Sunday, February 23, 2014

Are Writers the Demi-Gods of Literature?!

Over the holidays I had a bad case of 'no-time-to-write'. It's understandable and excusable for all of us. I had a long list of house guests to make comfortable, cookies to bake, turkeys to stuff. Not to mention my 'day job'. 

But the problem with no-time-to-write-itis is that it can go viral and, if you don't watch out, turn fatal! Not to you...but to your characters. That's what kicked me back into gear. I had one of those paradigm shift moments and suddenly saw my characters in the book I'm currently working on (and the other I the only person with another book waiting on the back burner?!?) as stuck in a limbo of my own making. 

Like God...or maybe just a demi-god, I had given them life. But until I returned to the keyboard they were waiting to breathe their next breath! What if I never returned? Would I, in effect, be a murderer? There's an existential question for all the writers with unfinished manuscripts! 

If you've never looked at a book in quite this way, you might pick up The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It's the first in his 'Thursday Next series'. Thursday is a woman of the future, part of a Special Ops division policing literature. She has a unique skill, she can jump inside books and interact with the characters and, believe me, there's a lot going on between the pages of some of our greatest works of fiction! 

Once you've seen fiction from the other side you can easily understand why I felt a special affinity for the souls whose lives were in my hands. That should break down any writer's block...or even a slight malaise, and kick us all back into gear! And so I am back at the work on the sequel to The Shell Keeper, breathing more life into those three wonderful gals whose adventures I now feel a particular responsibility to fulfill.