Monday, June 1, 2015

Having a Wild Imagination Isn’t Always a Good Thing

Every author needs to have a good imagination. Writers must envision entire people and settings, visualize action and see scenes play out. It’s good to have an imagination, but not always. Some authors maybe get a little too creative with their thoughts. In some ways, I think Bram Stoker was a little crazy. He had a really wild imagination, and you won’t believe where it took him.

Conspiracy Theory

Most people know Bram Stoker for “Dracula,” that chilling tale of the immortal Count who must drink blood to continue his unholy ways. Fewer people are aware that Stoker was also a conspiracy theorist who wrote what he called non-fiction. One of his most popular --and peculiar-- theories is that Queen Elizabeth I was, in fact, a dude in drag.

Bram Stoker says that Queen Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, actually died at age 10. When the servants learned that King Henry VIII was coming to see his daughter, they went to the town of Bisley to get a lookalike. The only child who resembled the Princess was a boy, so he was dressed in her clothes.

Most of Stoker’s proof of this theory is highly circumstantial, to be kind. Known as the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth never married. There is some suggestion that she carried on sexual affairs, but not in Stoker’s theory. To his way of thinking, she never married because that would reveal her secret. Stoker believes she wore wigs not because they were fashionable, but to cover up male pattern baldness. Also, the Queen was very smart. Clearly, too smart to be just a woman.

Having a wild imagination can lead to interesting, if somewhat insane, conspiracy theories. It can also lead to amazing stories like “Dracula.” But there is always danger when one goes lurking in one’s own mind. It’s dangerous territory, and your brain is capable of tricking you into believing almost anything.

In other words, it’s good to imagine and to create. But don’t let your imagination run off with you, because it is fully capable of driving you insane.

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