I’ve heard a lot of people talking about their Muse lately. I’m sure as writers at some point we have all looked to this person for something. Not just for guidance but to be someone we can blame when we are eating ice cream and vegging out in front of the TV when we should be writing. I have.
Mine is a male. That in itself is an exception rather than the norm. He is a combination of Jimmy Steward, George Clooney and Brad Pitt all rolled into one.
I used to think there were several people in my head telling me what to do – I mean write. But I’ve come to realize that it’s just him. He lines up the characters in each story, gets them to the scene on time, and they practice what they plan to say. He does this until everyone is happy and then he moves on to the next one.
He also designs the back drop or the set. This is one of his specialties. Once the characters move on and I’m allow to write the story, all I need to do is close my eyes and I can see where they are. Everything is crystal clear from the bubbles in the bath tub reaching up to the ceiling, their rainbow of bright colors shimmering in each one to the warmth of the thick terrycloth towels warmed by the heat of the towel rack and the steam from the water. I can smell the flickering candles that are in the crystal bowls and the scents of the couple in the tub basking in their afterglow of making love. I can feel the texture of their hot skin and the nap of the rug on the floor beneath their feet. Colors so warm and inviting that I want to touch the richness of them.
The characters themselves are given this much detail too. I know the slope of the nose to the mound of a breast. Muscle tone and fullness of mouths and lips after torrid kisses or more. The strength of fingers and the feel of them touching the other person’s cheeks, or the soft feel of the newborn cradled in the mother’s arms. Rich and vivid details that are there for me to simply put to paper for me to share.
My Muse very much the task maker I’ve discovered. He can and has rapped my finger with a ruler faster than my first grade teacher had many years ago. When he takes the time to work out all the details for me, he is very firm on it going the way he wants it.
I’ve tried once or twice – okay lots of times – to nudge him in a different direction. But he won’t have it. Oh he’ll let me think I have, going so far as to let me get really into the new story line before he stops it. And it stops dead too. Not another word for any of his other stories either.
See, I write more than one at a time. Usually different story lines altogether too. Right now I’m working on book two and four of a human series about six brothers, book eleven of the vampire/wolf/magical series and all the while a new story is being set up too.
How do I keep them straight? Well that’s a whole other blog. Maybe I’ll share my insanity about that next time.
Anyway . . . they just come to a complete standstill. Not a word, not a scene not even a single thought about any of them until I go back to my nudge and start over from there.
The other week I had a silly thought about moving the scene from the hospital to the office. Seemed to me to be more private – silly me. It was going great! Words flowing like water, decorations and sets described well and three days into it – SLAM! The door was shut and nothing.
I knew what he was doing. He was being cantankerous and he also knew that he would win – he always does, so why not now. I thought to go back a single chapter and try from there. Then after letting that stew with no results, I went back another then another. Eighteen thousand, two hundred and three works deleted later and I was back on track – his track.
Did I learn anything? Sure, who wouldn’t? Will I do it again? And at the cost of possibility more words? Well, I can say emphatically . . . nope. Well, maybe. Okay, yes I will. Yes, I know I’m that stupid. But pushing the envelope is what made me start putting pen to paper.
I love pulling out all the filled and filling steno pads filled with stories. I love collecting the pens I empty when I write, the ink used up and the pen rendered useless. And I love seeing the story as it develops, the characters coming to the end of whatever and simply coming together. It’s like the window is opened and all the sunshine is invited in because my Muse made it right.
Now, why you ask yourself is my Muse such a weird combination of men? Jimmy lends stability to the mix. He’s the one that makes it happen in the stories and brings in the serious element. George is the humor side of the Muse. He give Duncan the one liners and makes them work (Duncan is in all eleven of the Aaron’s Kiss series). George is also the inspiration of the snarky women and sarcastic wit. Brad lends . . . well let’s face it, every woman needs a little yummy in their life and my Muse thinks it’s great.