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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Dark Roller Coasters

Dark Roller Coasters

Apparently, I get a thrill out of not knowing where I’m going.

I never knew this about myself. I thought I liked to be completely in control – and definitely never lost.

I also thought I hated roller coasters – though I always suspected I was afraid of the height, more than the coaster itself. I’m also not fond of bridges and ferris wheels. I keep imagining myself FALLING. I don’t see how those flimsy guard rails are going to keep my vehicle from falling off the edge of the bridge, and as for roller coasters, I expect the cars to fly off the track at any time – or just break through the track on the curve and hurtle out across the amusement park …

Therefore, it was with great trepidation that I allowed my family to talk me into riding Space Mountain at Disney last month. My husband said, “It’s in the dark. You can’t see how high you are.” And although I wasn’t convinced, I did try to be a good sport. I figured, if I was terrified – he’d owe me BIG TIME. (Always a good position to be in.)

So I rode it, and as we were leaving, I turned to the family, coughed sheepishly, and murmured, “Uh, we could do that again, if you want …”

Turns out – I love roller coasters, as long as I can’t see where I’m going! Who knew? Not only did I ride Space Mountain again, but I was first in line to ride Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios – after I’d ascertained that it, too, is in the dark. Strangely enough, I also enjoyed Tower of Terror – in which you really are falling – and during which you have a plain view of how high you are. Mission Space – no problem. The Simpsons Ride and the Spider Man Ride – loved ‘em! I’ve got no issues being strapped into a car that bumps around a bit while being shown a movie that simulates falling and flying. (I even laughed during the Simpson ride when the roller coaster track breaks and the car hurtles out across the amusement park … arguably, a simulation of my worst nightmare!)

I thought I was afraid of the motion. Not true. I thought I was afraid of heights. Not really. I thought I was afraid of falling. Hmm … closer, but Tower of Terror was kind of fun. I’m not sure there’s a name for why I’m terrified of the itty bitty baby train that rides a skinny track overtop of Playland in Ocean City, NJ, but it’s definitely not what I thought it was.

Have you ever thought you were afraid of one thing – but turns out you were afraid of something else entirely?

Do you enjoy that sensation of not knowing where you’re going next – on a dark roller coaster – or in your current WIP?

7 Responses to Dark Roller Coasters

  1. Lenny Lee! says:

    hi miss dianne! im glad you got mostly past being afraid so you could have some fun. i didnt ever go to disney land but i hope i could some day. i went to 6 flags. i liked the roller costers but i hate stuff that spins cause it gets my stomach all icky feeling and makes me walk like a crab when i get off. for me not knowing sometimes whats next in my story is ok cause it makes me think more and it gives me a challange. i dont get worried cause i know im gonna get it and then keep on writing. guess what? i got 2 more of your books sold cause of that cool t shirt! 🙂
    …hugs from lenny

  2. I love, love, love Tower of Terror. I also loved the attention to detail when you walked into the hotel lobby. WOW! We need to strive for that kind of detail in our writing, the ability to create scenes that transport us instantly to a particular time and place. Anyway, sort of got off topic there. (Smiles) The answer to your question is: Yes. I often know where to start and how my novel will end and maybe some plot points in between, but I love the unexpected twists and turns my characters take me on. I never thought about comparing writing a novel to riding a roller coaster, but it works. There’s highs and lows, twists and turns, moments when you scream and moments when you feel like you are going to chuck your lunch. But when the ride is over, we often want to get right back in line because, well, it’s what we love to do. Now I really want to go ride a coaster. And my fav? The Phoenix at Knoebel’s Amusement Park. It’s an old wooden coaster that I absolutely adore. Thanks for a fun post today, Dianne. Keep writing kiddo:)

  3. Talei says:

    OMG Dianne, I am nervous about really big roller coasters, in fact I went on the Space Mountain ride at Euro Disney with my OH, only because it was his birthday – and I closed my eyes and screamed like the girl that I am! LOL. I did enjoy the thrill but its that feeling of my stomach dropping that gets me! Good for you though, I’m not sure I’d do it again.

    In terms of writing, well I guess sharing my WIP with others was initially a HUGE step but I got over it and now I enjoy it the feedback! 😉

  4. I thought I was scared of roller coasters until I went on the batman ride at Grest Adventure. I loved it. I know what you mean about the itty bitty train in Ocean City, NJ. I just went on that this year with my kids and that scared the heck out of me.
    With my WiP–I’m scared of sharing my work. I’m getting better at it.
    I’m also scared of people thinking that everything I write is trash–That I have no business in this business.
    HAve a great day!

  5. mshatch says:

    I used to love the roller coaster at Paragon Park (sadly gone now) and once rode it 48 times in one day – I think that was the highlight of my 13th year. Now, I’m not sure if I’d like it as much. At 13, who’s afraid? But I think I’d give it a go.

  6. Marva says:

    No for rollercoaster rides. I usually keep my eyes shut or I’ll upchuck on somebody. I missed the Yeti on the Everest ride.

    For my WIP, yes, I’d love to know where I’m going, but I might as well have my eyes shut since I’m not seeing much these days. Matter of fact, my WIP is a half page of notes, double-spaced.

  7. Boomergolf says:

    I’ve spent the last 46 years in the dark, not knowing where I’m going, and I think it’s terrifying. If I knew where I was going, it might be even scarier!