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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box

I was sent one of those E-mails where it is a story, you don't know if it was made up by somebody or true.  I generally tend to believe most outrageous stories to some degree because in my life I have seen over and over again that true life is more outrageous, more cruel, more over whelming and creative than any writer can ever dream to be.  This is one of the reasons if you ever read any of the adventures of Jack Aubrey, by the Great Patrick O'Brian, everything that happened in the books came right out of the pages of British Ships Logs.  As he put it, he could never come up with adventures to compete with true life.
The Story from the E-mail, Paraphrased.
A Texas man walks into a New York City Bank and asks to have a loan for five thousand dollars.  The bank clerk says they would need some collateral for a loan of that amount.  The Texan produces the keys to his Lamborghini and the title for the car.  The Texan explained he would only need the money for two weeks and then would be back to pay off the loan and collect his car at that time.  They of course gave him the loan.
Two weeks passed and the Texan returns and pays back the loan and 28.07 in interest.  The bank clerk says to him, "What's the deal?  We checked you out before giving you the loan and you have plenty of money, why did you borrow the five grand for two weeks?"
The Texan replied, "I had to be in New York on business for two weeks, and where else could I park my car for two weeks for only 28.07 and know it was going to be there when I returned?"
It is a cute story, that makes you chuckle.  As I thought about it I realized what a wonderful example of thinking outside the box.  Who would think of borrowing money from a bank and let them hold the car as a solution to where to park your car?  This so directly applies to problems we face every day.  If we would consider every problem as an opportunity to try and think outside the box and find a unique solution to problems rather than the first logical, system designed, accepted way of handling the problem.
In writing, I like to create situations where the reader will naturally assume this is what is going to happen, or this is where this is heading.  I like to make it interesting enough to make them want to read on, to find out what happens or if they make it, but then do something outside of the box, something different and completely unexpected, but still managing to get to the same place just by another route.
Now as I only have one book published you can't run out and see how I do that except for reading my first book.  Whisper By Thomas Wilson .99 cents.
A good example of writing outside the box will be my second Novel, so mark your calendar for September 11, 2011 to order my second book, "No Rules Of Engagement".  If the title gives you a clue, it is no holds barred, fast action, raw and vulgar language, kids from earth gathered up and trained to fight aliens.  It is definitely out of the box!  If foul language disturbs you, my book will definitely disturb you, so don't read it.
Try and write out of the box.  Come up with the wildest, craziest ideas you can.  Try and solve real life problems in this manner.  If this Texan really exists and works this way, no wonder he is doing so well.
One last piece of advice is to handle problems as they arise.  I see too many people who think they are cute side stepping this problem and that problem.  The problems will wait, they will still be there.  When one comes along that gets you stuck, guess what?  This stock pile of problems you have been accumulating comes crashing down on top of you.  You're done.  Overwhelmed!
Handle All Problems as they present their ugly heads, deal with them directly, out of the box, in the box, through the box, just deal with them.  If you run out, HA!  Look for potential problems and solve them before you get to them.  If they don't materialize, oh well, you were ready if they did!  If they do materialize, do a gotcha, and get it, handle it and don't even break your stride in doing so.  It works!  It makes for a much happier and stress free life.  Try it.


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