There are days I think I enjoy editing one of my manuscripts more than I do writing the first draft. The weird thing is I love writing. It’s an incredible experience to sit down, start typing away, and seeing what gets created. What I have in mind quite often changes because, while the main gist of it is there, plot points get introduced I never saw coming. And I swear I sit there and mutter “Holy smokes! Where did that come from? That’s brilliant!” For the record, when I say “That’s brilliant!”, I’m talking in terms of what my muse has whispered in my ear, not anything I’ve come up with.

That’s why we have a muse. She’s not an editor per se, but she does control the ebb and flow of creativity. It’s best when we work together, otherwise a story tends to get away from us. I’ll push in one direction, at which point she’ll say “Have at it, but you’re wrong.” And she’s right, annoyingly so. Or it’ll go too far off the rails in another direction, and I’ll have to coax her back. That bit doesn’t happen often. It’s more me pushing the story in a place where it just doesn’t work.

Anyway, I’m working on the last 2-3 chapters of the new book, and am feeling quite desperate to finish it. Okay, I WANT IT DONE. It’s a first draft, so I know there’s going to be a lot of work that still has to be done. That’s what I’m looking forward to, putting it all together and making it work the best it can. The problem I’m having is it’s coming along quite slowly. I’m not sure if we’re rusty after not having written a full novel in 6 years, or if my muse is simply taking her time and making sure we’re doing it correctly.

I want to plow ahead with the scenes I’ve sketched out, only when we go back to fill in the details, shit is getting changed. Plot points are being added, old ones reintroduced, and my attitude has been “Seriously? You couldn’t say something when we were sketching it out? This changes a few too many things here!” Then I spend an hour going back and adding or altering sections that were written months ago in order to accommodate what we just came up with.

There’s no real science to writing a book. Anybody can write words. But the creative part? That’s a whole different monster. It won’t always be tamed, it doesn’t want to be rushed, and we can only hope the wait was worth it.

Considering I’m writing about characters who have lived more than one lifetime, I’m half expecting to pass away one day, meet my muse, and have her berate me in front of all the other souls; “You moron! We could have written so much more if only you’d listened to me!”

Well, it’s something to look forward to, right?

Views: 34

Comment by koshersalaami on January 16, 2017 at 9:29am

Interesting third person view of the process, a personification of feeling like a vessel. 

Comment by Kage Alan on January 16, 2017 at 9:39am

I swear we simply channel a like-minded spirit.

Comment by koshersalaami on January 16, 2017 at 10:19am

But how does the spirit create? That creativity, those ideas that seem to come from thin air, have to come from somewhere. 

Personally, I find creativity easier in a reactive fashion, like you like editing. When you edit, you understand your own creativity. When playing music I'm certainly fine taking lead breaks, but I think I do better work with fills. 

Comment by Kage Alan on January 16, 2017 at 10:31am

I usually get an idea in my head, a specific scene with a specific character or two, that piques my interest. From there, it either goes away, or it starts to gel with other random ideas I've had, and I get a view of a bigger picture. So I'll sketch out some scenes, and then work on that until the whole thing becomes the first draft. I pile EVERYTHING into the first draft. Every idea, even if it doesn't get used in the end. That way, when I go through the broad stroke of the story, I can pick and choose what I feel works best, and discard the rest. I may also introduce other elements into it too.

That'll become my draft. That's what I send to my editor, and she goes through it. Once I'm done with her overhaul, I send it off to a line reader, and final proofer to make sure I haven't missed too many little things.

I can tell you that in terms of the Falling Awake novella, so much of that came from my traveling through airports, and about meeting a friend who has a scar on his chin very close to where I have one of my own. That's how it started. From there, it was trying to avoid cliches by introducing characters and plot points that interested me, and I felt could tell a good story. Much of these things come from our subconscious, and are based on our memories and experiences.

My two cents anyway.

Comment by Foolish Monkey on January 16, 2017 at 1:44pm

the best stuff is the stuff I don't try to control.  all I can do is make it right, use my skills to make it plausible or viable or correctly placed, but what I put there is beyond me.  even what I frame out - if I TRY to compose it, it becomes stilted.  if I let it happen, it flows.  

the thing with creating is you learn how to interpret what your muse is giving you and it tells you what needs saying.  so you say it the best way you can.  

Comment by Kage Alan on January 16, 2017 at 1:48pm

The weird thing, Foolish, is that the novella I wrote in 2015 that I'm currently writing a full-length novel that goes along with that one, fits it like a glove. You'd think I planned on writing the second book all along, and I didn't. It was never supposed to happen. It shouldn't be able to happen. And, yet, there hasn't been a single issue with the way the stories fit together yet.

Comment by Foolish Monkey on January 16, 2017 at 2:47pm

yeah...some pieces it's like is just like you said it "meant to be".   it's nice to do that, don't you think?

that's why I am so grateful for this - you know...creating.  it's a blessing.  you get to sit in on some raucous shit, being an artist.  and it's all going on inside you.  it's like a party that delivers itself.  


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