Bom dia amigas*,

Another week over, indeed another month. The moon has waxed and waned and emitted its pulls and influences on our lives for another of its inevitable cycles. Today I am encouraged and heartened by the words of one of my favourite authors, Paulo Cuehlo, who said in an interview in the magazine http://www.wordswithjam.co.uk/ :

“Tell a story rather than writing to try and impress your peers with style and gramatical exercises.”

I relate to that comment completely. He also poses a question for all writers:

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of getting naked in public. Are you taking off your clothes?”

I would say to you Mr Cuehlo, “Yes, within my blog I bare my soul couched in tales of other worlds and demons.Within my stories, sometimes, I am the story itself, stripped bare and naked. So yes I am taking off my clothes.

*Good morning friends – in Portuguese Brazilian in honour of Paulo Cuehlo.

This past week I lived as a junkie learning to control her habit, the pull of the Peten jungle was still strong and the desire to rush to the airing cupboard and rescue my masterpiece even stronger. (See  I Was a Word Junkie, a Plot Freak…  ). I wrote ‘how to edit’ notes and looked forward to the weekend when I can lose myself in the fabulous Writers World and embark upon my journey once more.

My mind was distracting me from my everyday chores with a niggle at the back of my creative conscious, my Kindle novel. It had been the focus of an all out assault for the months of September and October, now it screamed at me from the airing cupboard. I had gotten into a rhythm that I’d thought would be the answer, a chapter a weekend. The week days in Reality with notes and planning, then the weekend to write the next chapter. Each chapter had been a mini story complete with elements of jeopardy, tension and its own plot.

Then suddenly a new character had emerged of her own volition, Marika, the Estonian girlfriend of my key bad guy, Craig. I hadn’t invited Marika and she took me by surprise but she did create the depth that I had felt was missing to Craig, through one sordid scene. That was it, she was a minor player.

However, she had different ideas and took her one scene and expanded it, wheedling her way into the main plot instead of staying neatly packaged in a sub plot. Before I knew what had happened Marika was a key player and had a  hand in the kidnap of the pregnant girlfriend of one of my bad guy’s enemies. Then she confided to the reader that she was with Craig as a control tool for her bosses, the Estonian mob.

I felt my novel had a life of its own and this frightened me. Looking back I can see that my sudden dissatisfaction and lack of energy for the novel stemmed from fear. The fear of loss of control and that by my characters just appearing and re writing themselves a place in my novel I was perhaps “windbagging”.

When I look back at my day by the shores of the Sea of Despair, (Am I alone, lonely or just different? ), I can see that I was hiding from that fear. However, the lesson I learned that day was a valuable one and my tale of the Peten jungle has satisfied that desire for the next ‘best thing’ and rejuvenated my motivation to complete my Kindle novel. I am at peace with Marika and welcome her and her cold-hearted Eastern European bosses to my novel. I shall resume my chapter by chapter approach allowing for a break as and when the desire comes to write another new ‘best thing’.

***

I awoke last night and found myself up high in a helicopter looking down on the terrrain of the Writers World. What I saw was a maze of roads and rivers all stemming from that one major five lane highway, The Publishers Pathway. As the helicopter swooped down closer I realised the area I previously labelled Lands of Distraction were changing from minor ‘B’ roads and dirt tracks to firmer hardtop ‘A’ roads. The exit marking had also changed, it now points toward The Lands of Direction and Opportunity.

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2 thoughts on “Are you taking off your clothes?

  1. Gill, you are amazing me, I love your philosophy and I also believe in telling a story just as it comes, you also have poetry in your writing and you are giving me the feeling again, I have done nothing recently, waiting on the muse, but I think that doesn’t work sometimes and you just have to sit down and go for it. Keep it going Gill, I like it. Monty

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    1. Thank you so much, If I can help one other person struggling along this road then my blog will be worthwhile, one of my mentors told me once “just write, sort it out afterwards” and that was excellent advice.

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