Sometimes I just lie awake at night and write whole novels. You know. Just in my head. And when I'm lying awake, writing word for word these damned novels, I always have the same thought. Why don't I get off my ass and write this down?The honest answer is that I have no idea why I don't. I tell myself it's because I need to sleep, that it’s already one in the morning and I should stop thinking and go the hell to sleep.But I don't.
I lie there and I write novels in my head, novels I remember just as clearly when I wake up the next morning.
As you can figure, this is becoming quite a problem.
You see, when I do this lying-awake-at-night-plotting-my-novel-p
Before, I always told them, "No. Bugger off. I've got a WIP already. Leave me alone."
This morning was different though.
The idea stood towering over me, framed in the faint light coming through my closed curtains. My room shook slightly, as if from the idea's impatience. Realising that was the usual shaking of my room due to the passing of a bus outside, I pulled my blankets over my head and grumbled, “Go away. Got WIP. Argh, sleep…”
Most ideas would go away then. They would just bugger off back into my mind, scowling and dragging their feet as they went.
This idea was different.
She sat angrily down on my bed, scowled at me, and snapped, "I'm not going anywhere, Alice. Now, get off your ass and do something for a change. You made me climb a mountain last night during a snowstorm, break into a palace in enchanted glass slippers, and head a revolution. Shower at the very least. Crack a window. Let some god damn light in this room!"
So I got up and did exactly what the idea told me to do.
Yes, I know. I should have slowly pulled back my blankets and stared at the idea, wondering when the hell my mental state had gotten this bad. But I didn't. I just got up, showered, cracked a window open, and even did some washing.
In the matter of forty minutes.
I never get up that quickly. No, seriously. I never get up that quickly.
So, curious about this idea and it’s influence over me, I nervously called out in my mind, "Um... Idea? You there? I've done those things you told me to do. Can you come back now and tell me what to do next?" It seemed a reasonable thing to ask. After all, it was Monday. Secondly, I have three or so hours before my lecture.
The idea flicked my ear. "I have a name you know."
"Yes, yes, whatever," I said dismissively, glancing over my shoulder to look at her. She’s tall, dark skinned and brown eyed. She’s a little on the chubby side but definitely a million times more beautiful than I am. Maybe it's the red cloak, I reasoned. It was a very nice cloak, after all... Shaking off my thoughts of the cloak, I said, "Now, about this new list of things I should do-"
"It's Ember," the idea interrupted, scowling at me. "Ember,” she said again, slowly this time. She leaned back and continued to scowl at me. “Honestly, Alice. You did name me."
"Sure, great," I said, frustrated that this idea –this Ember– insisted on me learning her name. I didn’t have time to remember her name. The seconds were ticking away and I needed to utilise this control Ember had over me. Quickly. I could get her to tell me to do that assignment. I could get her to tell me to do those readings. And I would do them, apparently, because when she talked, I apparently shut up and got to work. "Now," I said, squaring my shoulders and trying to look like I had complete control, "what do I do now?"
Ember sat down on the bed as she had earlier that morning, folded her arms, and said, "Write me, you idiot. Honestly, are you completely thick? That's why I'm here."
I started doing just that.
I'd never listened to my ideas before, you see. Not while I'm working on a WIP, anyway. I just jot down the general idea in a Word document and go back to my WIP but Ember, stubborn little Ember, wasn't going to wait around for me to write her. Thankfully, she’s turned out to be a rather good muse, not just with her story but with others.
"Honestly, you can't expect your main character to fall for him! He's horrible!"
"Oh, I like her. Sexy, badass, witty… Alice. Alice, why is she a minor character? I don't understand."
"Why is no one trekking through mountains and starting revolutions? Alice, I don't like this double standard. You were perfectly happy making me walk around in enchanted glass slippers for three nights in a row, the least you could do is make a few of these characters break a sweet."
"Alice, what are you doing? No, step away from the keyboard. You will not add one more sentence to that scene. Delete it. Delete it all. NOW."
True, she's a little mean... Okay, she's a lot mean. She's even critiquing the hell out of this post. I like how mean she is though. Having her peer over my shoulder and ask, "What the hell are you doing?" is exactly what I need. She's kind of become my inner critique partner.
In the last two hours.
Yeah, Ember talks a lot and I have the feeling that she's only just getting started.
The funny thing is… I’m not the slightest bit afraid. I'm actually sort of anticipating it.
"That is a horrible conclusion," Ember just told me. "It's mushy and stupid and a total lie. I can see it in your eyes, Alice. You are terrified of me. Admit it! Admit it!"
Okay, sure. Ember's insane ("I am not!") and she terrified me ("Damn straight.") but I sort of love her ("Lies!")– Okay, I hate her guts. Happy, Ember?
"Not in the slightest. Now, we need to talk about this scene. The one with the flying carriage. I like it. I just don't understand how this fits in with the rest of the story. You have no scene before this that actually clicks to this idea, you know? ...Alice? Alice, you listening to me?"
("I hate you.")