Friday, June 22, 2012

How Authors Are Like Lord Voldemort

The fresh-baked bread is ready, he just doesn't know it.

When you’re writing, do you know that part of the process where things start to feel like a chore?  You’re editing and checking for inconsistencies, and you know these characters better than most real people.  You’re closing plot holes and falling into new ones, and you feel like you haven’t created anything new in fourteen hundred years.

Of course you know this part, it takes up a majority of the time that you spend writing.  It’s called ‘The Rewrite’ or, more appropriately ‘The Rewrites’, because they are self-multiplying and one always begets another.  Eventually you just pull the plug and accept that rewriting is a never ending process, and you basically just have to stop when you’re only changing things for the sake of changing them, or worse still, you’re changing them back to the way they were seven rewrites ago (been there).

Well, guess what.  I’m not in that phase right now.  I’m in ‘Creation’!  Yes, that perfect place in the life of a book where you’ve gotten off the starting line (also a miserable place) and you’ve taken the first, strong, confident strides down the glorious track of writing that eventually becomes an exhausting loop of rewriting. 

But right now, it’s new!  There are characters to create.  There are places to describe.  There are worlds to imagine.  There are plots to ravel (your readers do the unraveling, I guess).  You can do no wrong!  (Please refer back to a previous post about beer-goggled writing).

I’ve brought four new friends into my world this week.  Mila, Rup, Blake, and Maggie.   These are their names today, perhaps not tomorrow.  These friends are so flexible and understanding, they will let me find and replace their names with a key stroke if it tickles my fancy.

I really like this phase.  My favorite part of a story is discovering who these characters are.  Ultimately, I learn these characters are me.  Some of them are who I think I am, others who I hope I’m not.  Some have a little piece of me here, some have another piece there. 

They are my horocruxes.  Once created, I don’t think I could survive without them.

What other endeavor allows you split off a piece of your soul and share it with the world and still keep it for yourself at the same time?

Not dark wizarding.  Just ask Voldemort.

I think this picture is just going to confuse people.


  1. What a great post! I'm glad you love the process... I keep stopping and getting disheartened because I know the story isn't big enough. Dastardly Voldemort!

  2. Shawn: I nominate you for the Liebster Blog Award. To fulfill the requirements for this award, see my blog post tomorrow :-)

  3. Which goes to show, Lord Voldemort missed the point. He'd better had become a writer. ;)

  4. Love this post! Don't know how I missed it when you first posted it! So great! :D