Friday, February 02, 2007

Writing Life

Characterization is IMHO what is most lacking in my stories.

So naturally, I read everything I can get my hands on about characterization. Brilliant fictional people seem to be products of communing with one's muse. Anne Lamott talks about the child in the cellar who slips notes under the door, which she gloms onto as being the truth about her characters. Jennifer Crusie talks about waiting for the the girls in the basement to send something up. I strongly suspect my muse is some sort of swamp monster. I keep a safe distance. I do like the idea of positioning myself on a nearby grassy knoll with field glasses, but I suppose if I want communication I should venture a little closer.

The other consistent internal voice in the internal editor. I don't have a nice one of those either.

However, the swamp creature keeps her in check.


Blogger Lori Borrill said...

LOL Evanne. I like your swamp creature muse.

I hear a lot of people talk about a muse, and I think to this day, I still don't really grasp what that is.

I guess it's just an analogy for one's imagination? If that's the case, my muse is probably an infant, just learning to talk and not quite in touch with the world yet. lol!

7:15 AM  
Blogger Evanne said...

Hey Lori, Your muse is definitely wise and funny, but I have no idea what she looks like. LOL

What I think they're talking about when muse is the subject, is the creative, non-verbal side of the brain that intuits things about characters. Or the sub-conscious where some believe creativity lives. :)

There are all kinds of rituals and exercises to get the poor struggling writer in touch with this inner fountatin of brilliance. Free writing, meditation, guided meditation or the more prosaic character questionaires.

I've heard lots of character driven writers say their characters talk to them. The author learns about them as she write the story.

I'm trying to get better at all this stuff, but I also know writing is an individual journey. I can't walk another's path.


9:25 AM  

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