Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday moring madness . . . following the thread

It's Monday morning madness, and I've just returned from dropping my kids at school. It occurred to me, as driving parents, we seem to be incapable of letting our kids follow their own thread. What do I mean? At some of the larger schools, students can enter the building through more than one door. Younger and older elementary school students may wait in separate places, for the first morning bell. If you’ve ever seen a kindergartener and 5th grader next to one another, you’ll understand how huge the difference in size can be. So for safety sake – and noise control – lots of elementary school kids will enter different doors. Do we let our kids out all at once? Let them walk to where they need to get into the building? Let them follow the thread to their eventual destination?

Absolutely not.

We seem to be certain, as parents, if we don’t deliver those kiddos to the appropriate curb-side entrance, they’ll somehow get lost heading in the doors.

Side note – if you have a kindergartener I understand your need to see them in the correct door. For that matter if you have a child like my youngest, who was always interested in stopping to smell the roses (even in the dead of winter), I get that you might want to walk them to the door yourself and punt them inside. That said . . . most kids are perfectly capable of following the thread of sidewalk or the beaten path to get into the building.

FYI – this phenomenon doesn’t just happen at elementary schools. High school parents are just as guilty of this drive-and-drop behavior.

What the point to my observation?

Writers commit the same atrocity to their muse.

How so?

We, as writers, are too quick to gun our proverbial car and head for the next curb-side site. We believe in front-door delivery instead of letting our muse pop out for a little stroll. Sometimes our muse will follow the beaten path (or even the sidewalk) and end up in the exact destination we expected. BUT . . . there are times, if we’ll cut the engine and let our muse do the meandering, our plot lines will curve and turn and end up at a much better entrance for the next part of our story.

What could happen if, as writers, we follow the thread and simply see where it ends? Something could blossom on the page that isn’t inherently useable; it simply won’t fit the overall plot. It’s possible! But the twist or turn might work to enhance a later element in the story. Or even begin the brooding process for the next book. However, it’s highly possible, considering what creative folks we writers are, that our muse will bring to bear something unique and vibrant – dare I say, fresh? – to the writing.

Hey, with gas $3.00 bucks a gallon and climbing, cut the engines, writers.

Let your muse outside of the limits of your control and see what happens.
I love sharing . . . so, has your muse ever delivered something completely unexpected to your plot line?

5 comments:

L.A. Mitchell said...

I think mine is playing out on the "this isn't romance" playground as we speak. I'll spend afterschool smashing erasers together because I broke the cardinal rules of the genre. :O

I'm so glad you're posting again. The world just isn't right without it!

Marty said...

I like the analogy here. My muse doesn't come often enough. I love feeling a huge need to just type and see what happens when my muse is visiting. Other times I sit and stare at the screen wondering if she'll ever come again. Unfortunately I need to buy groceries with or without a muse!

L.A. Mitchell said...

You've been tagged, hon :) Better dig deep, we know a lot about you already!

Andrea Geist said...

Sandy, as always - good job. And an interesting analogy. xoxo

Sherry Davis said...

Extremely interesting. Hmm. I'll have to think about this for a while.

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