Writing is not always fun. Sometimes, it’s all you can do just to plunk yourself into your chair and force out the words. It really sort of depends on where you are in the process, and what ideas you have brewing in your mind. Read more
Main characters are my muses, the spark that drives my desire to write a story. One reason I have such difficult time starting a new story is I don’t know my main character well enough to feel that necessary passion for them, yet. It’s a catch-22, because you can’t feel passion for them until you start writing, and write long enough to find something in them that sparks your passion, but if you can’t write until you feel passion, well…. That’s why I have to find other ways to motivate myself to write until that passion can take over. In the case of my old novel, my early writing was simply a way to distract myself from my doctoral dissertation. That story started out as a big, fluffy soap opera with no particular plot or lead character. And then, gradually, one of the characters emerged as someone who could carry my interest in the story herself.
Different case with my fan fiction epic. I developed a passion for the character while watching a television show–an unanalyzable fascination and emotional investment that demanded I continue to tell his story when there was no more television show to tell it.
The issue with my new story is that I don’t have a muse yet to motivate me. So I rely instead on the obligation to do these weekly updates and to send them to my writing coach, whom I am paying, to be a substitute motivation. And of course, there’s also that deep down hope that I will reach a place where I am writing with passion, and the belief that I can get there if I keep pounding at it long enough.
But so far, I am un-aMused. I have all these characters, and none yet is emerging as the character that sustains my interest in the story. I suppose that, so far, none of them is emotionally screwed-up enough to be interesting. Not that I think that’s the definition of “interesting.” It’s just, looking at my own track record, that’s the sort of character that gets under my skin–infinitely vulnerable, emotionally volatile, angry, and with major parental issues. Don’t ask me why. Those are not words that describe me, just what I’m drawn to. Which…okay, let’s just skip past the psychoanalysis of yours truly.
So I finally got motivated to do something with my writing rut, and contacted my old writing coach in San Francisco. I figured she could help, because her specialty was classes to help people find their inner writer, their inner stories, the stories that really get them going, and that’s what I need. She’s not cheap, but this is pretty damned important.
I didn’t hear back from her for several days, and started to wonder if she was active in the writing coach business, but she wrote me back today! She’s a busy stay-at-home mom at the moment, but she and I have worked together via email correspondance even when we lived in the same city, so this is a good, and I am cautiously hopeful.
So Julie’s reading my old novel chapter by chapter, and I’ve had to read it myself to clean up the editing remarks embedded in the text before sending it off to her. And it’s making me kinda sad. I’m a pretty good writer, damn it, and after four years of fan fic, I think I’m even better.
I should be writing a novel again.
ETA: It’s not an inability to write (I’ve been writing a lot…of fan fic), or lack of desire to write (I’m tormented by my desire to write original fic), or even lacking for writing prompts. It’s an inability of the prompts to connect to something inside me, inspiring writing.
ETA ETA: And it’s not related to my dad’s death. It’s been going on for *four years now*.
I don’t think my muses like each other much. If one story’s going well, I can’t seem to get any work done on the other. I try, but the story won’t flow.
Right now, baby boy’s being a royal bitch, and his undead sister is, too.