Came back to the enlightenment story again.
I have this intent to write about the similarity between fake gurus and fake love. An idea that gurus who preach selflessness, compassion, loss of ego etc, are often selfish and inflated with a sense of their own importance. But their devotees choose not to see the guru in front of them. The same way people in love choose not see that they aren't loved back. Most of us want to stay in the dream, we want the romance to continue.
So the picture in my head (a scene from real life) is of 2 people inside an ashram about to receive shaktipat from a famous swami. And I just sit there blocked. I can't work out how to reveal the boyfriend and the swami are both phonies. I see now that it's boring being stuck inside the POV of a sad girlfriend for most of the story. I need action in some form. But how to set things in motion ? How to show the MC waking up and seeing reality ?
I was also struggling with bringing E to life. Then the idea came, out of no-where, to base the boyfriend on W instead, and I felt something click.
I'm still making the mistake of not letting go early enough when I get stuck. I just stay trapped by the same scene, the same line of dialogue, the same POV, just asking myself over and over, why isn't this working? I need to let go earlier, experiment more. Remind myself I'm just writing words that no-one will see until I'm ready to show them.
I so GET it now. The need to let go and kill your darlings.
AND - Real life can be great inspiration, but doesn't transfer directly into fiction.
Sometimes you also need to raise the stakes to make a good story. In real life I gave E $200 for an intensive workshop with Baba Muktananda. In the fiction, maybe the MC will give her boyfriend money for the cost of a trip to India. Maybe he's been living off her for several years. Maybe I could change the location from a small ashram in Melbourne to a famous ashram in India.
So, in a nut shell -
MC adores W who is seeking enlightenment. MC's desire is to feel settled and safe with the perfect lover. She ignores a feeling that something is wrong, ignores the fact that W is increasingly distant and cold. W's biggest motive is to learn to transcend his emotions and become enlightened - to reach a state of bliss, a state of perfection through his Indian swami. There is a precise moment when MC realises the swami is fake and this also opens her eyes to the fact that she doesn't have a real relationship with W.
But how to SHOW this ? How is reality exposed to the MC through a fake guru?