That persistent character who keeps coming back; I think most writers have a few of them. Sometimes they inhabit a book that can’t, or won't, ever be satisfactorily finished. These conundrums are in every writer’s desk drawer and on every hard drive.
My particular dark horse always returns around her birthday, at the end of April. She’s here, hanging around, just behind the curtains, even during day-light. I’m once again re-re-imagining scenes I’ve already visited many, many times. I’ve journeyed to her world for forty years now.
My Mozart is the first book I ever completed. A satisfactory ending, I think, still eludes me. Like Konstanze of Mozart’s Wife, this young heroine insists on speaking in the first person, which both narrows and deepens her POV. It’s like writing while pinned inside her dress.
I’ve heard authors talk about having a “channeling” experience with their characters. There are many accounts of automatic writing and spirit dictation, some sounding as if they should be taken with salt. At least that's what my day-light self thinks. However, after the experience of writing this initial, and, perhaps never-to-be-finished story, I believe other-worldly communications can happen. Ordinarily it takes a period of concentration and study to make your characters ("the dolls") get up and move independently, but in the case of a channeled story, they arrive fully realized, walking and talking.
So here's what I've learned, forty years after my attempt to tell this ghostly story. For a while, at least, after Mozart's death, Miss Gottlieb coped with her tragedies, until, in a final cruel blow, she lost her voice. After that, she appears to have lived on, among of the walking wounded, enduring a life of poverty until her death. Such was the fate of the first Pamina, pure heroine of The Magic Flute.
I'm glad I hadn't known her true ending before I wrote the one for this story. I was willing to follow the fantasy of a limited kind of HEA , not only for my sake, but also, the rational self argued, for marketing reasons. Any darker ending was too painful--for me, for prospective readers--and, no doubt, for my spirit informant herself.
All my historical novels @ Amazon:
All my historical novels @ Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004HIX4GS
As usual, a very eye-opening post. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Juliet. I love well researched historical books, and yours certainly are.ReplyDelete
The book was fascinating and I'm glad you didn't know her real fate when you wotte the story.ReplyDelete