Tuesday, 27 October 2020

My Muse is back!

Last week, I said that my Muse had gone on strike. I was struggling to write; what I did write, I hated... it was all just going horribly.

What a difference a week makes!

It turns out that it wasn't that my characters weren't talking to me, but that I was trying to put them in the wrong book. I'd had an idea about a book and it just didn't quite click, but the plan/plot was sound. Unfortunately, none of the characters seemed to want to play ball. In all the other books that I've written, I can see everything. It feels less like I'm creating and more that I'm writing down a film I can see playing in my head.

Not last week. Last week it felt as if I was writing it from scratch and it was hard.

I tried everything... I tried to keep writing, and hated every word I wrote. Every scene had notes to my future self like "Bleugh!!! This is horrible!" or "Sort this out... I have no idea where this is going or why I'm writing it!" Not a single scene that I got down was singing to me.

I tried leaving it alone for a day and doing something else, but I was twitchy to write and couldn't settle to anything else either. I went back to my desk, sure that this must be a sign that I did know what to write and that all would flow. It didn't.

I tried sand-timers. I tried avoiding the news and social media. I tried knitting, in the hope that my brain would be working on it all while I knitted, and then magically, when I put the knitting away, the words would gush forth, sensibly and beautifully. They didn't.

And then, while I was in the shower, it was as if I'd suddenly tuned in to the correct channel. I could see almost all of the book. I could hear the characters' voices. I knew what was wrong with the original plot. Naturally, as I was in the shower, I had no pen or paper to hand, so my husband was treated to me chanting major plot points as I dashed out of the bathroom, wrapped in a towel, rushing for the notebook that's kept at the side of the bed.

The fabulous side of this, is that I am so much happier with the plot and the characters and everything.

The downside is that almost everything I'd already written (~10% of the book) needs to be scrapped. Mind you, most of it was so rubbish it would have been gone anyway!

It turns out that my Muse wasn't really on strike; I was just asking him to help me with the wrong book.


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