Dancing with my muse

I had a major breakthrough today with The Book. I’ve been struggling with The Awkward Middle Bit and my brain has been all over the place for the last couple of days, trying to figure out what happens to get my protagonist from the beginning to the end, both of which I’ve been 100% certain about since the project first appeared in my head. Even the backstory and a ridiculous amount of detail about the characters arrived with very little actual effort. Usually when I’m stuck with something I get into just sit down and do the damn thing mode because that’s what works for me – I’m stubborn as hell and even if nothing else is working, my self-motivation never fails – but I couldn’t force this story to be.

Yesterday I had a day off to celebrate my piece of short fiction being published. I figured that maybe what I needed to do was stop trying and let things happen in their own time, even though just typing those words makes me twitchy as hell. I drove around this beautiful city for a while, bought some incense and candles, rearranged my altar and had a chat with my patron deities, Hel and Thor. They’re all about determination and straight-up dealing with shit, so when it got dark and the weather got stormy, I took it as a sign and went out for a wander. It was a clear, blustery night and the moon was beautiful so even though the Awkward Middle Bit didn’t appear, I felt more open to inspiration and bit less like torturing myself over it.

When I woke up this morning, a bit of story had arrived. It was just an outline, a quick “this happens, then that happens”, but it was a start. Since I’d already hit up Inspiration Station #1: Stormy Night, I decided to give Inspiration Station #2: The Sea a go. Turns out it was a good move. I summoned a rock anthems radio station on Play Music, ignored all the people and wandered along by the beach. I even stopped to take a picture, because of course I did. Check out those birds being in exactly the right place at the right time.

colour photograph of a sandy beach and the sea with rocks in the foreground and birds in the sky

By the time I got back to the car, I felt all “I am strong! I am invincible! I am having serious difficulty moving my legs and everything hurts cause I suck at remembering that I’m not great at walking!” but I could feel my brain-cogs clicking and whirring. When I got home, I dropped everything (literally), opened my laptop and the whole plot poured out into Scrivener, scene by scene, with notes so I remember what to write when I get to writing it. Take that, Awkward Middle Bit! You are no match for divine inspiration, the beauty of nature and my ability to make stuff happen in my brain with the power of ill-advised physical over-exertion.

I’m not going to lie, I feel pretty fantastic right now (apart from my spine imploding, but I’m choosing to ignore that because I’m stupid and I never learn). Something I adore in books (and films and TV shows) is when you get to discover, or uncover, back story intertwined with the what’s-happening-now and I was determined to find a way to include that as a structural device in The Book. I still have some character profiles to finalise and some research to do by the end of this month, but in terms of plot I’m pretty much sorted and ready to rock when Camp NaNoWriMo starts in April.

It means a lot to me that people are following along with this writing-stuff mission I’m on and I’m going to do my best to keep nattering about progress as it happens. Thank you so much for the support and encouragement. I’m so excited about making a thing for you to read ❤

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