Today’s topic comes from QSFer Victoria Stagg Elliott:
“I just watched the Imitation Game last night so my potential question is inspired by Alan Turing. Alan was a tortured genius. His craziness gave him the genius to crack the enigma code and end WWII, two years early. He probably saved millions of lives. But that craziness and societal homophobia also meant that he was dead by suicide at age 41. In what ways does our own craziness benefit our writing while perhaps being less than beneficial in our lives? How has societal oppression shaped our writing and how we express ourselves? How can this dynamic be used to create some fascinating characters in science fiction?”
I’d expand this a bit too – Turing may have been autistic, and many creative people have some kind of mental illness or even just quirky personalities. Is there something about being creative that is tied to unusual brains?
So here are my questions today. Are we all, as writers, a little crazy? Should our characters be crazy too? Is there something about being LGBt in particular that is tied into creativity? And of course, all of Victoria’s questions above.
Photo via AFP PHOTO / FILES / SHERBORNE SCHOOL