I love to draw and paint faces. It’s an act of creation, of bringing a person to life. I rarely paint ‘real’ people though, instead preferring to allow a form of fiction to tell its story through colour and line. Seeing an eye peer at me from the page really does open a window to a soul revealed. I like it when they smirk at me too as if hiding their secrets from the vessel that pulled them from a hidden place and gave them form.
Last week though I took a break from pencils and brushes and my ‘art’ came to me through my fingertips when personalities were created by tapping out their DNA on the keyboard.
When I’m in the fiction flow the characters more often than not create themselves. I sometimes read stuff back and wonder where on earth it came from. These mystical folk seem to tell me who they are and who they are going to be. Their features take shape in my imagination without any help from me. It’s as if they have been waiting in the wings for their cue. They know their lines, their costumes and make up is in place. I just have to give them the signal to step onto the stage.
I love it! It feels great … when it happens … when I let it …
Why then is the dressing room so crowded as the novels I keep starting or dream of writing stay back of mind? Am I scared of failing my characters, of drying up in front of my audience and turning into a gibbering wordless wreck?
Writing these daily prompts are at least helping me to put a spotlight on my stagnation and scare the fear back under the bed where it belongs. I have managed three short stories in the last week. But then, in the last couple of days, stage fright hit again. It is so much easier to write a blog post or a silly poem.
Is ‘fiction’ actually the story I tell myself as to why I can’t get that novel down on paper?