Friday, January 20, 2012

Why EF Jace Writes

I met EF Jace over at AQC.  So now EF is welcome as a guest on The Write Time where she will let us all know why she writes. 

Why do I write?

Why, is there some alternative I haven't been told of yet? Writing, I have found, is the only outlet for the creativity and sometimes flat out weirdness that my muse insists on vomiting forth when she gets drunk on my imagination. I mean, yeah, most fantasy writers will say that they love to immerse themselves in an alternate world. Floating islands, unheard of magic, dashing rogues and smooth tricksters, it all sounds so enticing and really, so much more sane to say instead of the truth. And the truth my friends, is that my characters won't shut up otherwise. The bad guy keeps monologuing, the lovers' steam is fogging everything up, and ghoulish horrors silently lurk, waiting to strike.

My mind doesn't stop moving or turning over an idea. Dialogue, action scenes, key points to a plot I haven't yet figured out are all mixing around in there and just begging me to do something with them. On top of that, the act of writing is exhilarating. I can't think of any thrill-seeking sport that can elicit the same feeling writing does. I can assume (as you'll never catch me doing it) jumping out of a helicopter with a cleverly roped up shower curtain between you and a certain pancake-esque future can provide for one heart-pounding, head-spinning, lungs-in-your-throat and tingle-in-your-pants moment. But it's just that, a moment. A single, transient moment of excitement that, in order to relive it, you’ll have to rely on your fading memory. No such dilemma exists with writing.

From the moment you sit down to the keyboard, typewriter, pen and paper, voice recorder, whatever, that's when the excitement starts. Even if it's veiled by difficult scenes and uncooperative characters or speed bumped by writer's block and lack of inspiration (as they can be two different things), it's all still part of the adventure. Banging your head on the keyboard, downing your fourth cup of coffee followed by a shot of Redbull, and highlighting paragraphs or pages of work then staring at the 'delete' key is as integral - and as exciting - as double-checking your buckles and straps and what have you before you make that jump.

As for the jump itself, that's when you're sitting there and experiencing that fight blow-by-blow with Main Character McGee. When you feel just as angry during that argument with Antagonist-guy or as flushed when MC McGee brushes hands with That-Guy. When hiding in the floorboards of the tavern listening to Antagonist-guy monologue his evil plan of evil to his minions gives you the same nervous lurches in your stomach as your character. There is nothing comparable to knowing you have the ability to give this story a happy ending where you'll sing and laugh along with the characters, or crush hopes and dreams, making you cry along with them.

But what really gives writing the winning point, is that when all is said and done, when you've got that scene or chapter or entire novel hammered out, when Antagonist-guy has been defeated by MC McGee and they live happily ever after with That-Guy (or if the exact opposite happens), it's still not over. Because when you sit down to read it again, whether for editing purposes or just to reaffirm how damn good that scene was, you get to experience it all over again. And not just the excitement or fear or sadness along with the characters but the line-up of emotions you went through while writing it. That frustration when you were absolutely convinced that one scene was going to be the death of you and the jumping up and down and taunting of your computer screen when you finally do get it (no? is it just me that does that then?).

In short, I'm addicted to writing. It's a drug that's free, fairly without side effect - if you don't count lack of social skills and, at times, questionable hygiene ethics - and so very, very, good.

I want to thank Dean for allowing this off-the-wall and mildly verbose writer anywhere near his blog! Feel free to check out my own blog at Verbose Veracity and my twitter @EFJace!

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