How To Exorcise Your Story

So you’re a writer! Congratulations. Welcome to the club- you won’t be enjoying your stay.

You see, when you’re making up a story, it’s all fun and games; you’ve got nice characters, a nice setting, a nice plot. It’s only when you start writing a story that everything goes to hell.

As worshippers of the goddess of Fiction, we must show our devotion to her gift of writing by being utterly obsessed with our writing. If you’re anything like me, you will be consumed by your character while you’re writing in his/her voice, and you will be shocked when you come out of your writer’s coma to see your work space around you instead of a foggy forest filled with nymphs.

And if you let it go even further (meaning that you start thinking about your story even when you’re not writing), you will inevitably start behaving like your character. This may not be a problem if your character is sweet and loving and kind; but if your protagonist, like mine, is an asshole with a sarcastic sense of humour, you’re fucked. I’m lucky that most of my friends appreciate sarcasm, because otherwise, I would be alone in this literary hellhole I have constructed for myself.

So, here’s some tried and tested tips on how to be normal while being a writer:

  1. Think about sad parts of your story. Then, you’ll just be a little quiet and down instead of a raging inferno of saltiness/bitterness/weirdness.
  2. Think about the characters that you’re going to kill. This is especially effective if they’re going to die in a bloody/gory way. Your writer mind will immediately start analysing the logistics of how to describe such a (hopefully) alien spectacle that any remaining traces of your protagonist will be swept away, leaving you free to be your own quirky self.
  3. Try to remember something. Such as how to multiply 57 by 98 in your mind; or how Henry the eighth got rid of his wives (my favourite was when he literally made up a new religion so he could divorce his first one); or how the hell Columbus managed to mistake North America for India. Your imperfect memory will piss you off enough that you’ll forget that you’re a writer. Problem solved. Now all you have to do is deal with your escalating blood pressure as you get more and more annoyed with yourself.
  4. Don’t be a writer. Personally, this one has never worked for me, but I hear that people who don’t have dozens of stories and characters fighting for domination in their heads, don’t have any problem blending in with society. I wonder what an empty noggin feels like. I’m imagining a fish bowl minus the fish.

Quite honestly, there’s no getting rid of the side-effects of creativity completely. So what if you’ve got a demonic protagonist inhabiting your body? You created him/her so they must be awesome!

Ignore the decrees of Supernatural, and enjoy cohabiting with a fictional character- we all know that if s/he were Harry Potter (and pals), we would be over the fucking moon.


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