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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The rest of the story

In my last post I spoke at length about how we need to inhabit our writing and show who we are. But there's something I didn't include. We as writers have voices in our heads, stories going on behind the scenes and characters that appear full blown on the page. Where do they come from? And what is it they want to say? In my last post I intimated that those voices are parts of ourselves. I still believe that's true but here's what I left out.

When I began writing The Moonstone I was doing it for fun while working on a more 'serious' piece. What happened took me by surprise. I never had a moment of planning what I was going to write next, or who these characters were that came out of nowhere using Scottish idiom and behaving in ways that I had no control over. By the time I was finished I had enough material for three books and so I made it into a trilogy. But that isn't the main issue. What I wanted to get across is that I felt like the material was channeled. I know, most of you will say, 'are you kidding?' No, I'm not. By the time I had divided the three books and done a ton of editing it became more mine. But when I was writing, and by the way I started it during Nanorimo, it just flowed out, unstoppable.

So what is this phenomenon? I've experienced the same thing in subsequent books but never like the first three. I swear I thought the goddess was writing it! My first three books have a lot to do with the feminist principle, the yin, the hidden--the mystery and magic of life. These qualities have gone missing in our culture, replaced with a young male way of dealing with everything. As we engage in wars, ignore climate change, and destroy the environment in the name of energy production we need this sacred feminine principle more than ever to balance it out.  Without it there is no respect for the intricate web that holds this world together.

In my latest trilogy I have grown more didactic in discussing these views. The heroine is trying to change a world in the distant future by writing a book to address these very same issues. In them I address GMO foods, fracking, pollution of water and air and so on. These books feel close to my heart but they do not feel channeled the way my first trilogy did. Maybe Wolfmoon trilogy brought to consciousness what I'd hidden from myself.

If you've ever written poetry you'll understand what I'm trying to say. The words we write evoke an emotional response in us and we don't even know why. It's only later that the full meaning presents itself. Is it this way with our books too? Maybe we don't even know what we're writing about until some reader mentions it. What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

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