Sunday, December 27, 2009

Character vs. Author

What to do when a character attempts to consume your soul. First, you need to show it whose boss. Flex the almighty pen or fingers and write a story where the same character is humiliated beyond anything you would do to your worst enemy. If that doesn’t work and the character begins to keep you awake at night by giving you more horrific accounts, then consider the alternative: make peace with it, thank it, maybe even make it a hero.

Throughout literature there have been several characters that live beyond the pages, particularly for those fortunate enough to portray them on screen. Take the Joker. Jack Nicholson did a wonderful job on the big screen. Of course, Jack is a bigger than life actor with his unique mannerisms and voice. I never thought anyone could top him until Heath Ledger came along and took the Joker’s character to a whole new level. Afterwards, Mr. Ledger had so much trouble getting the character out of his head that he needed a form of psychiatric treatment. I read somewhere that Jack Nicholson suggested he check himself into a hospital for a couple of weeks.

It’s strange that Mr. Nicholson was suggesting a form of character possession actually taking place. Could it be that Mr. Ledger’s untimely demise was his way of trying to actually kill the Joker? As a writer, I understand since I swear my muse has a life of its own. I wonder what things it’s done that I’m totally unaware of. Author Dean Koontz admitted to attempting to kill one of his muses. He claimed to have pushed her down a flight of stairs where she landed, he hoped, with a broken neck. Well, she managed to come back for another novel or two before he finally killed her.

I have to admit, I did interview a female vampire character of mine. I typed in the details of my adventure but a virus vanquished the evidence of our encounter. Also, I misplaced the hard copy but I recall having to interrupt the interview to take care of my necessities. Her powers seemed to force me to run to the bathroom. In retrospect, she tried to persuade me to make her the main character of the book. I told her in a polite form, that she was a bit clichéd. A vampire that strives to rule the world is rather old news, but she insisted she had a new twist. I told her to come back when I was stronger to stomach her accounts. She stared at me like a lioness eyeing a tasty meal. Of course, the interview was concluded with yet another visitation, on my part, to the bathroom. Perhaps she took pity on me and allowed me to survive, or maybe her ego is so large that she wants me to write her story so the world may see what’s coming for them. She’s such a nasty vampire.

My encounter with the female vampire leads me to my last suggestion, if the character is too powerful for you, run! Of course, sooner or later, it will get you, consume you, and hopefully, make you a ton of money.

Nomar Knight

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Fountain of Muse

Why it is that one’s creative juices tend to flow in the most unlikely of places baffles me. I wish I could say that my best writing is done at my desk in front of the computer, but truth be told; ideas jump out at me in the bathroom. Perhaps it’s the solitude of the place or the anticipation of running water, or the need to think while doing nature’s cleansing. I don’t know why, but the bathroom seems to be working akin to the Fountain of Youth, only I call it, the Fountain of Muse.

In my case, the developments of crucial characters are born in a bathroom. I understand that for a normal person, the bedroom should be the most exciting place, but while the bedroom is a place of rest, relaxation, and sometimes exercise; I find myself exiting the bathroom with either a gleam in my eyes or just super anxious to unload my discoveries on paper. While I don’t always have a great experience in the Fountain of Muse, sometimes the well runs dry or like constipation, ideas strain to trickle out. Fortunately, I do have alternate rituals which put me on the right track. Although, I must admit, these rituals take place in other locations. For example, some of my characters prefer coffee over the nuances of a toilet. As a result, I’m regularly spotted in my neighborhood café surrounded by all sorts of invisible ghosts, demons, vampires and the like.

Another place I visit on occasion, especially when the character is either extremely stressed, or causes an unbelievable amount of grief, is the neighborhood pub. I’ve discovered that alcohol not only drops human’s inhibitions, but also that of fictional characters, since they believe they’re human too. Now I must admit I have not yet gotten smashed to the level where the characters take on a three dimensional perspective and therefore, have to carry me home. Taking account the evil I communicate with, it’s best to keep my senses in considerable working order.

I recall one day admitting to a teenage female that the evening prior, I had interviewed a beautiful, female, twin vampire. Instead of campaigning to have me committed, she begged me to introduce her to the character, even though I explained that vampires who were made in the 1600’s tend to be a bit antisocial. Nevertheless, she had to settle for a drawing of the character. In addition, I told her to picture the Olsen twins with fangs.

I’d like to know where your Fountain of Muse is located. Feel free to comment. Next time I’ll write about when a character consumes its author.
Happy Holidays to all.

Nomar Knight

Friday, December 18, 2009

Missing in Action

Sorry about being away for so long. Sometimes the muse takes a vacation even if you're not willing to part with it. Well, now it's back and attacking better than ever. I've just started a new project. There's no viable title yet, but it is a horror book. Don't know if it'll be a novella or a novel, but as the character's communicate with me, I'll know in do time. Here's a small excerpt of the opening:

The idea that history repeats itself may be construed as a myth. Some people believe there are creatures that roam the earth which few humans recognize. Others think sorcery occurs at the midnight hour and that night air can be a carrier of all kinds of malice. Those same delusional souls say evil attracts both corroded energy and virginal innocence. Perhaps history does repeat itself.

Then the action takes over. A mystical being observes its prey in the hopes of unleashing itself upon the human world.

It's fun to be writing again. Oh well, wish me luck.

Nomar Knight