- Storytelling is a talent passed down through the generations in my family. It is a way of life in that the more you live, the better the story; the deeper the experience, the broader the plain to connect with readers. Just like life is about people so writing is about people - about their love, their loss, their triumphs, their failures, and their x ever after. I write to understand myself and make sense of life. I share my work in order to find others who can relate to my characters, or their lives, or the moral of the story.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
The muse & plot bunny vs reality
I'm going to write a little story so that my friends and family (who are not writers) will have a much better idea what it means when a writer says 'The muse is calling my name!', or 'I'm inspired', or 'I NEED TO SIT DOWN AND WRITE, NOW!'
Your child/younger sibling/best friend (muse) has been very good with keeping themselves occupied while you deal with the daily tasks of work/school/whatever it is that is consuming your time (aka. life). You're always aware that they're waiting on you to spend time with them, until you finally get to a point where you start to feel guilty that they're so quietly patient. You get this great idea (plot bunny) on how to repay them/reward them for their good behaviour and you say 'you know what, I will put everything else on hold and we will go have some quality one-on-one time, if not today then definitely in 8 days' time'.
Sounds good, right?
Your child/sibling/friend is SO excited that you haven't forgotten they exist and that you're going to be doing something fun together, like the good old times, that their excitement becomes infectious and before you know it, you are swept up by it and geared and ready to go. So you grab them by the hand, practically skip to the door as you drag them behind you, and with great joy you fling the door open.
But instead of feeling the warm sunshine on your face, you get pelted with hail stones; instead of meeting up with all your other friends, they're unavailable and don't answer when you call them; instead of stepping into an exciting, bold world ready for you to come play in, you step into the real world where chores and work require your immediate attention. You turn to your child/sibling/friend and you want to explain to them, but their excitement has morphed into stubborn determination (which can be a very bad thing when the timing is not right) and you just know that if you bail out on them now, it will take a lot of grovelling and coaxing and promising and, did I mention grovelling?, for them to do anything with you willingly thereafter.
This is what it's like when you introduce Plot Bunny to Muse (and vice versa), and reality becomes an obstacle in your path. The muse will always be there somewhere in the depths of your subconscious, but when you neglect it for too long, it starts chipping tunnels to the deeper and more unreachable part of your mind. Sometimes it will take a long time before you venture down the right tunnel and find them sulking in a little corner. Sometimes it's a really tough battle to drag them kicking and screaming from their sulky-corner and it might take a while for them to warm up to you again. The muse, I've found, can be stubborn to the point of being unhealthly. They can be your worst enemy or your best friend, depending on how you scrabble your words.
Personally, I've had to fight my muse out of hiding, and then poke him with a hot iron until he submitted to my demands, at least twice in the past five years. Reality has a way of scaring the muse away.
This time, however, I've got my muse chained to me. If he was to break through the chains, I've got his shoes superglued to the ground. If he was to struggle out of his shoes, I have a minefield of sinkholes that will suck him straight back to me. If he was to fly, I'll shoot him down and clip his wings. If he was to teleport...well, let's just say that I have another no-nonsense muse lying in wait to chase my carefree muse back to where he belongs.
So, I'm going to be dotting down some stuff on a plot bunny that's been pestering me for a while now. I might write it for Nano, but as it stands, I'm still going to be writing the first part of my completed manuscript.
8 DAYS TO NANO!!!
*Please refrain from pointing out the fact that a muse is female. I know this. So does my muse. I also have imagination and don't let cliches box me in. My muse is quite content being male.