Inspiration is the faithful happiness of that part of ourselves that is best fulfilled in hell and precedes us there–our soul.
A. A. Attanasi
The Crow: Shattered Lives & Broken Dreams
I’ve been arguing incessantly with the muse in charge of the first book in a series my publisher is excited about. As a writer I’m usually a fly by the seat of my pants kind of storyteller. I hear about writers who outline each chapter, have the entire story planned out before they even begin to write, and it’s always boggled my mind. When questioned about my writing process I describe it as if I’m a painter (and when I was younger I was). The images I want to create unfold in my mind in full color.
This series though is something different than anything I’ve tried so far in the professional ring.
Nearly a year ago I had a bunny that bit me. I have an endless love of all those obnoxious paranormal investigation shows. Each one of them holds a different attraction whether it be the personalities of the team or their methods. Being sensitive to the spirit world myself it fascinates me how individuals deal with the paranormal when they are confronted by it. All of this combined and Valentin Amoretti was born.
Valentin is the hero of my series, a highly intelligent, trained psychologist whose family has played the devil’s advocate in the paranormal field for generations. Never a believer he was touched by something he couldn’t understand and now has went into the paranormal field for far different reasons than his family. Val’s got a couple of secrets tucked away and one of them has to do with his sexual orientation.
I decided early on that perhaps it would be advisable to create at least character profiles which I did. Then I decided I would do general outlines of the 12 books which I also did. Now you’re thinking that may have simplified things. The answer would be absolutely not. My muse has flipped me on my ass numerous times as I’ve struggled with the beginning of this series. I’ve tried numerous things to get myself on track, but nothing worked until a couple of nights ago.
Exhausted from my never ending insomnia, haunted by the joys of womanhood, and frustrated by the lack of cooperation from my beloved muses I was pacing the living room floor at 1 am. As I glanced up from my pacing my eyes focused on the bookcase in front of me. Actually on a particular book.
One of the authors that inspired me years ago to pick up the pen so to speak was James O’ Barr. For those who are not familiar with O’ Barr he is the creator of The Crow. I own a number of books where other writers have played in the world of The Crow, hell I would love to play in his world as well. There is a passion and a darkness that draws you into this world where love overcomes all–including death. Where the dead return to punish the wicked who have escaped human justice.
I picked up the book and began reading the foreward which I quoted at the beginning of this blog entry. The words reached out and grabbed me, shook me to the core, and inspired me to rewrite the prologue of my aforementioned book the following morning. I’m not saying that all my issues with my muse were solved magically. Being reminded of what being a writer is though helped clear my head enough to see what I’d written wasn’t crap. It helped me pinpoint some issues with the writing that until then I couldn’t see.
When you forget why you became a writer in the first place, even for a moment, you lose your grip on your muse. Or maybe it’s just that your muse decides to not cooperate until you get a clue. Being a writer is who I am deep in my soul. It runs through my veins and had I been born in a different time perhaps I would have been the storyteller of my tribe (thank you, Erin, for that image).
As writers we should remember that it is not a choice to tell stories. It is a necessity to the true writer just as food, water, shelter, and the air we breath is to our survival as a human. If we’re doing it just for glory or money then we’re not there for the right reasons. Yes, it’s nice to have the attention, but then who doesn’t want a pat on the back on occasion?
I forgot for a time why I do this and the Powers that Be decided to slap me in the back of the head with a feathered wing of inspiration. Thank you, Goddess, for knocking me back on to the path that I shouldn’t have strayed from in the first path.
Think about it folks and until next time Blessed Be.