Author note: I wrote this for a challenge to finish another writer’s prose. It took an interesting turn for me to give a look into the mind of the everyday writer.
“The descending sun painted the sky in an amber glow. Soft white clouds danced to a gentle breeze’s beat. The ascending moon tossed a quiet light over the plains, that separated the wilds of nature from what passes for civilization. The birds bid farewell in a rhythmic chorus. The lovers smiled at each other, in peaceful content. Twigs crumble under pained stress. Footsteps draw closer, stilling their thoughts, and chilling the night…”
“Rascal, lay down, I’m in the zone.” I scratched his ears and he sat on his pillow at my feet.
After reading this passage describing a scene of isolation on my half-blank computer screen, I realized something. This is my island; my oasis of calm in an ever-changing sea of still glass or turbulent crescent waves. No matter what’s happening in the world outside my very small window, I can escape into a sphere of reality which I create.
In my little office, my writing takes me on a journey where I listen to the characters in my head and they tell me their stories.
Yes, I hear them. I know that sounds weird to non-writers, but as a writer, you become the observer in the world you create. With every word on your glowing screen, you weave tales and build a universe where people live, love, learn, thrive and survive. And you hope someday readers will share that world with you and enjoy their stay.
It’s a strange omnipotent power to create a fake reality. You wield fate like a god and hold the lives of your characters in your hands. With a sentence or paragraph, I can give this one true love, put that one in danger or even kill someone off. I think that’s the toughest part. I feel like a parent to these fictional children I formed.
Sometimes I feel responsible for them, although I often think they’re in charge of their own destinies and I’m just the one with computer chronicling it all. But even as witness, I’m servant to the divined natural science of our story world. Not unlike real life, there are rules in the tropes that must adhere. Certain stories must have a happy ending and in some, death is assured. I travel through their existence, sensing everything as they do. I guess just like the civilization I see outside my window, my island also experiences both calm and rough seas. Maybe my little island isn’t that different, but at least here, I’m still in control.
Ok, I’ve procrastinated long enough…I’m listening lovers, whose footsteps are chilling you in the night? I’m in the zone again. I hear the footsteps too.
“Again Rascal? Ok, let’s go potty.” I walked toward the door and took one more look at my screen.
Lovers, you’ll have to wait a little longer to find your stalker.