My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Marianne de Pierres to talk about how the power of resisting organization relates to Peacemaker.
So here’s the thing: I have an uncanny and deep-seated ability to resist being organised. It’s quite the talent. I mean I’ve written nearly twenty novels, raised three sons and worked at various day jobs.
It’s hard to know how it was at all possible really, because the moment someone says, “Oh, you can manage that, no problem, you just need to be well organised”, a veil descends across my mind and my limbs become heavy. I begin to daydream and can find endless distractions in odd and obscure time-gobbling pursuits; my junk drawer needs sorting, the car needs a vacuum, I simply must read this article about prescriptivism versus descriptivism in linguistics, all the twitter feeds of people I don’t know, and my favourite advertising-riddled celebrity gossip blogs.
I apply this tried and true process to my writing. When I should be planning and sorting hard copies of notes into files or folders so that they’re colour coded and easy to access, I develop amnesia. Photocopies disappear (weeks later I find them in my tax file or, worse, my contracts file). The moment that I think that I should be keeping a detailed list of characters and their attributes, I can no longer remember a single name in my story, and then I get incredibly tired — too tired to click back through pages to pick them out — and have to take a nap. Bookmarking chapters or passages becomes as difficult as a complex algorithm.
Say the word organise and I feel like a magnet turned the wrong way around. I begin to repel good sense, practicality and the ability to think logically.
I attribute the source of this talent to my creative brain. It’s a loner and a bigot who must have had an abusive childhood because it does not play well with others. It’s also a lively, indefatigable muse whom I’m unable to resist. Given the right circumstances, it will gorge on chaos until the only possible result is a wholly unplanned magic realist, western, occult, science fiction, Australian fantasy purged straight from my brain to the screen.
Do you think it needs counselling?
Marianne de Pierres is the author of the acclaimed Parrish Plessis, the award-winning Sentients of Orion science fiction series and the upcoming Peacemaker SF Western series (for which there is also a proposed soundtrack). She’s also the author of a teen dark fantasy series, entitled Night Creatures. Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and three galahs. Marianne writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt. Visit her websites: Marianne de Pierres; Marianne Delacourt (for the Tara Sharp series); and Escape Club.