Sunday, October 28, 2007

Angel On the Shoulder

I may have written about this in the past. Virginia Woolf writes about the "angel" on her shoulder, that nice, proper and well-behaved Victorian lady who whispers in her ear that she shouldn't say certain things because they might upset or offend. She describes her process of murdering the angel on her shoulder so that she could write and write honestly.

Today, in the WOW monthly group, we talked about this a bit, too. Everyone's angel takes different forms. Can I share this piece with the group, or will it offend someone? Is my piece too nice, not offensive enough to be cool? My piece is fiction, but what if someone in my family sees parts of themselves in it and takes offense? If I get too political, will it keep people from hearing what I'm really trying to say? Is it possible to write without being political?

Who or what is the poisonous angel on your shoulder? How is she affecting your writing? Have you killed her? How will you kill her? Do you keep trying to kill her long after she is dead?

1 comment:

  1. I think my "poisonous angel" is, if anything, a prim and proper, puritanical old biddy (who's overly fond of alliteration, it seems.) She wants a quiet life...for everybody. "Keep it simple, stick to tried 'n' true methods, and don't tax anyone's constitution."

    I can't say I've killed her because I've found uses for the ol' biddy. She's a good barometer for change. She doesn't like controversy or anything new, but she does like easy answers to tough questions. I buy her off now and again with Hollywood endings, but mainly she's a good devil's advocate for any really bizarre or fantastical things I want to work on.


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