I was contemplating going on strike this morning. Why not? I can, can’t I? My muses and characters go on strike when they’re disenchanted with the story. Isn’t it fair that I also go on strike?
I do not like the chapter I’m working on. It’s almost finished. The characters and muses agree, yes, that’s the chapter. It’s perfect.
My reaction is, I respectfully think you’re fucking nuts.
I’m aware that I am the writer, that the characters and muses are imaginary constructs that exist as part of my writing process. (Well, I hope that’s the case.) It’s a subject that takes me into an existential hole. I’m the writer, and I think, therefore I write, but I always seem to be driven by the muses and characters’ preferences and decisions. When I stumble in my writing, it’s generally because the characters object to the story’s direction, or the characters’ development.
This, I think, is turnabout is fair play. I object to what they’re doing. I don’t like it. There isn’t a writer’s block involved. The characters gleefully push their words their my fingers, and we make great progress toward the conclusion. So, it’s not a block. It’s a disagreement.
Frankly, the situation has been developing for a few weeks. Just a few days ago, I was complaining about my characters’ tendency to talk things over. I wanted action. No, they needed to talk it out. Well, they’re the characters, right? I’m just the writer. Despite our artistic differences, I yielded to them.
I’m going to yield to them this time, too. Because, number one, I feel the urge to write like crazy. I don’t like what I’m writing, but I feel obligated to write it. This brings up a couple questions. One, is it totally insane that I feel obligated to write it? Two, do I need to like what I’m writing?
I answer the first question, yes, you’re fucking nuts, but that’s not a problem, per se, and I answer the second one, but if I’m writing for me, shouldn’t I like what I’m writing? This prompts some internal dialogue between me, myself, and I, and the suggestion that maybe I do secretly like it, but I’m worried about how readers might react.
I’ve not put on my reader’s persona to address the issue because it’s just too early. It makes no sense to read this as a reader when I haven’t completed it as a writer. It’s a work-in-progress.
I console myself that this is the beta draft, not even the first draft, dude. I also console myself that many writers think their first draft is crap. So, you know, write the crap that the characters and muses are pushing, and then revise and edit the hell out of it once it’s written. Despite my disagreement with my muses and characters, getting it written remains the key. That’s my function as the writer. The mantra is, get it written. The mantra is, you’re still learning the story.
Okay, now that I’ve vented, time to write like crazy, at least one more time.