Saturday, October 15, 2016

Return of the Muse

I write a lot about the Muse. I never really put much thought into whether it was a real thing or not but apparently there is more to this ethereal minx than I had considered. I may need to set another chair at the writing desk so it won't feel so unwanted. Here's what happened...

For the past two days I've been at an impasse with my plot. There was one very important scene that I had not entirely fleshed out while doing my outline. I did not want to rush it, so I left it blank except for the title, '*character* dies'. I knew who was dying, I just left it out here so as not to spoil my bestseller for people when it comes out. I know, right? Anyway, now that I needed to fill in the specifics, I was drawing a blank. Every idea seemed too cliche or similar to previous scenes. If you are a plotter like me, you know I could not go any further. Leaving it blank would just haunt me if I started writing expecting the idea to appear once I got to it. So there I sat. Until today.

The idea came out of nowhere. Well, maybe not from nowhere. I had a setting but for some reason I kept leaving it to go somewhere else. I think because I had a split second vision of the scene already composed in my mind's eye and I was forcing my ideas to run through it. Then along came my Muse, finally. Where the Hell have you been? Wait, never mind. I don't want to know. You're back and that's all that matters. My Muse stopped me before I left my setting and told me to just wait. So I waited. After a few minutes, along came the two adversaries that I had imagined elsewhere. They could do their job here as well as there. With that impasse gone, the ideas came like a torrent of water from a burst dam. Now I may proceed and with new ideas brought to life from this other one. It was a gift within a gift.

To sum this up, if you find yourself struggling with a scene, I suggest you give it time instead of giving up. I kept coming back to this scene instead of skipping it. If I had skipped it, I might have forced it to conform to the upcoming scenes which would have squashed what I really needed: true inspiration. Now because of deadlines, that is not always an option, but deadlines also have a way of creating a different kind of inspiration, mostly weaved from the lining of empty pockets. 

Don't forget NaNoWriMo is fast approaching. Declare your novel and keep writing!

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