The Muse Within
When people talk to me about writing, I'm often asked about my Muse. I usually wait until she's distracted or otherwise occupied before I answer because Iffy has a tendency to get The Big Head(tm) and a Muse with a puffed-up ego is hard to manage. I call her Iffy for two reasons. Her favorite game is “What if?” which comes in amazingly handy for a fiction writer. Second, her cooperation is always “iffy.” Just when I think I have a handle on the plot, she disappears. When I talk about her on my blog, I have a picture of a little blond-headed girl carrying a massive pair of scissors to represent her. Iffy with scissors is a scary sight. She can cut off my train of thought, snip holes in my plot, or stab a character to death in the blink of an eye. She can also trim loose threads, carve out a pattern, or shave off excess words when I start to ramble.
Many authors insist they don't have a Muse. Me? I'll take all the help I can get! (Even if Ms. Muse is a figment of my imagination.) That's where a fiction writer lives—in their imagination. Without Iffy to play “What if?” with, I'd never be able to paint my way out of corners, tie up loose ends, or create characters who are interesting. Imagination, by whatever name, is what makes the words appear from thin air. Imagination creates the scenery in which stories are crafted, the worlds where characters exist, and the means to draw a reader into the writer's space. I just happen to call mine Iffy.
If you are a writer, do you have a Muse? And readers, what about a book stirs your imagination?
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