The ability to write about anything is predicated on the willingness to BE anything (within the bounds of one’s imagination).  It’s all well and good to close yourself off from what is “vile,” but in writing, I find this to be a limiting factor.  Does that “vile” character in your head think of him/herself as vile?  

Answering that question allows the writer to transcend the imaginal bounds of good and evil, and get the hell to work.


17 thoughts on “Musings

  1. I often find myself thinking of a situation, and then asking myself “how would I hope to react, how would I hope not to react” and depending on which one interests me more I write about it, often times the reaction I hope I wouldn’t have is the more interesting choice, and so I follow it.

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  2. Every human has parts within them to be completely what they are not. I’m drawn to a comment in one of my favorite fiction books, ‘Daddy Long Legs’. She is talking about the Bronte’s and how they seemed to have not much real life experience. Yet, they managed to create characters and stories that live and breathe.

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  3. The majority of people in the real world who are vile do not believe they are vile. They may be aware what they are doing is vile but they justify it to themselves as necessary for the greater good in some twisted way or they are just pure psychopaths with other mental illnesses as well (this is probably an over generalization). The characters who are vile for the sake of being vile tend to be IMHO one dimensional and cheesy.

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  4. What has been said above touches on what I feel is a truth. Our job is not to get to work, but to get the hell out of the characters’ way as the muse’s vehicle. Like a bus service that drops them off on the page. Our only true duty is to clean up after them. Punctuate their dialogue, clean their literary house. Presuming we have any real control over them beyond that, or that they are somehow representations of how we see things or they are of our own design is supremely arrogant. They show up, we sit down and offer them a (hopefully) well lit stage to do their thing. That’s the arrangement, that’s the work. Seems to me, anyway.

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