I dont think voice mails begin with “I have a dragon problem” in real life. They certainly don’t end in, “Text me when I can call back to brainstorm solutions to my dragon problem. Cause I’m on my way to work.” That’s just not normal. And its definitely not normal to think, hmm that would make a great opening to a blog post, or short story after it happens.
I can’t imagine how boring normal would be; luckily I have better things to be imagining. Like what kind of dragon problems my friend has. She was way to calm to be facing a dragon attack. Although freely maraudering dragons would definitely be a problem (and interesting), especially cause she lives in Philadelphia. I recon they would wreak havoc on all kinds of important things they don’t know anything about. Like independence hall. Do Dragons have a taste for colonial buildings? I imagine they burn quite well, old wood and all.
Of course she could have uncovered an illegal dragon egg smuggling ring, and be wondering who to report it to. DEA, Customs, FBI, CIA, NCIS, NSA, NASA, PETA…and I think I am out of acronyms. Or maybe she has been caught raising dragons for dragon fighting. Perhaps it’s that some misfit band of Dragon Lords were discovered by lay folk and now face a disastrous choice, make public the existence of dragons and magic, or just destroy the city and everyone who was potentially exposed.
The truth is it could be any of those things. The friend who called, and left a message on my phone, that began with “I have a dragon problem” is a fellow writer. Although, I still don’t think voice mails begin with “I have a dragon problem” in real life. Writers seem to live in a subset of the real world, or at least I do. And that subset seems to be in my own imagination.
I don’t know what it takes to be a writer, although I do have some theories on character traits that most have. The first is an overactive, or just an active, imagination. We create worlds in our head, and then fill these worlds with people that we create, and sometimes destroy. Then mourn over the people we’ve destroyed, they weren’t just made up, they lived. Even if they lived inside our heads. I’ve cried over killing a character. I am sure most other writers have too (even if you haven’t, can you just lie to me about that).
The second, is slightly harder to admit. Arrogance. We all have something to say, and think what we have to say is worth other people’s time to read. And that is a bit arrogant.
Anything else you think someone needs to be a writer?