I tell the stories, I’m told to tell. I carefully write each detail down with impartiality. I am a scribe, recording the thoughts and words of others. These stories are not my own, but the memories of those that live inside my head. I do my best to honor them, to remain true to their words.
|Photo Credit: Metaphysics-for-life.com|
That’s how writing is for me. It’s an out-of-body experience, a journey, a surprise. It’s not always like this, of course. Sometimes it’s a struggle to hear or feel my characters. But when it clicks, it’s magically! I love when I’m so in the zone, that I stop and think Huh, where did THAT come from? It’s when I know the story I’m telling is pure, untainted by my inner critic. I’m addicted to that feeling.
I’ve tried explaining it to my non-writing friends. I painfully stumble over my words, trying to express a feeling. It’s not easy to do, at least not for me.
Recently I was discussing my NaNoWriMo novel with a friend. I was complaining that one of my characters refused to commit suicide. I had it all planned out and yet when the time came, he wouldn’t do it. If he was going to die, which he had to (well in my opinion anyway), he was determined to do it his way. There would be no suicide for him. He wanted to greet death with his lover and so he did. After I finished my complaining, my friend looked at me and said, You sound psycho.
I had to laugh because yes, I did. She didn’t understand how I couldn’t just write the suicide. After all, I was writing the damn thing. But you see, it isn’t always about what I want. Sometimes, I’m just a scribe. I write what my characters want me to write. They take on a life of their own and who am I to interfere?
Another time I wrote a rather gruesome, passion-driven murder and shared it with my husband. He took one look at me and said, Uh, should I be worried about going to sleep tonight?
After I reassured him there was nothing to fear, that I didn’t plan on re-enacting the scene, he asked how I’d thought of it. I couldn’t place my finger on one event. At a basic level I know it’s a combination of books I’ve read, stories I’ve heard and TV/movies I’ve watched, all combined to create a gruesome scene. Yet at some level, I feel it was my character leading me on. Telling me his story. Trying to explain his thoughts.
|Photo Credit: Digitalart|
I’ve learned not to question my writing too much. I take it as it comes. When a character pops up that I wasn’t expecting, my first reaction is usually, Who are you? Or more often, Damn it! Where did YOU come from?
They all have their place in my novels, even if I’m not sure where that is. After the initial shock passes, I do what every good hostess should, I welcome them and invite them to tell their story. Everyone has one!
I love writing (which I’m fairly certain is obvious given this blog) and I don’t mine acting as a scribe, it’s all part and parcel of being a writer.