The Art of Mirriam Neal

I beg your pardon

ACIDICWITThis is post inception. I am responding to a response. In typical Jenny fashion, she saw a preconception, arched an eyebrow, and said, “I think not.” Generally, I agree with my petite friend. In this instance, however, I have to somewhat disagree…and announce that I am half a stereotype. It is most likely nature, trying to balance me out. Anyway, here are my responses to Jenny’s response to Rachel’s response…or something like that. Sally forth.

Stereotype: Writers Never Sleep

Truth: I have no difficulty in growing tired. I have great difficulty in falling asleep. When life allows, I sleep in well past noon. It isn’t because I enjoy missing the morning; it’s simply because I love night more, and my dreams are so vivid that I don’t feel rested even after a long sleep.

Stereotype: Writers Obsess Over Naming Their Characters

Truth: I wouldn’t say I obsess over it, but I find it highly important. If a character is not properly named, they won’t behave. I’ve tried writing characters with ‘working names’ before, and they always (no exceptions) dig in their heels and refuse to cooperate until I give them a proper name. Also, I find it impossible to begin a novel unless I have the title.

Stereotype: Writers Dwell in the Darkest Mental Corners

Truth: It depends on what kind of novel you write. I hardly think A. A. Milne thrashed about with nightmares. On the other hand, I believe the more difficult and nitty-gritty you write, the more hard subjects you tackle, the more you will struggle with those mental corners. This is a tough tightrope to balance, and something I struggle with.

Stereotype: Authors Are Always Killing Characters

Truth: While it is true there is a small graveyard where the ghosts of characters past glare at me from headstones, I do find it useful to keep two thirds of my characters alive. Besides, there are some I simply couldn’t kill, as I just don’t have the guts or sadism (or both) to carry out such an execution.

Stereotype: You’ll Spend Half Your Life Hating Your Work

Truth: Why would I write if I hated my work? Writing is difficult and brain-wracking and emotional and  gut-wrenching, but I love it. I feel it’s what I was born to do, and I am never happier than when spinning a new story together.

Stereotype: Writers Consider Their Characters to be Their Babies

Truth: Babies? No. Friends, enemies, jesters, lovers, teachers, and hooligans? Yes.(Disclaimer: I refer to my characters as my ‘babies,’ ‘children,’ etc. on occasion. However, this will cease once I have a physical, flesh-of-my-flesh child, as I don’t aim for family jealousy.)

Stereotype: Writers Are Exotic Creatures

Truth: Yes. I am an exotic creature. Like a luck dragon, or a platypus.

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