My Muse is Feeling Evil
In the past week, I’ve written four short stories. Each one is a little more bizarre than the last. Writing them, even just the act of getting them down on paper, helped me to evolve as a writer.
How? I stopped censoring myself. I wrote a few things that turned my stomach and made me feel squicky. (Yes, squicky is a technical term. I SWEAR. Don’t question me. Pay no attention to the woman behind the coffeepot. Also, stay away from my coffee.)
I didn’t start out to write something that made me uncomfortable. For instance, I started with an idea – retelling a fairytale. (I blame Neil Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apples for that.) I also found use for a bit of imagery I’d jotted down in my notebook.
I started writing, and the characters went off the path. Waaaaay off. And I found myself writing a really disturbing scene. But I wrote it.
There was a time where I would’ve thought, “Oh my GOD – my dad might read this!” Or, “People are going to assume I’m twisted.” (I mean, I am. But not like that.)
This time, it was about the story, and about telling it in the manner it needed to be told. Instead of shying away from the difficult bits.
So this particular story made me feel something. The characters were extremely clear. And I think it might be the best thing I’ve ever written. It’s not the easier thing I’ve ever done. But I think that I got it right – that the words on the page work. That makes me very, very happy.
Each of the four stories have gone through my own edits. They’re off to several beta readers for shredding. This is progress. This is a good lesson.
Like Poe did, write what scares you. Write what disturbs you. Write the story as it’s begging to be written, not some user-friendly, whitewashed version of it. Step to the ledge and jump. Let the story write you.