for the Writers, Stories

A Poem Written

You pick up a pen and start writing.

          Perhaps a tale of faeries and nymphs,

          perhaps an epic of swashbuckling adventure,

          or perhaps a poem of rich imagery and theme.

Regardless, you’re writing now.

Refusing to be bested by a mere blank page,

          you begin to dream up the words.

          You imagine the depth of the prose,

          heartrending emotion unleashing

          salty tears and deep belly laughs.

          Or perhaps only solitary groans of anguish and writer’s block.

          Or really indifference and some sort of forced caring.

But you are an author,

          and your characters are so beloved that you cannot shut them in.

          They are like a fire in your bones that cannot be quenched

          until all know their exploits and defeats.

Or so you hope.

          Pray….

          Coax….

          ….

Relationships in your head trump the world,

          characters demanding your time to distraction.

          “Leave me to my solitude and buy a book!

          Or perhaps you wonder why you can’t hear them,

          elusive head-people taunting you with their absence,

          with tangible people or social media

          or needless research taking the brunt of the blame.

          The characters must be in there somewhere

          “Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

          for you are a true writer.

But the idea is beyond the reality,

          the slights imagined and exaggerated

          “because they’re supposed to be.”

          So you claim.

An imposter is all you are.

          An imposter posing as the authorial idea.

          Every true author is.

          Right?

          Posing as something they’re not until proven otherwise.

          “Or perhaps never proved at all.

But wouldn’t it irk you, dear writer,

to become an awkward, neurotic, obsessive

only to discover that the ideal

you believe in is the true imposter?

Faith, for the Writers

Being an Author Makes You Pray

Being an author makes you pray. Because when you have become a god of your authorial universe, you suddenly wish you would hear more definitive input from your characters. Don’t they have the next plotpoint? Why is the protagonist obsessed with pursing her lips if she doesn’t have something to say? What is the antagonist’s next step, and what’s his motivation? Surely these people have some opinion they’d like to voice. And yet the silence of writer’s block persists.

And being an author, you certainly don’t want the God of your universe to have a case of writer’s block. That’s what causes snooze-worthy dialogue, worthless details observed, and heaven forbid a catastrophic turn of events that has no plot value whatsoever – if there’s some trial to go through, there better be some reason for the struggle by the last chapter.

So you begin to tell Him your opinions of things. Regardless of His existence or lack thereof, surely He would appreciate some input. Most people might think, “While You’re working on the big picture stuff, I sure would appreciate winning the lottery; oh, and I’ll take the closest parking spot.” But no, you as an author understand God now. “The secondary characters need more depth, the protagonist needs to be more empathetic and heroic, and the plot needs to be more straightforward. While you’re at it, make the mission more apparent. And draw out the action, cut out all those lousy chapters that have nothing to do with the concept and theme.” As an author, you know it would be nice to have everything down to the most minute detail. So you throw in, “Oh, and I’ll take the closest parking spot.”