Mikea Howard

Author of The Diesel War series

Website of Mikea Howard, author of the dieselpunk paranormal erotic romance series The Diesel War

The Muse's Slave & Pestering Characters

My muse was now not only home from vacation, but unpacked, items washed, toiletries put away, and ready to get down to business. The blank white parts of the document on my screen were no longer intimidating. She just rubbed her hands together and said "Bring it bitch."

Scenes and details seeming to come to me out of nowhere. There were times my fingers couldn't keep up with the creative flow. Leaving typo after typo in it's path. Being a novice writer, I didn't know any better and found myself correcting them right away rather than waiting until the final 'editing' process. Sometimes creating a large speed bump my muse would have to try and drive over, only ending up really pissing her off.

But in my novice writer's defense, when co-writing, the other person doesn't always understand what you're trying to say if you leave all those gobbledygook typos. At the most, I would write the entire section I was being fed by the muse, then go back and read it over to see how badly I had transcribed it, correcting the blatant issues.

Perhaps it was the newness and excitement of writing, but there were times my muse would hold me captive. I would tell myself "Ok, I'll only write for an hour. Then I have to get in the shower in order to leave for work on time." , but the muse would just laugh and take hold. I would be stuck in a fantastic scene, trying to put it all down as quickly as I could, glancing at the computer clock over and over again. Watching the time tick by. Ten minutes past the time I was supposed to be in the shower. Twenty minutes past. "I'll just make it a really quick shower!" Thirty minutes past. "I'll skip packing a lunch. I could use to skip a lunch anyway. Those jeans were a little tight last night." Forty minutes past. "I REALLY hope Sharon turned the heater on in my treatment room, since I'll be skidding into the office right before my patient." What I'm typing is now looking more like shorthand, just desperately trying to get the gist of what my muse is feeding me. Racked with fear that if I don't get it all down, I'd forget it as the day progressed.

If that wasn't enough to leave me a scatterbrained mess, there were the times characters would visit me.  Usually at the most inopportune times too. They would demand I hear their side of the story. Or tell me what I did wrong in a scene. How they would or wouldn't do this or that.

I offer you this example: The antagonist of The Mechanic's Mate decided to pay me a visit one day. To bitch and moan about how he was coming off like a psychotic ass in the story so far. He didn't care that I was in the middle of a session, focusing on a patient's myofascial adhesion and nodule. He sat there, in my head, demanding his side of the story. So there I am, cross fiber and passive releasing the tissue, all the while having a serious discussion in my head with a character from a story I'm writing. Explaining to him that the story is in the hero and heroine's points of view. So yes, he would look like a psychotic ass to them. He'd done REALLY rotten things. He wanted his own story to explain why he was so evil. I had to tell him "Fine, maybe." just to get him to shut up and let me get back to focusing on the patient. Yep, I was definitely going crazy. Letting the muse free access to my head to create these characters was making me an absolute loon.

I'd love to say that I got a hold of the muse and the characters she was letting loose in my head.  But sadly here we are writing stories 2, 3, 4 and 5, and the muse still makes me late for work, or keeps me up until 4am. I still get visits from characters too. For instance, book 3 is because the antagonist mentioned above would not let up on his demand for a story of his own. Of course, I had to be an ass and make sure he was still just a minor character. But hey, he's the one that didn't understand writer/character boundaries.

I'd love to say more on this topic, but the guys from the sanitarium are here to take me away now. Oh my, what a pretty white jacket! And with so may shinny buckles! So my arms go in here, right?