Warning: this is an extremely long post about one of my characters, "Alec" the Horsemaster.
His current role (he's been in several other stories) is in "The Other Countr," my Screnzy about my third world country. I was trying to describe his relationship to the MC, Bahnree (basically my fictional self) to myself. I knew Alec wasn't the love interest, because that would be creepy on so many levels, but I couldn't figure out what his position in the story was, whether he was like the best friend, the brother, the conscience, or what. I realized, with the sudden clarity that a warm snickerdoodle brings, that Alec is nothing more or less than MY MUSE.
I was shocked! I always questioned the existence of my muse, because my "creative works" are so erratic and inconsistent. But, as I thought about it more, whenever I'm the most productive creatively, Alec is there, either peering over my mental shoulder or actually performing in one of my stories. I'm not talking about an imaginary friend, here, either (although I have a long and infamous history with those; personally I think I jsut channeled all my imaginary-friend-creating powers into my writing, so in that sense, all of my characters are imaginary friends....Confused yet?). Alec is just special. During Augustine he was particularly present in my brain, which makes sense, seeing as I drafted HHNF, started The Missing Door and Dimension Tournament, and wrote plenty of other stuff during that year. He also stars in no less than three of my stories: Dreamwalkers, Dreambenders (quite different from the former, fyi) and The Other Country.
When did Alec show up? Very early in my fiction-writing career. Well, not really. Very early in my fiction-writing that actually was productive (he pre-dates my first novel-in-a-month by only 6 months, and I wrote plenty in between). The first story he was in was Dreamwalkers. This was a story told through fictional journal-accounts of myself. So....kinda like day-dreaming, but again I stress the fact (for my own dignity) that Alec was not the love interest. He was the guide between me and my boring life and the crazy adventures I wrote for myself. This was imagination working on its purest level, and this more than anything makes Alec my muse.
The second story Alec appeared in was Dreambenders. This story is retarded, so I won't say much about it. Basically a normal, boring church girl finds out she can control dreams (both hers, other people's, the dreamworld in general) and this has consequences in the real world. Alec shows up at her church and turns out to be, what do you know! A guide sent to help her figure things out.
Seeing a theme here? Pseudo daydreams written down, always containing a guide between worlds. The theme continues in The Other Country, where Alec is Bahnree's advisor and knows a lot more about her country than she does. Or seems to, anyway.
One random-yet-slightly interesting thing to note is that the Dreamwalkers and T.O.C. Alecs look exactly the same and have the same powers (elemental mage). But Dreambender Alec has blonde hair, can only use magic in dreams and has much more limited magic. I don't know what this means.
[This is SO much info that no one cares about but me. Oh well!!!]
I kept wanting to write Alec-centric stories at Augustine, because he was so present, but instead I wrote other awesome stuff (really, I am proud of my creative output that year). Dreamwalkers and Dreambenders, btw, were written March-August 2006, before I did PEN in December and before I did Nanowrimo for the first time in November 2007. The Other Country was written last spring, at the tale-end (tail-end?) of my last productive writing period.
What is Alec doing now, and why isn't he forcing me to write more? I think two reasons. 1, Alec is WAY too laidback. He likes me to motivate myself first before he lends a hand. >.< 2, I think being in T.O.C. so much is taxing and distracting for him. I really should finish that story so he can get back to being my muse full-time.