pygmalion

Posted: April 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

One thing that I’m continually surprised at when I’m writing is how much I put myself into the story.

It’s kind of scary, actually. Let me give you an example:

In the story, “Cassandra”, there is a character called Cassandra*. Now, Cassandra shows up several times in the story, in various guises. And the main character is in love with her (it’s not exactly a love story, but romantic relationships play an important role in the story). Now, when I’m writing about Cassandra from the perspective of the main character, I’m in love with her. Totally. Passionately. I’ve been in love before; I know what it feels like. So when I’m writing about Cassandra, from the main character’s perspective, I can feel that exact same rush of chemicals in my brain that cause the sensation that makes falling in love so damn good. It isn’t like empathy at all: I am in love with Cassandra, and the main character is the puppet through which I give my love to her.

When I’m not writing, though? It’s kind of scary. I think about Cassandra and I don’t feel anything. I mean, she’s fictional. She’s not even committed to paper. I haven’t printed out “Cassandra”, so until then she just exists as characters in a .pages file.

And I look at Cassandra, and I think, WHAT THE FUCK, GIRLFRIEND? WHY DO I FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU WHEN I WRITE ABOUT YOU? I AM YOUR CREATOR! YOU ARE NOT REAL! YOU ARE A FIGMENT OF MY OWN IMAGINATION! I AM NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU– I CONTROL YOU! YOU ARE MY PUPPET, DANCING ON MY STRINGS! DANCE FOR ME, PUPPET! DANCE FOR ME!

But when I’m writing “Cassandra”, and at the same time writing Cassandra, I go into the main character’s brain. I become the main character. And the main character is in love with Cassandra. So, logically, I’m in love with her too.

cannot emphasize how batshit gorram loco this is.

But it’s what happens.

Take heed, novice writers: You don’t control the story. All you can do is hang on.

~ Ian

*The character Cassandra is not why the story is called “Cassandra”. The reason why the story and the character are both called Cassandra is the same reason, though.

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Comments
  1. Excellent post today. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed it very much.

    Love writing? We would love for you to join us!

    Writers Wanted

  2. Ian Johnson says:

    Writers Wanted: No thanks. Not interested at the moment…

    Thanks for the follow, though.

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