So, you are deep in a scene, and the place you’re writing in disappears. A narrow tunnel into your screen draws you into the world you’ve created – a world where your characters are engaging each other and revealing plot and personality traits that enrich your story. As happens to many writers who are ensconced in that ‘Zone’, the characters start talking to you. Or more accurately, start making up their own dialogue and taking their actions in directions you didn’t intend when you sat down to write.
Some people would say that this is a mild form of insanity, the kind which afflicts all writers, but I’ve come to believe that it’s really the M.U.S.E at work. M.U.S.E, in the non-classical sense, standing for Metaphysical Universal Story Enlightenment. I’ll explain. I’m writing a scene that takes place in a restaurant. Before I know it, my character is in the men’s room. Before I know why, someone is intentionally in the men’s room to have a conversation with him. My hero demurs – doesn’t want to have a conversation in the men’s room, and tells him to come to the office. That whole bit of dialogue winds up with the intruder giving him a dining tip of, “Try the halibut.” At the time I remember thinking, “strange thing for me to write, Halibut?”, but I wrote it.
Two weeks later, on a beach in Puerto Rico Continue reading