The Mun and the Often Stubborn Muse

writing11 In writer’s terminology, the mun is the writer and the muse is the character in which they write for. There are occasions where these two get along swimmingly. There are other occasions where they are like two people slamming doors loudly and repetitively in order to try and prove their point.

As a writer, I will say the latter option is a more accurate representation. I do my best to write daily, though there are days where my muse has locked themselves away and is refusing to come out. I cannot write anything involving them because it feels as if my mind is jammed and the words I’m writing on the page are gibberish.

Why does this happen, you ask? I could give several logical answers and describe them in depth: stress, being busy, an off day, but I will not go into depth on those matters. The answer I offer is the muse has a will of its own.

It sounds crazy, I know, though those who write frequently and have had characters who made you feel what they’re feeling understand what I mean. The muse becomes real and like we have off days, so do they. We can’t connect with them in the right way. We don’t know how they will respond to a situation or why they suddenly clam up when we put them in a situation we believed they would be fine in. We don’t come into a story having everything figured out about who we are writing about. We’d like to think we do and sadly we are mistaken a high percentage of the time.

My most notable example is with my main muse, Aleks. He had gotten close to a woman who held romantic feelings for him and Aleks could not get behind the idea. I was curious as to why. They had good chemistry. Aleks wanted to protect her. He was affectionate with her. There I sat stumped, unable to come up with the reason as to why there was a lack of passion or desire within him. The answer hit me like a train when he met a man and I found he couldn’t keep his eyes off him. It was a gravitational pull towards this character.

My response was, “Oh.”
And in the back of my mind, Aleks replied, “It took you that long to figure it out?”

When we get involved with a character, a lot of their thoughts become ours as does their emotions. We may think we know them until we find there are more layers than initially thought of. I feel as if all writers go through an ‘Ah ha!’ moment or perhaps several over the course of a story. We never quite know what we’re getting into and our muses sit in the background cackling as we finally put the pieces together.

Balancing the relationship between the mun and the muse is a delicate thing and I think one of the struggles us writers face is understanding our muse and pinning them down. Success isn’t always guaranteed, I will admit that, but if when we do reach success, it is beyond satisfactory.


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