Just what is a flying pig? It’s an impossibility. When you say the pigs will never fly then you’re saying that it will never happen in a million years. When you find the one(s) hiding in your fiction writing, then it gets a bit more complicated. If you’re writing fantasy, you might wanna blindfold and drop some earmuffs on your Muse while you read the rest of this.
When I was punching down the words to my novel he came to me in a dream. He set himself before me on a resume too good to be true and I just had to have him. He was beautiful. Perfect. He could take on the world and have any woman he wanted faint with just one look their way. He was the Omega Man: the man who conquers the world while bouncing babies on his knee. Did I find God? No I found Him a long time ago. But I did find the answer that would eventually make me a bacon and egg breakfast, bacon and tomato sandwich for lunch and pork roast for the dinner. A complete menu to feed life back into my book. I would never go hungry venturing through my fantasy world again. But first I would have to accept the fact that I had to butcher my flying pig first.
Starvation helps here.
There’s a reason the news is 90% sad and tragic and just a little bit of positive stuff to keep you from going emo. Perfect doesn’t have a story. Paradise doesn’t welcome in a hero because everyone is a hero in a perfect world. While you may be the type to lie down in a field of flowers all day and paint your nails pink while oblivious to the real world falling apart around you, chances are you will either turn on the news afterwards or Halo to shoot something online. If you don’t, well just stop reading here. But if you aren’t a perfectly-made, peace seeker for all you do and everyone around you–don’t panic–you are not crazy and you don’t have to go to confession to confess that you are a deviation from society for playing World of Warcraft.
The trickiest part is spotting your flying pig. Writing is an extension of one’s Muse; one’s very self just as a paintbrush extends the color from an artist into something we can see. You can’t write it down with soul if it doesn’t have one. Yes your flying pig may or may not have a soul or be a Muse himself and he/she can be very hard to spot. When I found my flying pig I faced a very difficult choice: either kill him, or kill the rest of my novel because all the other characters were dead in comparison to his single-centered, perfect popularity that was overpowering and blinding out all else with its light. So I took in a deep breath and hit the search button. Delete. Delete. Dele–wow–hold up. Get the girl? The other cute hero can have her. Save the world and forget about everything else? I got just the character for that too. Take care of the family? Nah…easier to have a family BBQ that ever-so-accidently takes out the rest of the town/city/country and have someone else find them in the sequel or something. So many less questions that way when you don’t have to explain just why you have taken it on yourself to try and save the world. Soon I had bacon for everyone.
You might have to kill this extension of your soul, but if you can learn to share with your other characters not only have you fed your world, but there is balance and happiness and just enough soul food for everyone. Readers don’t like left being hung up on a sections of your book with starving, lifeless characters. Personally I hate this. If I at any point in your story stop reading and consider washing the dishes, it’s failing me. I want to love all of your book but I’m not the charity soul food bank for your starving nor do I want to get up to go to the kitchen to find a replacement sugar rush. Your readers will just jump ahead or put your book back on the shelf.
Now instead of panicking that one of my heroes didn’t perfectly execute an evil army with a precise swing of his sword every time, handling it with a bit more chaos, death, romance, fear, epiphanies and soldier ranks all over the place can still be a dead evil army–but with flavor.
Only you can see your flying pig and only you can make the decision to kill it. Sending your Muse dragon after it totally works as well, cause he was getting sick of being locked in a cave anyways. Now look at your Muse and take the blindfold and earmuffs off of him. If he glows a bit too much…