A Bit of a Mess

I’m a wee bit of a mess, Gentle Reader, and I don’t know why.

The obvious signs: my calendar is still dated JANUARY.  My clock is still pre-Daylight Savings Time.

The not-so-obvious signs: overwhelming urge to weep at any given moment.  Irrational hunger.  The inevitable “woe am I” feelings.

I know that there is such a thing as “post-trip depression,” but this is just astounding.

I keep thinking about my characters, as I did on my trip.  There were lots of things to remind me of them: the protagonist is from Manchester, the other protagonist is from London.  Some portion of Becoming takes place in Bath.  I was writing scenes in my mind as I traveled from place to place.  The train figures prominently in the novel.  But I did not actually write.  I was too busy writing the article and the blog entries.  But still, I feel them in here, bumping about, wanting to be heard.

I am not one of those vain creatures who believes she cannot control the characters, that they just pour forth from her as if gifted to her from on high.  As much as I love the Romantics, I call shenanigans on their ivory tower approach to writing.  I know writing is hard work (as did Wordsworth; he just pretended otherwise), and I know that I am the characters’ god; I created them; I control them; I move them about on the chessboard.  But at the same time, they are there, are they not?  They have voices, distinct, actual voices that are different from my voice.  The narrative works because I allow it to work, certainly, but it works because I hear their voices separate from my own.

I actually once stopped reading a writer’s work because 1) she insisted she could not control a major plotpoint because it was out of her hands, literally (shenanigans.  Say you don’t want to, but don’t pretend you don’t control it), and 2) because she seemingly fired her editor, and one of her books, for example, had a bride walk down the “isle” instead of the “aisle,” which was only one of a thousand mistakes in her books.  I know that nothing is perfect, but there is something to be said for carefully presenting work.

I don’t know where this entry went!  First was all of my personal bemoanings, and then, editing?  Hrm.

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