In high school, my best friend
Sometime not too long after that lesson, I had gone out to dinner with
The next thing I knew, she’d taken several. “Jen!” I cried. “I said a bite!”
And she looked at me and said, “It was an epic bite.”
That story’s kind of tangential to my point in this post, but it’s an anecdote that still cracks me up to this day.
Anyway, the point– over the past few years of conversations with
And it’s awesome. I can’t really put words to how much I enjoy those conversations, the ones where we sit together analyzing all the ways in which revising a novel is like renovating or rebuilding a house (if the floorplan’s problematic, you really ought to deal with that first, and leave obsessing over the wallpaper or the bathroom faucets for later in the process).
One of the ones she came up with that we use a lot is the metaphor of her “muse” (for lack of a better term) being like a dog. A Saluki, in particular. Eager, excitable, with a keen prey drive that has it tearing off and bringing back ideas for her very frequently, but also a bit hyperactive and easily distracted from its intended quarry by shiny ideas or squeaky toys.
It took us a bit longer to find the proper metaphor for my “muse”, on the other hand. We finally landed on one a few days ago. Mine is the sort of dog that catches a scent and goes tearing off after it, dragging me along behind hoping I can hang on for the ride, and pursuing it with the sort of singleminded determination that led me to write Blood & Roses in one giant rush over less than a week in which every waking moment was spent living, working, breathing that book. It’s focused and intent, and if it loses the trail of the scent that it’s on, it gets frustrated and upset, and all the squeaky toys in the world aren’t going to distract it from that.
It’s not a Saluki–It’s a bloodhound. It’s only been a few days, and already I’m finding this to be a very helpful way of thinking about my writing process.
More later, I think. I was working my way up to a point (though it’s a non-writing one), but I’m getting a bit rambly here.