Friday, 9 March 2012

Facing tests - inspiration

 Ever taken a re-test?         IMPORTANT NEWS BELOW

We live in a society that believes in testing to prove excellence! The problem being that those writing the tests know what they want from the respondents to their tests but are not 100% sure of how to get there.

Irrespective of the inefficiency of the tests constructed  or the validity of the results and what has actually been tested, tests have an affect on the people that have to take part in them. As a writer the affect of tests on the human body and psyche can provide information useful in the describing of behaviours that our characters experience in testing situations in our stories.
I actually did go through such a test this week. It was an attempt to confirm my ability in a certain artistic area. I have succeeded on 3 separate occasions previously over the last 16 years. My reason for writing this is because while waiting for my 'turn' someone who had just been tested came out of his test and started talking about why we feel as we do when we are being tested.
To summarise - when we have to face an examination as the time/date approaches we experience a range of emotions - nervousness, fear, inadequacy, fear of failure - depending on the personality there could be more than these but irrespective of number we react in different ways. We try and prepare, we look for situations in which our confidence in ourselves is enhanced. we try and see ourselves as being successful and we pray. Basically we are shit scared!
What on earth are we scared of? In my situation failure would mean that I have one extra night each week to do what I like and I would save almost £100/year in subscriptions alone. It is not these concrete benefits of failure that are important but rather the more amorphous psychological responses that our bodies put us through. Things like - What will my friends and colleagues think? How can I continue in this role? Am I really that hopeless at....?Am I a worthwhile person? 
The heroes that we create are an amalgam of how we are and how we would like to be and be seen.  Our experiences in testing situations can tell us about adrenaline and its effects on our bodies, breathing and heart rates and so on - all useful. 

As writers we need to be aware of how we react in testing situations both physically and mentally and then our characters will react realistically to the fictitious situations in which we put them and our readers will be drawn in to the stories we create by  psychologically putting themselves in similar situations referring back to their own experiences. To get your characters to live you have to have lived yourself!

 A Thank You
As a sign of gratitude to the members of the tribe I am part of on Triberr for all of their support my 1st novel 'I Have To get It Right' is available free on Smashwords until Sunday. Click on

God bless