1. Dracan6
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    Dracan6 Member

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    The Muse...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Dracan6, Jan 26, 2014.

    Most people here, should know the term Muse. Many may have their own...
    I have found that many of the great artists; be it musicians, painters, and of course writers swear by the concept. Even know the names of their Muse.
    If not the name, they definitely could describe them.

    I would like to enquirer, if any of you have connected with one?
    I know it is an abstract concept to some. Yet, if you take a side glance at your own work, you may just see it. "Just humor me, if you will."

    Please, I implore you all to think about it!
    (I have a great deal to discuss, if this thread works out.)
     
  2. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I don't think I have one. I'm too logical.
     
  3. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    My muse left me...and still hasn't returned. I think she grew horse shouting at me, trying to get my attentions and finally gave me up as a bad joke. I miss her and wish she'd come back.

    She never told me her name, but I know she's female because I hear her whispering in my ear.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't believe in them, personally. Most writers I know tend to use their "muse" as a scapegoat for not doing anything...
     
  5. Dracan6
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    Dracan6 Member

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    True, but I have seen them used as motivational tools as well. One that comes to mind is, how Stephen King talks about his muse in his book, On Writing. He says something along the lines of how he had a male muse that smokes cigars, and it isn't a big talker. Yet, when it decided to start whispering to him, BAM! It's like nothing else. So he makes it his job to be sitting at his writing desk at the same time everyday, so if it feels like showing up and dropping of a little bag of magic, it know exactly when and where to find him.

    I myself, like this idea.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    I'm with shadowwalker on this... don't believe in the muse myth, have no need of one...
     
  7. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    I don't really believe in the muse either, but I'm completely willing to play along. If I had a muse, she'd be:

    - a female
    - a teenage girl
    - playful, frivolous
    - encouraging me to put down my pen more often, recommending to me that I remember to take breaks, and she REALLY wants me to draw more
    - just as quick to scold me if I slack off too much, though there'd be less scolding lately, and now reprimands me for not going out for walks like I used to

    I would ignore her advice, though, quite often, because I'm tired of getting nothing done, and I have no one to blame but myself for not working much. I'd never blame my muse; I'm just a naturally lazy person is all.
     
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  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't believe in the muse.

    However, I sometimes find myself writing to, and for, my younger self - me as a boy of ten or twelve. That's kind of when I was forming who I am, and maybe I'm still trying to influence that process, in a way. Writing as a form of time travel.
     
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  9. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    I used to depend on a muse, but she retired. Now, I buy my ideas at the local music store. They were selling just song ideas, but times are lean and they over-invested in ballad ideas and nearly went under, so they've added a line of story ideas—mostly romance, but they have a nice assortment of sci-fi and gritty male adventure plots available in the 95,000 to 125,000 word range.
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    I like the idea of the muse, largely because for me, it removes the excuse to write only when I'm inspired. If I want to attract a muse/my muse, I need to demonstrate that I'm a worthwhile candidate, by regularly sitting down and writing. Why would a muse waste time with me if I don't make that regular offering?
     
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  11. Dracan6
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    Dracan6 Member

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    I am loving the mixed responses here. There are some damned good points on both sides!
    I definitely want to see more thoughts on the matter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  12. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure people understand what a muse is/should be. It seems like they are missing the point. It's not a ghost, or a deity that you "believe" in, or some abstract concept that the artist switch responsibility to, thus gaining excuses not to work...

    1. Classical Muse is the embodiment of artistic knowledge, the knowledge itself, the idea of artistic tradition. Invoking the Muse in writing is thus akin to getting immersed in the literary tradition. The reason most contemporary art (including the belles-lettres) SUCKS is the authors complete ignorance, or even ridicule, of what tradition they create in and from.

    2. Romantic muse is a woman. The Godess herself. Why? Because the Woman, the sex which gives life (the Mary which gave birth to Christ, etc) is the embodiment of creative energies. You want to create something? You are a man - Men create only if the Woman allows them to. Inspires them. Gives them strength (and knowledge) to produce. The reason so many poets are promiscuous and so many novelists are monogamous :)

    If this all sound like mambo-jumbo to you, you either:
    a) have no idea what poetry is,
    b) should read just a bit more,
    c) should have sex and/or become religious,
    d) should block me and/or report me for making fun of your materialistic, one-dimensional line of thinking :D
     
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  13. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Those may be your definitions, but it's not how writers typically use the term - which is more in line with the dictionary's definition as "a source of inspiration". Which would mean I've got a whole world of muses running around - far too many to keep track of. I prefer to give myself the credit and responsibility for whatever I create. The ego must be fed, ya know...
     
  14. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    :( I admit it. I don't know my poetry at all. I also haven't been reading much lately because I'm too busy trying to actually use my energy writing to read, and I don't like overflooding myself with ideas because I just shut down trying to decide which ideas I should use.

    So yeah, I'm about as bright as a brick when it comes to poetry. :p
     
  15. Red Herring
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    I agree with shadowwalker, that's the definition of muse that I and my friends use. My connection to muse likens to being involved an in-and-out relationship with a partner who is inattentive and always leaves when it gets serious.

    It really is a perishing state for me. When it comes it's great because things happen easier and time flies. But I've spent more time trying to get into a muse than actually being in one. It's also an excuse I've used to not get things done. I don't personally believe in a muse. It's just a creative hypnotic state, or maybe even a personality in all of us, that takes us to our creative peak. The only way to access it is writing and forcing yourself to when you don't want to.
     
  16. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @shadowwalker so you don't find inspiration in literary tradition and language, and you don't find it in women of the oposite sex? :)
     
  17. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    You shouldn't be, because poetry is distilled emotion, the art of saying as much as possible in as few words as possible. It's all about evoking emotion in the reader you will never meet, who may be of a different age group, gender, and cultural background—all techniques the writer should be seeking to master. That doesn't mean we should all be poets, but we should know what makes it work, so we can add impact to our own prose.

    I'd recommend that every aspiring writer read the online sample to Stephen Fry's, The Ode Less Traveled, to learn more about how chosing the words we use can add dramatic impact to our stories.
     
  18. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Does this phrase make any sense to anyone?
     
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  19. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do women have muses? What would you call him?
     
  20. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @123456789 yeah, I guess 'Allo 'Allo is not the most popular series of your generation :D c'mon, play along - isn't art suppose to be about reading through and into completely illogical stuff :D www.salon.com/2008/09/25/attracted/ use your imagination

    @Fitzroy Zeph hm, Musicians? :D

    @JayG "distilled emotion" - what happened to distilled thought and distilled experience? :)
     
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  21. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find inspiration every time I look around, hear a sound - every time I use any of my senses. Specifically tradition and language? Not really. And no, I don't find much inspiration in women of either sex... :p
     
  22. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I always considered a muse to be something that inspired an artist to create, innovate, and work till they pass out of exhaustion.
    It could be a person, an ideal, or whatever.

    For me, I have someone I want to gift it once I get published and thank them for making me believe I could do it.
    It's silly, but it keeps me writing because it's important.

    Maybe it ain't right, but I keep on writing.
     
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  23. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Of course all that being said, I have, literally, been given an entire novel, start to finish, in a one unexplainable lump.

    One evening I was editing a novel that was nearing the final stages of creation when a name popped into my head: Teal-Eye.
    I’d never heard the name and nothing could account for it being there in my thoughts. But there it was, in the forefront of my mind, demanding attention.

    Who, I wondered, was Teal-Eye, and what did she want of me? As I wondered, another name appeared: The Bear. And with it came a third name, Samantha.

    I was stunned. Nothing in my life-experience accounted for such a thing happening. But then, with a suddenness that was astounding, the entire story dropped into my mind, leaving me feeling as though I’d just spent a hard hour at manual labor. I went from comfort to exhaustion in about ten seconds.

    My jaw was probably hanging, at that point, but I knew one thing for certain: I had to record that story, at least in outline, before it faded—though it never did. That story was written in my mind in lines of purest fire.

    Hurriedly, I scribbled four pages of plot and scene outline, then sank back into my chair feeling drained and uncertain of what just happened—and wondering why.

    It was nearly a year before I got back to Samantha and Teal-Eye and began to write their story. But when I did I never referred to those notes. There was no need. When I finished, the story was exactly as it was on the day the muse presented it. It had romance, danger, guns, stone axes, sex, rock climbing, some nice cuddling, and a really cute little girl. And did I mention sex? It was a fun story to write.

    Was it something that built up on my mind without my realizing it till my subconscious released it? Did some long dead writer say, "This poor bastard has worked so hard...but he's never going to get it right," and gift me with a story out of pity? Who knows. Who cares? It got a yes, and was my first sale.

    Damn, I love when that happens.
     
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  24. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    The same thing hapoened to me!!! Only she said her name was Bia and she worked for a government agency.
     
  25. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what the heck is a 'woman of the opposite sex'?

    is there also a 'man of the opposite sex'?
     

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