Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 6 morning productivity report

Have you ever used the word 'placket'?  Is there a more common term?  Details somewhere below.

A busy day at home.  I wrote around 2400 words for InNoWriMo and am nearly on track for where I want to be and should be.

I also had time for some carving.  Discussion below the images.

I am still having trouble accepting how thin this slab of wood is.  The original image is here and translating it basically into bas-relief is hard work for me.  Oh, the giraffe is now done.

One thing I am learning is how these art-forms are so different.  In InNoWriMo, I am practically vomiting words into the word processor and am both aware of, and concerned with, how much feels like placeholders; A sort of  "This is the general idea.  Fix it later."  Some material is good but a lot just isn't.

A lot of that is the result of my personality and observational skills.  Like any red-blooded male, I can describe a woman's sexy apparel, but my eye and memory seem to have simply drifted past women in comfortable clothes.  Further, I have never been interested in fashion and am now struggling with my vocabulary limitations.  I wanted to describe a woman's button-down shirt with some frills on the, uh, button-down part and didn't know what to call it.  Apparently, it is a 'placket'.  Is this a term in common use?

I read and noted somewhere on this blog (oh right, here) that Wodehouse would tape his pages under revision to the wall and place them higher or lower on the wall according to their quality.  As he edited and improved pages, up they went.  Experiencing it and imagining wading through 50,000 words is troubling, but necessary.

In contrast, my carving needs to be error-free.  If I dig in too far, I either have to cover it up, adjust the whole shape to accept the missing chip or throw my hands in the air in disgust and get a new piece of wood.  By this criteria, writers have it easy.  Up until publishing, huge revisions are possible.
In January, everyone should try and choreograph a ballet. In March we should all write an opera, and in June everyone should paint a fresco. Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? And yet the idea that everyone could write a novel in November gets a good deal more acceptance. Why do we assume that, while these other forms would require skills, knowledge and practice beyond most people’s experience, anyone can write a book? It drives me round the bend.
I really do get that there will be a lot of trash out there in December.  I've been pretty open that large portions of my novel will need to be gutted and replaced.  I am also aware that 50,000 words is short for a book.  And yet...

Firstly, I would like to compare two forms of physical fitness training: swimming and running.  Most people have walked and ran at some point in their lives.  Relatively few people have swum (If it matters, I have lived in South Korea where only a small minority can swim.  Things are different here in Canada).  Yes, there is some technical skill involved in running but most people can finish a 1,500 m or 3,000 m run however slowly.  Few people could complete such a distance in swimming and their lives might be at risk in the attempt.

So too, with the attempt to compare writing with choreography, opera writing and painting.   Everyone can write to some poor extent while most have never even tried the latter three art-forms.

Secondly, writing 50,000 words in a month is an achievable but very challenging goal for most people.  I will be proud of myself for simply finishing the 50,000 words.  I have run a twenty-six k, swam a twelve k, and cycled across the country.  These acts did not make me a professional runner, swimmer or cyclist but I am proud of the accomplishments nonetheless.  If Nimue Brown completes a three k swim or a 100 k ride, I will not chide her for trying to become a professional, I will compliment her on the accomplishment.  If she completes a run, swim or ride entirely on her own, I might be more impressed than if she completes a Terry Fox Run  or the like that is organized to assist her, but I'll be impressed either way.

Nextly*, it might make me, or any of the hundreds of thousands, a capable writer.  The last line I quoted mentions experience.  Well, how does one get that experience?  On the other hand, I find that I have forgotten how to properly use punctuation in and out of quoted speech and have included comma in, comma out, period in-but- comma out, and more trying to decide which one looks right.
The mustache is coming in great.  Time to start rubbing lotion into it to soften it and avoid the itching.

*I figured this word would drive Brown mad, should she have any reason to visit, if the other errors I made and missed do not.

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