The Screaming Muse possesses me and won't let me go. If I'm in some serious writing mode I'll use pen and spiral ring notebook, in a way it KEEPS me from trying to edit if I am writing by hand. Don't ask why that works for me. I think it's because I think of writing in ink more permanent than typing on computer which can be easilly manipulated....
Ghengis Khan the Editor is safely locked away in the closet when The Screaming Muse is at work. I hear his "Thump! Thump! Thump!" against the door, and I know it is The Muse who has locked him in there just before she is about to take possession of my mind. He's not allowed out until what is on paper, or computer screen, satisfactorly represents the film of the story running in my head.
Sometimes when I'm alone, doing chores or driving in the car, I will do dialogue. Out loud. Full on emotions. Embodying it, yeah, becoming each character, getting into their heads and hearts, what their responses are, etc. Then scurry home to write it all down as it has played out...
Ghengis Khan the Editor gets his shot. He asks the questions The Muse doesn't care about: Who is my intended audience? What kind of response do I want from my reader? Is this sentence REALLY necessary?
The Muse screams in agony as the sacrificial lamb First Draft is shredded. "Time to Kill the Babies" Ghengis'll say gruffly. The Muse must be locked down in the basement where there is sound proofing and padded everything to absorb her tantrums. Surprisingly, GKtE is not all analytical and he has a good deal of creativity, too. He is an artist of the word in his own right, but his chief job is to make literary sense out of the run ons and word clips that come out of our mouths normally and have been faithfully reported by The Screaming Muse. It's a never ending struggle of, "People Don't Talk Like That" and "People Don't READ Like That..."
Squabbles, Squabbles, Squabbles. And neither of these two want MY input. Sheesh! I'm just dead weight to them. They are the artists, I'm just the chump who pushes the "Print" button and gets the pizza. You'd think I'd get more respect.
In the end, usually neither is entirely happy with the final product, and EACH will swear that THEY'VE done the lion's share of the compromising in order to hammer out a finished product. Sometimes, rarely, they are BOTH mollified and seem to be actually pleased with what can be called a Final Draft. But this is rare.
And me, well, I'm just lucky to get a word in edgewise.
Read more articles by David Ian or search for articles on the same topic or others.