Monday, April 2, 2007

It's Magic!

I've had two opportunities in the last couple of weeks to try to explain how I write. Not what I write, or why I write. Not even the how of designing scenes or creating characters or plotting. But *how* as in how do I pull these ideas out of my head and form them into words in an order that makes them into a story.

I've been reduced to say "it's magic!" Because that's what it feels like when I think about it too hard. It is such a fascinating and awe-inspiring process that depends far too much on the insubstantial quality of thought than on anything truly tangible. How does one describe the process of imagination? I can say where the ideas start, in many cases, and how the idea builds, but I couldn't recreate that spark that starts the idea off. And that must be the muse, because it certainly feels like something outside of me has reached in and grabbed hold of my brain and squeezed really hard.

So I'm at a loss to really try to put the experience into words. "It's magic!" seems as valid an answer as "It's the muse" or "It's my imagination." Only, saying "It's magic" makes it sound like I have some control over the process, and really, I don't. Not for that mystical squeezing of my brain when an idea takes hold. And then, the idea tends to take over, and I can't even control that.

My control doesn't start until my fingers hit the keyboard, and even that control is questionable. How many times have I read back over a story I've written and gaped at it, wondering how I could have put those words on paper or come up with those characters.

It's just . . . magic.

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