>We’ve all been there at some point. You’re lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, trying to force yourself to drift off to sleep. Maybe you put on the television, trying to find a program that you find so boring, you can’t help but sleep. When that doesn’t work, maybe you move on to reading a book, hoping the forced ritual of moving your eyes across the page will cause them to give in, eventually sending you into slumber land. Or maybe you try sticking the earphones of your IPod in your ears, expecting the music to sooth you away into a blissful REM.
But when all of these fail, I use a different strategy to help me pass the time at night. I sneak off to my computer where I try to put together a new conflict for my characters to work through. It always has to be something mysterious for me, or it just won’t do. But sometimes it becomes a little too spooky. Like when the ghostly image of a girl, dressed in white, with her long black hair flowing, descends from the ceiling right in front of me. When that happens, I usually find it too hard to go back to sleep. Partially because I have to explain who she was, why she was there, and most importantly, how my main character is going to deal with her. But it also stems from the fact that it was just a little too spooky and now I can’t go back to sleep.
This was the case for me recently after viewing the Korean ghost school film, Wishing Stairs. If you’ve seen the film, then you may recall the scene I’m talking about. Were the ballerina from beyond comes down to her friend in the dance studio, her eyes fluttering around as she hangs in mid-air like a nightmare. The film gave me some ideas for my own character, Lin Wu, who often meets similar types of characters in her adventures.
It would be an understatement for me to say that Asian cinema had only a small influence on my writing. It’s probably been the strongest influence for me, in terms of how I see my character, Lin Wu, to date. It’s also one of the reasons why I may not be sleeping as well at night. But in the end, I know my character will deal with that ghostly girl hanging down from the ceiling in one way or another. Then I’ll have time to let her deal with that creepy little doll, that seems to be walking across the floor all by itself at the moment. A good sleep will just have to wait.