“A story, to me, has a particular sprite, like the angel of the spirit of that story – and it’s my job to attend to what it wants to do. When I tell the story of Cinderella, the sprite does not want me to make it into an allegory of the fall of communism. The sprite would be unhappy if I did that.”
This is one of my favourites – the image of a sprite, tugging my mind the way the story should go. And it feels surprisingly accurate, particularly when I’m utterly in the zone; the ‘outpouring’ as author and poet Kenneth Steven calls it. Of course a first draft always needs work, but I do sometimes discover little strokes of genius among the rubble of those words.
Once the sprite is holding the reins, let go; I remind myself.
Allow it to it take you where it will.