November 19, 2012

A Writer's Life - So what about those elves?

Copyright by Debbie Ohi

I know those elves. No, really, I do! Unfortunately it's not the writing-at-night kind. It's the sewing-clothes-tighter-at-night variety. Too bad.

Thing is, and I doubt I'm alone with this, that writers will write stories in their heads first. Well, I do. And then we're supposed to transfer those stories onto paper. Maybe supposed is the wrong word. We feel this desperate need to do so, otherwise we'd go crazy. Now, if you think that plonking down in front of the computer and typing away would give us the relief from those stories haunting us, you'd be right. Unfortunately it's not that simple. Unless your name is Stephen King. Then you'd be half way through your next bestseller while the infantry is still polishing their swords, errr, pens.

From idea to paper. Here's where those elves would often come in quite handy. I realize this sounds just plain lazy, and to a certain extent it is, but as much fun as it is to sit down and let your characters loose in strange, but not necessarily new, worlds, it can sometimes be a bit bothersome too. No pain no gain, or something like that.

Then, of course, it's like that with a lot of things in life. You plan to declutter your basement, have even made a list on what exactly you 'll need to do, yet when the moment arrives that you actually stand in the midst of the chaos (and, let's face it, if you feel the need to clean out the basement, chances are it's one hell of a mess) you feel the sudden urge to make a run for it. Of course the basement, and most of all the chaos, won't just go away if you ignore it. In fact, the picture of it will have already left a permanent imprint on your mind and haunts you day in and day out. No other way to regain sanity than pulling through with the help of a broom and a whole lot of willpower. And it's gonna be worth it when you see the result. Same thing with writing, really.
Some days I really wish I could bring my ideas to paper through thought alone. From the movie in my head straight into a finished novel. More often though I'm glad being able to sit down letting that movie play again in my head while at the same time putting it into words, enjoying the story a second (or a third or a forty-seventh if you factor in all those revisions) time around. Those are the moments I'm glad there are no elves. If they only left my clothes alone now too ...

All those writers out there - do you sometimes wish for elves helping you out? Don't be shy - I admitted to it, so you can do too! Unless of course you prefer your writing to be elf-free.

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