Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Questioning the Muse

Recently, while I was doing the housework, a scene idea struck. I didn't start writing it right away; I let it stew in my head first. As I went about finishing what I was doing and moving on to other tasks, more of the scene came to life.

But I was also asking myself one question: Why on earth did this particular scene develop? Maybe it had to do with my watching parts of Lethal Weapon that morning as I moved about the house. Or maybe my muse just wanted to hit me up with something totally unexpected. (I don't exactly write cop stories, though being a writer of suspense, I HAVE written scenes involving detectives and police officers.)

I decided not to dwell too much on that. So what if it was a cop story scene? No big D. I could just write it, anyway. Might prove to be a challenge, so why not go for it?? (I love the opportunity to test my writing skills.)

Thing of it was, I still couldn't work on it just yet. I had to wait for later.

And when I wrote it later, I'm sure glad I decided to do it, anyway, because it proved to be an interesting experience. I had to make mental notes to check on if certain parts of the scene were accurate AND since I only had two pages to write the scene (a self-imposed limitation), I had to write tight, cut the fluff and put my scene together in my mind before I got too close to the end of my two pages.

Not only did that happen, though, but something else came about. After I finished the scene, I realized it wasn't so much a "cop story," even though it WAS written from the POV of a newbie deputy. It could be more than that. How? I kept asking myself questions about this scene. Why was the deputy freaking out over the arrest? Why was the prostitute he arrested acting so haughty about her connection to the sergeant? And what kind of a "vacation" WAS it the sergeant had just returned from? This led to other questions. What kind of person is this deputy, anyway? What's his background? His history? What kind of relationship does the sergeant have with his daughter? What exactly is it that alienated them? How is he going to react when he finds out about his daughter? What will that lead to?

Out of all that questioning, I realized that writing the scene I thought would be a waste of time wasn't a waste of time after all. It was a good creative exercise, sure, but it was ultimately the springboard for something bigger. Another novel, perhaps? Or maybe a short story? Who knows. One thing's for sure: It wasn't just one scene anymore. It was now something that could be a part of a future story.

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2 Comments:

  • At 5:46 AM , Blogger sylvia c. said...

    Dawn,

    I think you are right. It would not be a waste of time, if you are developing your craft, developing an idea, or developing yourself!

    Have a good one!

    Sylvia C.

     
  • At 11:03 AM , Blogger Dawn Colclasure said...

    Thank you, Sylvia. :) Enjoy your week!

     

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