Inspiration from the dental chair…

#nanowrimo fuel
#nanowrimo fuel (Photo credit: Tojosan)

I’ve read quite a lot lately about writers’ writing routines, methods of getting ideas worked into some kind of novel for NaNoWriMo, and the various places or moments where those ideas “pop up.” Like every other writer, I’m not unique in coming up with ideas for plots, characters, conflicts, resolutions, and the “happily-ever-after” ending in  the most unexpected times and places.

But perhaps this morning’s experience just may be the ultimate example of where ideas for my current novel-in-progress for NaNoWriMo flashed into my mind.

I spent well over an hour-and-a-half reclined in a surgical chair having the second part of a root canal completed. Novocaine is good, and maybe it has some magical power other than to numb the nerves, because all during the procedure I actually did some brainstorming about what the next moves for my protagonist would be. I also pretty much decided several other actions to put into play as things wind toward the big finish.

Everything I thought about—as I lay there with mouth “blocked” open and some kind of latex cover over most of my mouth, the endodontist scraping and filling and speaking in technical lingo of which I had no knowledge—seemed logical and much different from the original stuff I’d planned to use.

Staring up into the bright light above me, while the doctor and assistant worked me over (gently!), I told myself that for the new ideas to work, major rewriting would be in order. But that’s the beauty of NaNoWriMo: Get the draft of at least 50,000 words completed by month’s end, and then the shaping, molding, fixing-up can begin after that. Kind of like what a root canal is supposed to do the affected tooth, I guess!

Happy writing, all. May your ideas arrive in any forms they may, even if it’s while you’re in a dental chair!…CortlandWriter

English: A diagram demonstrating endodontic th...
English: A diagram demonstrating endodontic therapy (colloquially known as a root canal) on unhealthy or injured tooth: first drilling and cleaning, then filing with an endofile, and finally adding the rubber filling and crown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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6 thoughts on “Inspiration from the dental chair…

    1. Jill: I am with you in wanting to get the heck out of there, but I figured that as long as I had no other alternative to my situation, that I’d force myself to think of anything totally unrelated to it. Thus, I focused on my novel and the point where I’d left off the night before. Of course, it didn’t really speed up the procedure any more so I could “get the heck out,” but it did keep me from letting my inner fear get the best of me. I hope it’s the last time I’ll have to go through something like that. 🙂

    1. Dave: (See above reply to Jill) The only thing that would have made the strangeness of the whole thing any better is if I would have been able to write down or record some of those ideas and thoughts. I’ve managed to recall most of them, but I keep thinking that there were some really good ones that drifted away! 🙂

  1. I often ‘work’ on my writing while I’m otherwise occupied, such as waiting in line or exercising, but I’ve never done it in the dentist chair. I’m always so on edge there, not sure if I could. I’ll have to give it a try next time. Might be a good time to draft an outline for a horror novel…

    1. Carrie: I like your idea about outlining for a horror novel there. I can imagine all sorts of “what-ifs…” floating around the helpless guy in the chair. Who’s really behind the mask and the green gown…etc. 🙂

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