On this Full Moon

“>“When I shall have departed from this world,
Whenever ye have need of anything,
Once in the month, and when the moon is full,
Ye shall assemble in some desert place,
Or in a forest all together join
To adore the potent spirit of your queen,
My mother, great Diana. She who fain
Would learn all sorcery yet has not won
Its deepest secrets, then my mother will
Teach her, in truth all things as yet unknown
. And ye shall all be freed from slavery,
And so ye shall be free in everything;
And as the sign that ye are truly free,
Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men
And women also.”

-from “Aradia, or Gospel of the Witches” by Charles Leland. 1899

Autumn Night
“The moon is as complacent as a frog.
She sits in the sky like a blind white stone,
And does not even see Love
As she caresses his face with her contemptuous light.
She reaches her long white shivering fingers
Into the bowels of men.
Her tender superfluous probing into all that pollutes
Is like the immodesty of the mad.
She is a mad woman holding up her dress
So that her white belly shines.
Haughty,
Impregnable,
Ridiculous,
Silent and white as a debauched queen,
Her ecstasy is that of a cold and sensual child.

She is Death enjoying Life,
Innocently,
Lasciviously.”

-Evelyn Scott. published 1919

“><a

The Night – Wind by Emily Bronte

In summer's mellow midnight,
A cloudless moon shone through
Our open parlour window,
And rose-trees wet with dew.

I sat in silent musing;
The soft wind waved my hair;
It told me heaven was glorious,
And sleeping earth was fair.

I needed not its breathing
To bring such thoughts to me;
But still it whispered lowly,
'How dark the woods would be!

'The thick leaves in my murmur
Are rustling like a dream,
And all their myriad voices
Instinct with spirit seem.'

I said, 'Go, gentle singer,
Thy wooing voice is kind:
But do not think its music
Has power to reach my mind.

'Play with the scented flower,
The young tree's supply bough,
And leave my human feelings
In their own course to flow.'

The wanderer would not heed me:
Its kiss grew warmer still:
'Oh Come!' it sighed so sweetly;
'I'll win thee 'gainst thy will.

'Were we not friends from childhood?
Have I not loved thee long?
As long as thou, the solemn night,
Whose silence wakes my song.

'And when thy heart is resting
Beneath the church-aisle stone,
I shall have time for mourning,
And thou for being alone.'

Witches, artists, and writers have always held an affinity for the moon. On this esbat, as you struggle along with first drafts, revisions, and edits- allow yourself to go free. And if you start to worry, remember this from Shakespeare:

“Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;

Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,

And loathsome canker lies in sweetest bud.

All men make faults.”

On Characters: Male and Female

Recently on the popular, “Absolute Write” website, there have been threads dealing with male and female characters.  On these, some people (including females) have stated they find writing three dimensional females much more difficult than males.  This baffled me, so I did some thinking.

This is what I came up with.  It all comes down to fear.  A lot of writers worry needlessly about whether their character is likeable or not.  My hunch tells me that these same writers worry even more about making their female character likeable.

Such concern is pointless.   One, you can’t please everyone.  Just as not everyone is going to like your novel in general, not everyone is going to like your character.  The vital thing is creating an interesting character that people want to read about.

Another concern I’ve heard has been along the lines of, “I have trouble creating a believable female character”.  Believable, being the key word.    Well, guess what.   There’s no such thing as a believable female character.   That makes it sound like all women are alike.  No.  We’re not.  There is absolutely no such thing as A female character any more than there is A male character.   Personality types, hopes, fears, wants, and behaviors run the full spectrum in both genders.

C.S. Lewis said, “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

I believe the same applies to making a character “believable”.  If one sits down and thinks, “Okay.  I need to create a believable female character”, they’ll stress  too much on what they think a female character is supposed to be like, rather than creating a real, individual character.

Your characters, regardless of gender, become real, thus believable, when you give them hopes and fears, good traits and flaws.  Who is your character?  What do they want out of life?  What are their dreams and nightmares? 

Ask your character such questions and let them come forth.    Let them simply be who they are, for good or bad. Let them breathe on the page.  They will be real.  And believable.

Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 11:13 pm  Comments (38)  
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