Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Muses & Writing by Diane Burton

Apollo and the Muses on Mt. Helicon by Claude Lorrain

Back in March, I wrote a post on Paranormal Romantics about The Muses. Here’s a little backstory about them. In Greek mythology, Zeus created The Muses to celebrate the victory over the Titans and to forget the evils of the world. Zeus was a prolific father. According to myth, he laid with the goddess of memory nine times to create the nine Muses, goddesses of literature, sciences, and the arts. Two of them are directly related to literature—Melpomene (tragedy) and Thalia (comedy). Although I claim Thalia as my muse because I’d rather write humor than tragedy, But, I can’t ignore Melpomene. A good book must contain both. Tension and danger need the comic relief.

In the past, I’ve groaned and complained about my Muse having gone on vacation or that she deserted me. Then, I read this quote from J.K. Rowling:

"The Muse works for you. You don’t write at her beck and call—you train her to show up when you’re writing.”

I find that an interesting perspective. It’s easier to blame the Muse than myself when I'm stuck. Yesterday, Mac Crowne wrote about Writer’s Block. I identified with her feelings back in February when I had a lot of trouble with Numbers Never Lie. At that time, I blamed my Muse for deserting me. Now, I have to wonder.

Have I trained my Muse to show up? I think it’s much like training a puppy. I wasn’t very good at that. Inconsistent at first. Then, I learned to be more vigilant . . . and consistent. I guess that means I need to be consistent with expecting my Muse to show up each time I sit down to write.

However we write, whatever we think of Muses, our job is to get the story out of our heads and onto the screen (or paper). Some of us need inspiration. Reading favorite books, as Mac is going to do (and as I do), reminds us of excellence in writing. 

If I want my Muse to show up when I do, I guess I’d better train her better.

Here’s the blurb for Numbers Never Lie:


A shocking secret brings danger to Jack Sinclair and his sister Maggie. 

As kids, they were the fearless threesome. As adults, Jack's an accountant; Drew, a lawyer; Maggie, a teacher and camping troop leader. Returning from a weekend camping trip, Maggie receives horrifying news. She refuses to believe her brother’s fatal car crash was an accident. If the police won’t investigate, she’ll do it herself. Convincing Drew Campbell to help is her only recourse.

Drew Campbell was too busy to return his best friend’s phone call. Too busy to attend a camping meeting important to his teen daughter. Too busy to stay in touch with Jack. Logic and reason indicate Jack’s accident was just that—an accident caused by fatigue and fog. Prodded by guilt, he’ll help Maggie even if he thinks she’s wrong.

A break-in at Jack’s condo convinces Maggie she’s right. Then her home is searched. What did Jack leave behind?


Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and romance into writing romantic fiction. She blogs here on the 16th and 30th of each month. She shares snippets from her stories every weekend on her blog.


23 comments:

Leah St. James said...

What a great quote, Diane! I'm feeling more purposeful already! I love your excerpt and am already hooked. Have fun as you train your muse and finish the story!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Leah. I got up this morning imagining me with a whip training my muse to obey. LOL

Darcy Flynn said...

Love the post and the quote. Your blurb has looked already! Best with Numbers Never Lie!

Jannine Gallant said...

I never think about writing in terms of a muse. I look at it as a job. When I sit down to write, I make myself write. Some days I might not want to do it, but some days I don't want to go to my paycheck job, either. I do that regardless of my mood. Writing is the same, just more fulling some days than others. Great blurb, BTW. I hope you're making progress again!

Sorchia DuBois said...

My muse responds to chocolate and the promise of Scotch if we get our word count for the week (or day or hour). But I'm inconsistent, too. I love the quote and the new perspective. Both my muse and I thank you.

Elizabeth Meyette said...

My Muse, Boris, is great to work with, but I'm not sure who is training whom here LOL Great post, Diane.

Vonnie Davis said...

My muse is trying to train me. She's pushing at my shoulder to get some words down. I tell her I'm not ready, that my emotions are too raw. We're starting to battle more. I'd rather write comedy, too, but I don't feel that right now. So maybe I'll work on deeper emotion and conflict. You've written an intriguing blurb. It's sure to catch a lot of readers.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Definitely a great quote. I need that mindset. Loved the blurb.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Darcy.

Diane Burton said...

Jannine, you make a lot of sense. Going to a pay job even when we don't want to is a given. Yet, I'm one for making excuses not to go to my writing job.

Diane Burton said...

Sorchia, bribery works, too. LOL

Diane Burton said...

Betty, I love the name of your muse. "Boris" reminds me of Rocky & Bullwinkle. Thanks for stopping by.

Diane Burton said...

Vonnie, maybe your muse is right. It's time to delve into your serious side. You never know what may come of it. I'd think it would be hard to write humor right now. Maybe just writing is what you need to do now. Hugs. Glad you like the blurb.

Diane Burton said...

Brenda, thanks. Since you write romantic suspense, I appreciate your comment on the blurb.

Patricia Kiyono said...

Great post! I need to train my muse to show up quickly when I get the chance to write. Love the blurb for your new book - can't wait to read it!

Diane Garner said...

I can't make up my mind (Ha! Not unusual) which way the training has gone between my muse and me. Since she often keeps me awake at night, that would seem to be her in charge. But when I sit down to write, she normally shows up right away. Maybe it's a symbiotic relationship. Great post!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Patty. Showing up quickly is so important--for the muse and well as myself. :)

Diane Burton said...

Diane, I like the idea of it being a symbiotic relationship. My muse keeps me awake at night, too.

Andrea Downing said...

this is so interesting Diane. I never think of my muse, I always think of those dang characters cramming my head and telling me what to write next.

Margo Hoornstra said...

That is one intriguing blurb. Nice work getting another one finished. Love that quote. Kind of like the politicians we elect. We tend to lose sight of who exactly works for whom. Thanks for the reminder on all fronts.

Susan Coryell said...

Ahhh! the Muse. She followed me to my retirement home and has never left me. Bless her!
Your blurb is compelling! Best wishes.

Judy Ann Davis said...

Love the quote. Now if I can only get my muse's attention so I can tell her what J.K. Rowling said--and get a little more cooperation from her! Best of luck with your writing endeavors.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Alas, I am one of those bitchy writers who doesn't believe in muses. Like Jannine, I wait for no one...I am in complete control of my writing. No one to blame or wait on...no one to whip into shape except for me. I know, it's not as dramatic as muse-chasing, but it's what a famous writer advised when I started writing, and I've been holding that line ever since!