Well, well, well.
When we last looked in on the cigarette-smoking guy (No, not THAT cigarette-smoking guy. He and Mulder and Scully have better things to do than hang around in my story), it seemed he had somehow re-formed his own personality, not giving a rosy rat's ass if I liked it or not.
It turns out, he had help.
The original plot was: obnoxious, misogynistic smoker torments woman writer/next-door-neighbor he knows has a severe sensitivity to cigarette smoke. She decides to get even. And thus the story began speeding down the Main Plot Highway.
But (some might say, luckily for me) my muse just flat-out hijacked it -- yes, changing some of the nasty neighbor's personality traits (Oh my god, he may be a jerk, but he's an animal-lover!) -- and speeding down an off-ramp, where she discovered the sleepy little town of What Happens When The Victim Becomes The Bully?
Not satisfied with that new plot point alone, she and her muse-y vehicle vroom-vrooomed their way down the road and stopped at the When You Release Power You Can't Control, Don't Be Surprised If It Does Things That Shock The Sh*t Out Of You rest stop.
From there, it Thelma and Louise-d itself through a guardrail and down into the You Won't BELIEVE What's Happened To The Characters Now! chasm.
At which point, my muse climbed out of the wreckage and shouted, “YES! This short story is now freakin' perfect!”
I love my muse. What would I do without her? More than once during one of those dreaded “writer's block” thingies, I pictured her sitting on my shoulder (she's quite elfin, with long, pointy ears, big, golden eyes, and curly-toed shoes) and that alone was enough to get the creative juices flowing.
But sometimes I have my creativity going just nicely, thank you, and she comes along with her own ideas and snatches it right out from under me.
If only she'd at least thank me for loaning her my fingers and my computer keys (especially the backspace key, for those oops! moments), which enabled her to get the whole thing into a text file.
I feel so used.
On the other hand, I fell in love with this story, done her way. And when it's completely finished & ready to post, I shall lay claim to it and stick my name on it. After all, she did use my brain cells (Yes, there are a few up there that she can rub together to start a fire) and fingers and such, and so I've decided it's mine, mine mine! (The image of Daffy Duck just popped into my head, in one of his greedier moments).
The first draft was hers, and I'm sure she had a blast doing it. But, as all writers know, the subsequent drafts are, well, just plain hard work. And there's nothing like the word “work” to make my muse instantly flit back up to my brain and hide out there. I suspect she is, at this very moment, lazing in a hammock, sipping a margarita.
Thus, I tackled the rewrites myself. And now the final draft is THISCLOSE. It just needs a few little tweaks here and there.
When it's posted [for your free(!!!) perusal], I'll let you know. Or my muse will. Whatever. Let's face it -- she runs things around here. ;-}