"Published author, aspiring novelist . . . welcome to my world of madness!"

Jul 26, 2011

Verbal Warfare: When Muses Attack

I’m sweating and covered in an odd shade of green paint. If you think the life of a fledgling writer leaves something to be desired in the glamour department, try being a property manager! This shade lurks somewhere between sea foam and teal. Not a flattering hue when set against my vampishly pale skin. I do believe it is hindering my undead glow. *pouts*

Yesterday, while scraping and sanding the porches, my muses started a rather vicious exchange with each other. I share this because I’m fairly confident I’m not the only writer whose characters pick the most inopportune times to start stretching their vocal chords. Odd considering how they have no problem shrouding themselves in silence when I attempt to write, but they have no qualms about tossing their two cents in when a situation has nothing to do with them.

The exchange started with Seir. No surprise there. He often tags along like my shadow, and I enjoy the fallen one’s sarcasm and biting wit—just not when I’m dripping sweat in 90 degree heat with sweltering humidity.

Seir: It is far too hot for this.

Me: *dry snort*

Zeruch: That IS funny. Why complain, Seir? I would think you’d be used to this sort of climate given where you come from.

(Seir gives a lazy, condescending smile. I roll my eyes. The last thing I’m in the mood for at this point is a verbal exchange between these two.)

Seir: I don’t believe I asked you for your input. *he turns his attention back to me* Hire one of those pygmy humans to do the grunt work. I want to go inside.

Zeruch: You are beyond lazy.

Seir: And you are an annoyance I could do without. It just goes to prove some things never change.

Zeruch: Or improve.

Seir: I am flattered you think there is still room for growth, but it is hard to improve upon perfection.

Zeruch: You are far from perfect.

Seir: Hmm. As I recall, you used to be quite … fond of me. *he dons an innocent look* Was it something I said?

Zeruch: Said? When you fell, I tried to retain some measure of love for you, no matter how distant or small. Given what you are and all that you have done, I had no choice but to change my mind.

Seir: Did you now? *perks up* That is excellent news. I hope your new one comes with an improved performance rating.

And so they went, back and forth, while I did my best not to snicker or run inside to jot some of their lines down. Thankfully, the neighbors didn’t seem to notice the two muses reclined against the steps as I slaved and toiled in the midday sun. It did make me wonder how many other writers suffer through moments like these. Do your characters pop up in the most unlikely of places? Do they engage in verbal warfare among themselves or with you when they’re left unattended for too long? Do they offer running commentary on mundane things that have nothing to do with them or their story?

*looks around with shifty eyes*

Please tell me I’m not alone in this. Please?


  1. You're not alone! It happens to me often. Sometimes I could be walking, or in the shower. In my case, I never know when or who is going to show up, but like you, I can't control what they say or show me. I can only hope I'm at the computer or next to a writing pad. The worse is when I'm talking to one of my kids and a villain begins to bite my ear. It's so distracting.

    I guess the alternative would be worse-- The dead of silence.

    Take care.

  2. How very true! All too often I drift away from conversations or surroundings and into my own little world. Thankfully those who know me understand! Thank you for stopping by and leaveing a comment! It means more to me than you can imagine. I'm looking forward to purchasing and reviewing your books soon! Best wishes.