Wednesday, April 7, 2010

When my muse messes with me

Trent KinseyThank you, Ginger, for letting me play at your house today! It's always fun to meet my friend's friends. Hopefully we can all play together nicely.

Those who know me also know that at times I'll complain about my muse abandoning me for vacations in Mexico. Those who don't know me look at me when I say this and either laugh or give me that know? The look you'd give if you found a monkey working in a nuclear power plant. But the fact remains that there is many times when I'm in the middle of a project (or many for that matter) that my muse decides it's time for her to take a siesta. "Go ahead, Trent, you got this! I'll be back to see how you're doing in...well, I'll be back at some point!" Poof! She leaves and I'm stuck trying to figure out where my plot is going or wondering why my story just doesn't seem "likeable." So today, instead of just promoting the works my muse has blessed me with, I decided to talk about things I've done to pull her butt out of Mexico and back at my side.

Ghosts of the Storm by Trent Kinsey1. Reading
When I was on active duty, we used to say you couldn't be a leader if you weren't at one point a follower. The same goes for writing. How can you write if you don't read? We all have great ideas, but those ideas do nothing if you don't know if it's been done before, or how plots are developed, characters created. So reading is important.

When I feel my muse has left me for longer than I like, I pick up a book. Sometimes it's in the genre I love to write and sometimes I play in other author's back yards. I actually found that when I read outside my genre, my muse gets upset and comes in and kicks me in the butt. As I stated in a previous blog, I wrote Ghosts of the Storm primarily because my muse came in and introduced me to my character as I sat in the hot tub reading an anthology.

2. Talking to myself
It's not as creepy as you might believe! Sometimes, when I'm in a deep, dry rut of not writing, I pick up a notebook and pen and just start writing anything. Gibberish, notes, thoughts, jokes, doesn't matter what goes on the page, just as long as something goes on the page.

Sometimes, I begin to ask myself questions on paper. Why is this character like this? How will he meet the girl? Why does she not like him? What's the big deal? Sometimes my questions are more detailed, more precise. I do it so I can start trying to think of the things needed to make a story realistic. Not all the time does this work, but every now and then, it sparks my imagination and from there, more of my story comes to life.

Inside the Devil's Oak 3. Putting down the pen
Oh my God, Trent! Did you just tell someone to put the pen down?

Yes. Unfortunately, we are all in the rat race. We are all trying to get our name out there and put our stories in front of as many readers as we can. But sometimes forcing a scene, character, plot, story, does nothing more than damage it. Well that's my opinion anyways. I find that if I write in a troublesome work in progress just to write, just to put down as many words as I can to meet some personal deadline, it sucks when I go back to read it later. A lot of the time, I scrap the entire portion because I couldn't believe what I had done. For me—and most writers will tell you that each of us has or own ways and what works for some doesn't always work for all—if I put the pen down every now and then and start playing with my friends online or participating in blogs, my muse comes home and asks me what the hell do I think I'm doing? That and I find it's always fun to keep my friends around me so a break every now and then helps me to remember they're there as well. So there you have it folks! Will it work for you? I can't guarantee that it will. We all have different minds that work in various ways. I hope these small things of mine can help you. Truth be told, you must find what works for you.


Brigit/Faerylvr said...

Hehehehe....his muse comes to California too...and she is a tad bit dark...hence the horror...but she is a lot of fun :D

We love being around to chat with you Trent...besides my muse has decided to vanish too...I think she may be in Canada...oh Kayden.....

Trent Kinsey said...

I still find it funny how my muse gets around so much. Yes she's a bit dark...just watch out though...she can be real dark at times.

I wouldn't be surprised if Kayden's been hording the muses lol.

Cindy Jacks said...

Great post, Trent! My muse, Brighid, wants to know when the next trip to Mexico is. Like she needs any encouragement to party, LOL.

Ginger Simpson said...

Trent, you are always a welcome visitor at my "house" and I'm happy to have you meet some of my friends. I have some awesome followers who continue to receive my blog via email, and I'm so thankful for the inspiration they give me--keep me writing...well when my muse cooperates.

Knowing the challenges in your life and all that you undertake and still maintain such a positive and humorous outlook moves you up to the top of my role model list. :) I think you inspire all of us who know you.

Trent Kinsey said...


My muse knows better than to schedule trips lol. She just ups and leaves as she pleases.


Thank you. If we can't find laughter and positive outlooks in life it'll only drive us mad in the long run so I take the positive over the negative every time :D

Lorrie said...

Trent, I know your muse travels a lot, but darn it, I wish she would stop asking mine to go along for the company.
We have to straighten those two out.
Did someone say they are hoarding our muses? Must be quite some party to hold them captive.
Crap, they're probably drunk again.
When mine returns, she's getting a good slap upside the head.
Hey, a great fun post. Let's do this again sometime.

Trent Kinsey said...


With all the comments I get from authors with muses running off to Mexico with mine, I'm starting to feel as if there might be some central location they all go to drink and be merry. The Muses' Abandonment conference or something lol.

And though Brigit believes Kayden is hoarding the muses I would have to disagree. Kayden's disappears as much as mine does lol. But one of these days I'm gonna have to go find the conference becacuse with all works I've seen from the various authors I've read, that would be one hell of a party!

Would love to do this again sometime :D I always find it fun and amazing how many authors have a muse like mine. It seems to pull us all together when one of us complains that our muse has ran off to... well that's for someone's story lmao!

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