I know that some people don’t believe in muses, at least, not as a separate entity from their creative writing process.
Me — when I’ve imagined my muse — she’s always been a fast-talking, cigarette-smoking, scotch-guzzling bitch with a broad New York accent.
She’s been quiescent for most of the novel — I think she’s been just as thrilled as I was with the seat-of-my-pants flying that I’ve been doing, that working without an outline forced me to do. And I suspect that she’ll be pretty good during the rewrites as well — mainly because if she starts getting too demanding I should be able to distract her with the second (and third) novel.
For the last week she’s been poking at me, making quiet suggestions for short stories or drabbles or whatnot. I’ve been able to ignore her because I’ve been so focused on the novel.
Well — last night she let me know loudly that she’d had enough, damn it, and I was going to start this new story NOW. (Now being after walking home from the SF shorts last night, which were great fun.) And I knew that if I didn’t listen to her, well, while I might want to write on the novel, I wouldn’t be able to. I probably wouldn’t be able to write anything for a week — that’s generally how long she sulks.
So I got the first 8 handwritten pages done. It’s science fiction, like most of my short work. It’s a semi-dystopian future, with people dealing with some of the problems that we are currently causing (for example, garbage landfills.) It has some fantasy elements in it as well — one person’s technology being another person’s magic. And it has voice, that one person’s unique dialect. (I wasn’t the poster child for unaffected, disenchanted youth — more like the after-school special.) I don’t know how long this story is. I’d like to say between 3-4000 words, but I suspect that’s way off, that it’s going to be more like 10,000.
To put this process in terms other than a bitchy muse — I got a story idea. I knew it was a good story idea. I also knew my process well enough to realize that if I didn’t start to write the story when I got home I:
A) wouldn’t be able to go to sleep and
B) would have difficulty writing anything else for a while because this story would be blocking the pipes, as it were.
It felt really good to write this story, to write in modern vernacular and slang (one of the characters is modified to resemble Max Headroom.) And my muse is quiet this morning, so I can get back to typing the novel.
And speaking of such. . . Hope that everyone has a lovely Sunday!