Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Beauty of This Vision Alone I Can't Shake

Isn't it utterly amazing how inspiration comes and goes? How your muse is silent and unresponsive for weeks, and then suddenly she can't love you enough? How the silence in your mind is suddenly overtaken by a whole chorus of voices, clamoring for a scrap of your attention...for your words?

This is why I LOVE writing. The unpredictability, the ups and downs, the sudden rush of creativity and the high that accompanies it.

If you haven't noticed, I'm on one of those highs.

Although most of the time the high can't be traced back to any certain event, this time I think I know the reason. Or reasons, as the case may be. Last week my good friend and fellow writer, Kate, sat down with me and we talked through the entire plot of Due South. I am definitely one of those people who needs to think aloud. Even if the other person never says anything back to me, saying it out loud helps me to organize my thoughts and get them all out in the open for scrutiny. Luckily for me, Kate doesn't just let me talk (although she's awesome enough to know when I need to do that as well). She challenges me, questions me, and makes sure I've got everything covered. It's less like I'm telling her about my book and more like I'm examining it, defending it, and building it.

Secondly (and I admit, this is one of my favorite things), reading good writing makes me want to jump in and write too. It is also like a challenge to me. Am I sensing a theme here? Lately I've been reading a YA novel by Jennifer Donnelly called A Northern Light and the writing is just lovely. Rich, true, and excellently voiced. Donnelly seems to capture in a few words what lesser writers take paragraphs to say. Also, just last night I read a wonderful fic on LiveJournal, of all things. (This is where my brain nearly explodes trying to figure out why it seems like these kind of people never get published, even though there's crap in book form being printed left and right, but I'm going to shut up about that now. That's for another post.) I would link all of you to it, but I feel as though I need permission from the author, and I've friend requested her. I will definitely pass it along if she lets me. It was remarkable how quickly I was drawn in to the story and how quickly I cared about the main character, and her style was just perfection.

Last, but certainly the most important: I gave myself permission NOT to write Due South for a while. Here's the thing... Eli is stubborn and obstinate. He cannot be forced or rushed, or even gently coerced to speak. If I try, he turns his back on me and retreats inside himself. I honestly get this vision of him sulking in the woods behind Rowan House, throwing rocks at nothing in particular when this happens, and all I can do is let him cool off and keep out of his way. The whole book, I know now, will be written on his terms. So until he's ready to talk freely, I'm fine with waiting.

I've been writing fun little drabbles with characters who are much easier to work with, putting no pressure on myself whatsoever. And that is exactly what I need. No pressure. Without the self-inflicted nagging, the writing pours out. The best part of it is that, after writing these drabbles, I find myself missing the world I've created. I miss Cain and Vincent, Josiah and Veronica. Hell, I even miss Eli, and the cheeky little bastard seems quite jealous that I've been spending time with other characters.

So... the short of it is that I feel ready again. I want to get back to the Magi's world, and finish this trilogy in the manner it deserves.

Until next time, darlings.

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