Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tentacle Monster

Elusive is a good way to describe writing. Characters elude me all the time. They don't want to talk, or they do want to talk but then I'm sure they're saying the wrong things. Though they're not half as bad as plots, which run away from me at every turn.

I think I'm telling a tale about X, the plot thinks I'm telling a tale about Y. It grows slippery and too big, like a tentacle in some monster movie that I'm kind of scared to watch. It's sprouts a million heads, and all of them are laughing at me for not being able to streamline, focus, get to the point.

I hate plots. I like the characters to drive everything, but of course then the characters decide to go off road for fourteen miles and suddenly I'm lost in Inner Monologue Land.

Because when it comes to inner monologue, brevity eludes me. Part of the reason I write is because of the mystery of other people's minds. I love exploring their landscapes - I could stay in someone else's head forever. I want to explore their foibles, their tics, their dreams, their wishes.

But of course the problem with that is that I stay too long. And readers don't want books that stay too long in someone's head. They want action, lots of action - most of which eludes me. I mean, it's not that I have anything against action. I love a good limb-tangling sex scene as much as the next person. But I far prefer monologue and dialogue to someone's leg moving a certain way.

In fact, dirty talk is one of my favourite things to write and read about. Sometimes this thing eludes me or that, but talking never does. Once I get to the conversation, the writing zips by like nothing else - so really I can't feel bad about the rest of the stuff I can't really do. The slippery tentacle monster is big, and he's pissed, and he won't let me plot or jam in lots of action.

But he at least lets me think, and talk. And for that, I am grateful.


  1. Charlotte - big slippery tnetacle monster of plots. Yep. That about sums it up.

  2. Hi, Charlotte,

    Actually, it's the inner monologues that make your work so distinctive. I personally think you should just let your mind do what it does best and forget about the tentacle monster.


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