Arguments with my muse…
My muse is a bitch. She is pig headed, stubborn and capricious. She works when she is in the mood and can be fantastic, but of late she has increasingly “had a headache”. Half finished stories litter my hard drive, when she lost interest in them. The novel is taking an absolute age to finish. Like I said – bitch!
Recently, I thought that she and I were getting on better. I pandered to her unsociable and inconvenient hours, and with a little bit of pressure from me, I managed to finish part 1 of the novel. Great – lets get on with part 2.
Was she having any of it? Not even slightly.
I had a chapter plan that I had followed (more or less). I knew what I needed to write for the next chapter. Every time I sat down and tried to put fingers to keyboard however, she just made excuses and trawled the internet on my behalf instead.
I tried to lay down the law. I sat in front of my PC and pounded out 2000 words, completing the next chapter. I read it back and absolutely hated it. It didn’t work for a reason I could not put my finger on. The writing was OK for a first draft. There were no glaring errors in the text and it followed my chapter plan, but I was not happy with what I had produced.
No doubt about it, she had her pet lip out and was sulking in the corner.
Then I tried something different. I tried listening to her.
It turns out that the story that I thought I was writing, was no longer the story that she wanted to tell. Not entirely, anyway. Not yet.
At the end of part 1, I had achieved everything that I set out to, and had planned to jump from 1986, back to the present, and get on with the “main story”
Turns out that she had not finished with part 1, even though I thought we had. She wanted to see the consequences of the last chapter. I knew what happened next, but she wanted to see it unfold, rather than have it mentioned in passing, years later.
So, I sat down and started writing again. This time, the words flowed and the story came back to life.
The bitch was co-operating again, and was sitting on my shoulder with a big smug grin on her face.
I hate it when she is right.