Friday, October 26, 2012

"Oh For A Muse"



In modern times a muse is sometimes a metaphorical source of an artist or writer’s inspiration. A definition of a muse’s job which I like is: To penetrate the artist and bring forth a work from the womb of his mind. Pretty profound, you might say, but often that is what my muse does.

In Greek mythology the daughters of Zeus were all muses. They were spirits of the Goddesses who inspired the arts and literature.

William Shakespeare mentions a muse in Act 1, the Prologue of Henry V, The Chorus:

Oh for a muse of fire that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention,

A Kingdom for a stage, princess to act

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

I have an extraordinary muse; she speaks to me in emails and sometimes over the phone.
At times she prods, encourages, suggests, and sometimes says ‘ No, this doesn’t work for me.’

My muse is my niece, Carylee. Once a teacher like myself, if I send her a scene which focuses on a minor character’s action, she might return it and ask: ‘What would her mother think about that? I’d like to hear her mother’s reaction in the character’s internal thoughts.”

Or she might write ‘Good Girl! I liked the tweaking in this chapter. It needed to be longer.’

In my current work in progress she has suggested I use a letter to convey the character’s intent when it would have been too difficult for the character to speak about a difficult topic. She knows I like to write letters. Epistolary novels was one of my earlier blogs.

Carylee is often like an editor because she checks the mechanics of scenes I send her, and that’s fine with me. I need all the help I can get!  To use an overworked cliché, Two heads are better than one.

Presently I’m finishing a final book of my series and I need all the time available to do that. Consequently, this blog must be a short one.

 Think about muses, dear friends. My wishes for fellow writers are that you may all find a magical, marvelous muse who will help your writing succeed! I certainly did.











Jacqueline Seewald said...

I do envy you your muse! None of my friends or relatives is really into writing. Editors are the first to read my work--not always good! I believe it really helps to get input from intelligent readers in advance of submissions.

Mary F. Schoenecker said...

Thanks Jacquie. I agree that editors are not always the best first reader of a work that you think is your very best.

elysabeth said...

I too envy you your muse. I'm struggling with a piece I'm hoping to write during the month of November (yes, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo) and I hope my muse really comes forth and shines like a super star next month. It's good you have a person who really helps you before your stories get to the editors. We all need a Carylee in our life. (I sort of have a friend who was my muse but she's been MIA for a while now and she's not really doing much with writing, so I've basically lost my muse. I hope she comes back soon so that I can get some writing done. Here's hoping and fingers crossed. E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home, a middle grade/YA mystery