiration from Insanity

What is the craziest thing you've always wanted to do and would never dare?

Is it because your wish is physically impossible or drastically dangerous or radically illegal or socially unacceptable? Or just insane?

I needed to get a character in my work in progress, the Magicless, out of a pinch. I'd cornered Sandrine on the top of the Eiffel Tower, she wanted down. And she wanted to rappel down. So I said ok. Trust me, I'm a better mother in real life than I am a babysitter of fictional characters.

Yet, I told her, "You have to make it look good. No 'and then she rappelled down' shortcuts. We have to SEE how you do it." She agreed to wait while I researched.

And guess what? Some other loon not only thought of it, but provided a detailed list of what Sandrine would need! Check it out! I hadn't known that she'd need "ice cube trays" to protect the rope as it passed over the girder and a rappel rack to slowly lower herself down the rope. I exchanged the Kevlar gloves and the two 300 meter lengths of dynamic Kernmantle rope with magic gloves and rope (naturally). She'll make do with a magic rope harness too. 

The writer of this crazy plan had helpful suggestions, like "From the second deck to the top is pretty much a straight drop, but when that ends, the tower’s legs flare out considerably. If you must ask, this made the rappel easier than a straight drop...'Walk' your way down the tower, changing pressure on the bars on the rack as you go. If the going seems to stiff, drop one bar out of the rack."

There are also some crazier suggestions: "When you hit the bottom, jettison all your materials you can, and make a break for the taxi where your associates await. Limos can be nice too; cops tend not to run into them. Your abandoned ropes will serve as the price of the experience, so jump in and head for the airport."  

Well, I'm glad that Sandrine has the gumption to live her crazy dream. Oh, I'm still gonna cream-pie an unsuspecting husband and toilet-paper my sister's house, but the really crazy stuff...I guess I'll have to keep writing it into stories!

What crazy thing do you want to do? Are your characters daredevils?


  1. I'm moving to Mexico and starting a spiritual writer's retreat. I'm finally doing what I want, not what others think I should even though the others think I've gone crazy.

  2. This isn't really that crazy, but I don't think I'd ever put in the work that would be needed so it's in the "impossible" category. I'd like to be able to leap onto a horse bareback, gallop into town, hop down and buy myself a fresh-squeezed juice while my horse waits for me, and then leap back on and gallop home. Thankfully, my characters are less lazy than I am so they get to do things like that.

  3. @Colleen Chen
    I like that! I haven't taken the time to live out my horsy dreams either, even though my sister has two. Maybe in the future...

  4. @Em-Musing
    That's amazing! I too have been very concerned about what others think of me...I'd like to learn to balance having a good name with doing what I know is right, regardless!!! Don't know why those two would need to contradict each other, but they do sometimes. I'll be watching for more information on the retreat...