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Fetch the straightjacket, someone!

by on March 10, 2012

I’ve been writing all night, my hands are wet on the keys

And there’s an itch in my leg that drives my knees.

(Sorry, the radio was playing some forgotten song)

It is supposed to be a sign of madness to hear disembodied voices, or to see visions.  The problem is I do both.  And it is always the same people, the same voices.  Doctor Sam, Doctor Sam, am I going insane?   Or have I been mad for ever, and have only just noticed?

No, the truth -does such a thing exist anymore amongst the crazy visions flying behind my eyes?- is that I’m just a common or garden fantasy writer.  The voices in my head are my characters yelling instructions, advice or simple abuse at me.  The book , the third in my series and actually the sixth one I’ve written, is pounding towards its grand finale.  I already know what that is.  But I feel sadistic today.  Those characters have tormented the life out of me whilst I’ve been gestating this book, so before it has finished I’m going to give them as hard a time as I can.  Maybe, just maybe, that will shut them up for awhile and I can have some peace.  Ah, sleep, perchance to dream…but  no.  for if I start to dream, they’ll only ask me about the plot for the next book. Gits, the lot of them.  What did I do in my last life to deserve this? Probably a mass murderer or something.  Or worse.  A politician or a lawyer.

Oh, how I wish I was Sophie, or Rose, or The Dark Lord, The Ice Queen, or even (gulp) Doctor Sam, my writing friends.  They write High Fantasy, see, or romantic fantasy.  That means the lucky gits can kill some of their characters if they get too bothersome.Or marry them off, a worse punishment still!  Or at least threaten it.  I write comic fantasy, so it’s sort of not allowed.  And they know it. And they take liberties.  Like deciding to go out for a drink, or a curry without me and coming home late at night and demanding to put some more words on the page at 1am…  Then refusing to get up at a nice sensible 7am, so that one of my writing slots can be filled productively.

I mean, it’s bad enough fighting with Word.  My characters use a northern british mode of speech.  At best, word uses Received pronunciation.  Or, Robot.  Some of the guys suggest using a programme that actually speaks out loud the text you present on the page.  Whatever would it make of the Bolton slang :”Put wood i’ th’ ‘ole”?  (Kindly close the door, for any Southerners or Colonials, or Yorkshire tykes).  I’m sure that the accent, or intonation, would lose authenticity.

I’ve seen on Amazon forums that readers do not understand how hard a writer’s life can be.  They know nothing…how you have to organise earning a living around this mad compulsion to get strange yet sometimes glowing, words down on the computer screen.  Yes, if you talked to the wrong people about what you actually do as a writer, you would end up Sectioned under the Mental Health Act,  Mind you, if they provided accommodation, 3 meals a day and a WP as therapy, I could see the point.  Hi, Doc, I keep hearing these voices in my head………….


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  1. Lol! Very funny again, because it is SO true. The life of a writer is not one to be envied…

    Yes, it’s amazing if you can be one of the lucky few to actually make a living from what you love, but most of us poor saps are juggling demanding jobs, little sleep, no social life or life at all and tend to work all hours of the night in our compulsion to write! A solitary existence? You bet! That is until the voices in your head drown out the silence! 😛

    Sorry, Will, but you’re just going to have to tell them to behave and keep the noise down…and your right, dead right, if mine get too troublesome…i just kill em’! 😀

  2. Brilliant blog, and so true, we would get sectioned if we told the wrong people.

    My characters don’t shout at me in Bolton slang, being Warwickshire and Herts folk the accent is slightly less obvious, but it’s when they start talking in my ear when at work you need to start worrying.

    Great feeling though, when you can just give in to it and write.

  3. You do realise they’ll desensitise you by flooding you with images of your characters until you feel all warm and fluffy in their presence and can embrace them? Either that or put you in a straightjacket and take away your keyboard. Stop twitching, Will. 🙂 x

  4. You’re showing all the classic symptoms of a writer – especially a writer of fantasy. In other words you’re barking mad – perfectly normal for people of our ilk.

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