Now that the holidays are over, I’m diving back into my current writing project and found I am not happy with some of the material in the middle, so I’m dissecting it, editing it, and rearranging it.
What was one chapter will now become four chapters.
I believed I skimmed too easily over some of this important material and can add a lot more depth to the tale in these areas.
Writing a novel is not painless endeavor and the further into the abyss of complexity you go, the more irksome the particulars become.
On the surface, during the daily struggle, authors hear a tempting voice in their head that says most readers won’t notice all these subtle nuances, all these compelling facts if they don’t necessarily fall rightly in line.
But the whole point of being an artist, a writer, a musician, or anything that taps into the mind of creativity, is to be answerable to yourself.
I touched upon this integrity in the second book of The Crystal Crux series, Blue Grotto.
Guidus Salvatore, the former Provost of Parthenope, is relaxing at The Happy Spider, whittling. He remembers Umberto, the stableman who taught him how to whittle. Umberto inserted life lessons into the whittling process.
“When you are young,” Umberto philosophized, “everything in life is simple and flows in one direction. The straighter the grains, the more linear the lines, the more uncomplicated the project and your life. You whittle down with the grain. Simple… Even at my age, I am patient, taking my time. Never rushing. If you harry, the knife will glance and catch your fingers.” He showed Guidus some old scars. “Experience, lad. You will suffer a few of these, guaranteed. But without these, without the scars and experience, you’ll never be the master of anything. Suffering the work is what makes you a man… You will find in life, as things get more difficult and you get deeper into the wood, it is easy to lose track of which way the grain flows. It happens even to the most skilled… Be patient, take your time. Listen to the wood. Read it.” He caressed his project. “It will show you the way… When something in the wood opposes you, work around it, work for harmony. Move around the problem…” He pressed the tip of the knife on a small dark knot. “These things are obstinate. You can’t break them. Pretend as though you foresaw them, knew they were there all along. Think. Find a way to incorporate them, as they are. In time, if you are truly skillful, the knots and troublesome grains will blend right in and be forgotten. People will look at the completed work and not even notice the hazards you faced and had to overcome. They will see only a skilled master and his art. The hindrances will be invisible to everyone else. Only you will know the truth. Your scars will remind you of everything you have been through and that is the real value in all you do. How much do you appreciate it? How much do you love it?”
- Excerpt from The Crystal Crux : Blue Grotto
So now I go back to my WIP. More hindrances. More obstructions. More scars.
But lots of love.