Friday, October 20, 2017

Fiction Friday: Book Brain

For the past couple of weeks, I've had a bad case of book brain.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, it refers to the severe absent-mindedness associated with being deep into writing a novel.

The reason for this is that humans are capable of holding five to nine (or about seven) pieces of information in their brain at the same time. If you use five of these slots to track what's happening in your book, that doesn't leave much for real life.

Under the effects of book brain, I have:
  • Forgotten appointments
  • Burned dinner
  • Completely forgotten to make dinner
  • Missed my turnoff
  • Missed birthdays
  • Looked up to realize Old Dog has been waiting for a response for a really long time
And it can be even worse. This didn't happen to me, personally, but I know a writer who rear-ended someone and wound up in traffic court.

On the plus side, under the effects of book brains, I have:
  • Solved knotty plot problems
  • Created inticate characters
  • Described settings so real you could be there
  • Written some really great stuff that, even when I went back and re-read it months later, I still thought was great stuff.
Have you ever had book brain? If so, what's the worst and best thing to come out of it for you?


  1. I don't get "book brain". I get "art project brain" or "natural history brain" or "thinking about the book I am reading" brain.. Same symptoms. You writers are the source of the third one!

  2. You need a fancy phone with reminders, you know cook supper at five, turn off oven, send birthday card...get organized! :) Carry on!


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