Meet Willow

Originally Posted in December 2011. Discovering Willow was probably one of the most profound moments in my writing life. I didn’t realize it at the time, but without her I don’t think I would have ever published my first novel. 

I want to introduce you to Willow, but after that I also wanted to tell you about an experience I recently had and how it relates to why I want to write novels.

So who is Willow? Well, if you have been following my blog so far you would know that much of the discussion has been about my Muse and my IE (Internal Editor), and their ongoing conflict (and believe me it is still ongoing). And part of my problem was actually communicating with them, especially my Muse. I just was not connecting the way I wanted.

I was told that if I really wanted to talk with them, I should personalize them. Give them a name. After all it is much easier to talk to someone you know than a stranger. I thought about this for a long time and tried to come up with a name for IE. But in the end, I decided to just keep calling IE — “IE”. I imagined IE as being a hardnosed editor, like the type you see in the real old newsroom movies. A cigar sticking out the side of the mouth, a pot belly, with suspenders and a graveled voice. The perfect Editor. I believe it would be easier to talk to him if I picture him like I described.

Now to my Muse. I didn’t want to keep just calling my Muse — “my Muse”. It didn’t let me create a personality for my Muse. I thought about it and ran all sorts of names through my mind. Even looked at baby name websites. Nothing came and then it came to me Willow. While most of the time I envision my Muse as a female, there are times when I might need to talk to a male Muse. As it turns out Willow is both male and female, though more often than not it is female. Also, the idea of a tree in bloom, the wispy branches draping down around me, the sunlight peaking around arrowed green leaves, gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Makes me comfortable and puts me in a mood to talk. Willow is someone I can talk with. Therefore, in the future, I will be talking about Willow and IE. I will keep you posted on how well this goes.

One reason I want to be a writer: The other day I was reminded why I want to write fictional novels. I have had a hard time finding some really good books in the genre that I currently enjoy (medieval settings, wizards, etc.). In my search through the Kindle Store, one of my most favorite places to wander through — virtually of course, I finally find a book that looks interesting.

I prefer series and epic novels. Primarily because they give me the chance to really get to know the characters, the story tends to be more robust, and the series can give me enjoyment for months to come (if not years). I downloaded the book (I love only paying $0.99 to $2.99 per book). At first the book seemed a little light. What I mean is that the dialogue was a little weak, the characters were somewhat shallow, and there was very little detail. But I kept at it for a few chapters. After all I had spent almost $1.00 on the book. But it did not get any better. In fact, the initial couple of chapters was probably the highlight of the book. The characters were totally unbelievable — not like they were weird creatures or anything. For instance, the main character, a princess, is evidently spoiled (but no explanation as to why) and the description of her attitude was almost embarrassing. “She stomped her foot and acted like a child showing that she was immature. She pouted showing how mad she was.” Seriously, is this supposed to be character description? I gagged. It really didn’t have a bad storyline, but it is meaningless when accompanied with such inane writing. Great writers like Robert Heinlein and C.S. Lewis are what got me interested in writing, but writers, like the person who wrote the above book, is what made me want to write. After reading something like the above I wanted to write my own version. And still do.

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