Tolkien, artist

Practice and Cracking the Whip

Why does it sometimes seem that life is only practice for the real thing? Everything we do seems to be practice. When I awaken in the morning I have to force myself into my running shoes and onto the treadmill, but the rest of the day I think longingly of doing exactly what I am now forcing myself to do. That's practice, it perches in the brain. When I was a cellist, I forced myself to sit down each afternoon and practice for 2-5 hours a day. I hated it. But when I was away from the instrument, I was thinking about it and what I wanted to accomplish the next time I sat behind the polished wood with my bow in my hands. So much of my life is like that...

My writing is similar - an anguish to do but something that I think about all the time when I can't sit at my keyboard. It's enough to drive me crazy. So many things try to get my attention. Art projects run around my head. Stories and plot lines vie with characters to try and get my nod. Different media jump up and down saying "time to bead", "time to paint", "time to draw", "time to work with the kiln". And somewhere in all that cacophony I have to crack the whip and decide what to spend my limited time on.

CRACK! I've been working on character sheets for the characters in my o-fic. It's slow, but once each one finds their voice, then the character starts to live. I still have so many doubts about this novel - whether I have enough plot to make a book out of this, whether the characters are strong enough to hold interest, and whether my own skills are up to the task. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'm keeping the whip cracking - exercise in the morning listening to Lynn Flewelling, writing or thinking about the story for the rest of the day, working on my research and background work for NaNo. Will I succeed in November? If I can sit down and give it my best, knowing that most authors have several novels in their bottom drawers that will never see the light, I can feel comfortable at lest trying my best. We'll see...November is still a couple of months away...
Writing needs as much practice as anything, I suppose. I know I have a million or so words piled up in my harddrive that certainly aren't going anywhere. It sounds like you're going to be very well prepared come November!
I'm not sure if is it possible to ever truly be adequately prepared because the muses have this habit of taking over and running. But since the novel is set in real places and history, I at least have to have the history nailed, the time periods, clothing, dialects and technology understood, and the land masses and weather issues have to be taken into account.

I have books coming in from other areas of the country that will get more in-depth in the area specifics and history and I need those desperately. But any story like this has to have a variety of inter-related plot lines and I'm not sure if I'm clear enough on the secondary and tertiary plot lines to make the whole thing work.

I have to try, and I know that the first draft will be totally dreadful, but if I can get enough down to make the story, then I can work on the revisions and actually make something out of nothing within a few years of work. - LOL - Total glutton for punishment, that's me :-)

Thanks for your support and positive words. I know I'll be needing that positive reinforcement closer to the end of the year when word counts are breathing down my neck :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
Suggestion? When you're outlining your novel, colour code the different plot lines so you can see your story balance at a glance.
That was why it appealed to me, too *g* Playing with colour always makes things less overwhelming (that's the theory anyhow)
Wow! That's some serious planning. It should write like a dream when you get started, I would have thought.
If there is a way I can overcomplicate something, I'll manage to do it. Fortunately my artwork has also taught me that sometimes I just need to roll with the changes as the materials force me into new directions. I've done that for years with my art, I suspect I can do that as well with the pushing of my muses :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
One from column A, 2 from column B and toss with a bit of muses! dressing.

Oh do we know that salad well! LOL

I got a fan letter last week that has me thinking I really need to finish up an AU I started omg 5 or so years ago.

IF I can convince my feet that we really don't need to up our walking to 2 miles (not gonna happen anyhow) or my crochet hooks to NOT want to hook those delicious projects (only 2 of which are on hooks right now), or any of a plethora of other ideas that are jamming up the mental airwaves.

Oh yes, do we KNOW this salad!


I have faith in your ability to task which ones you'll do. :)
Oh, the whip is cracking - LOL. I have to start adding my BowFlex into my exercise regime because just the walking isn't going to cut it when it comes to losing my 50 pounds (well, actually down to 40 pounds, but still a lot). If I alternate my days I can tone as well as run/walk and it will be healthier for me. Tomorrow is my day off, so I'll take the time to reacquaint myself with the equipment and panel of exercises I like to do. It's been a few years, but I remember it was an excellent workout.

Funny thing - I was working on a secondary character this morning and decided to check out her geneology in RL (which, since she is totally fictitious was a stab in the dark) but it turns out that there is someone in the area I wanted and time frame that I wanted with that name according to the census of 1865. Doing the happy dance while laughing.

- Erulisse (one L)
I bet that, once you get writing, concerns about having "enough" plot will ease. I've found that plots tend to expand and new subplots tend to form as the characters establish themselves and find all manner of trouble to get into. =]
Oh, I really hope so. Writing is very difficult for me quite often, and then every so often I get a brain storm and can't stop. I rather hope that November is more full of 'can't stop' than 'difficult'.

Thanks for your vote of confidence. *hugs*

- Erulisse (one L)