The random musings of Kate Grace
Sometimes I liken writing “for pleasure” to working out. You always feel amazing after you do it, but man is it tough to get yourself going. Particularly when it’s not coming easily. When there are hurdles in your mind between you and your characters and an endless amount of distractions like an 8-month old Black Lab that wants her belly rubbed or season one of True Blood fresh from the Netflix envelope.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that writing has been more of a chore lately. Things weren’t really coming to me and the writing felt forced and clunky at best. For Burden in particular it’s frustrating because every character but one is graciously offering up their story, their emotions and their intentions, which makes my job a hell of a lot easier. Unfortunately, the one who is hanging back in an air of hesitation is our lead character. It’s a bit of a kink in my water hose.
I’m trying to think of the best way to describe this part of the process to those who may not write… or even myself. It’s a tricky one that I have yet to nail down. When you read and a character jumps off the page to you… connects with you to the point where you feel as if the two of you could go for drinks some random Wednesday night or maybe that you should mark their birthday in your UpTo, it’s because their inception was sincere meaning they were vivid and real within the writer’s mind at the time of writing. You can’t fake human, and you can’t humanize fake. If the character didn’t truly and with all senses exist for certain (within the realm of ideas, sure…), then they’ll never jump from the page.
Because what’s a writer anyways? At least in my case I feel more like a transcriptionist at times rather than a conjurer of fictional lives. I feel like I’m just transferring the story that’s playing in my daydreams to a word doc, fast forward over a lot of steps and then sharing it with all of you.
Grace is ready. Brik is begrudgingly ready. Dave, Devin, Olli, Rose, Dem, Liv… all of them. They’re ready to go.
Clara’s being a bitch.
That said, she just needs a little time. And maybe I need to give her a break for a bit and stop trying to force her to reveal herself and trust that she will. In the meantime, and I realize this may increase the threats to do me harm from readers who were anxious to crack open book 2 straight away, but an amazing thing happened the other day that instantly transported writing from being a chore and back to its rightful place upon my Joys shelf!
A character came to life (don’t get excited, Clara’s still hushed up).
Beyond any of the Burden books (which I know inside and out), there are no less than three other books (unrelated to Burden or each other) passing like shadows in my mind. The oldest is five years old, and still far too hazy to try and pluck from that fluid-like state. But another… well, she harvested herself the other morning while I was showering. (Personally, I think it’s the Muses’ big ‘ol joke on us to select the most inconvenient of times for inspiration.)
She’s amazing and fantastic and has cracked me up daily since Tuesday morning. I went to work on Writing’s Cloud 9 and everyone asked me what I was so happy about all day. That’s when I finally realized I wanted to spend time writing, and a large chunk of time. I was happy because I was looking forward to it. No longer a chore!
So here I am, out of the office to spend a long weekend with my character, dancing on my Joys shelf. And maybe in the end it wasn’t Clara at all. Maybe she didn’t feel like spending time with someone with an “Oh fine, I guess I have to…” attitude.
I can’t really blame her. More than likely after I go off and revive my fun factor, I’ll come back to find her waiting. “It’s good to see you in better spirits. Now let’s get down to business.”