No, it's not what you think. I often wish I could write entire manuscripts on parchment with a ink-dipped quill and tie it up with string and single red rose, like in Little Women - and then complain of a crippling cramp in my hand. That would be romantic. I feel that it would inspire me to write romantically, too...
... but no. This is a mental and emotional cramp. If you spend time with people who write fiction, you might hear them say something to the effect of, "My heroine is misbehaving." Actually, I say that even when I'm writing nonfiction. Sometimes, I, the protagonist, cannot be persuaded to cooperate with me, the writer and narrator. It's maddening. This week, however, I'm faced with a much more difficult problem. My heroine is behaving just badly enough, you see. Her attitudes and actions are quite in keeping with her background, and in that sense, she is just as she should be. I'm proud of her hot-blooded passion, her magnificent scars, and her poorly-concealed vulnerability. The hero is behaving very well indeed. He's an angel, truth to be told - also in keeping with his personality, upbringing, and education. He's everything a well brought up 18th century European protagonist should be. Unfortunately, I have dropped him into a world where his virtues are neither shared nor valued. The minor characters - neighbors, relatives, and the rest of the town's inhabitants - are difficult to understand and almost impossible to control. I keep trying to guide them into my intended narrative, helped along by my adorable protagonist. More often than not, they laugh in his face and mine, and I'm forced to leave them be for a little while longer. Even the landscape mocks me. It's pure wilderness, in every sense of the word.
Late last night (or early this morning), when sleep was tugging at my eyelids, and bizarre dreams were beginning to poke holes in what began as a well-constructed scene, my handsome protagonist looked straight at me and asked, "Do you have ANY idea what we're doing here?" It was the first backtalk I'd received from him, and it was unsettling.
I wish I could say with confidence that I will not leave my hero to fend for himself. The truth is, I am a quitter. I always have been. Fortunately, the man I invented last week is anything but. For his sake, I am determined (I hope) to master this town and gain control of its inhabitants. If I cannot tame them through language, I will defeat them with research (again, I hope). Perhaps when they know that I'm no longer afraid of them, they'll decide to start participating in my plot.