Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Wednesday 9 May 2012

“Patience is a virtue,”...

... my mother used to say, but there was more: “Catch it if you can, seldom found in woman, and never in a man.”
I suppose that sexism has been around forever in one form or another, but we don’t often hear of men getting the raw end of the deal.
I hope I am as patient as the husband is, especially when it comes to writing.
One of the reasons why I didn’t write long fiction sooner, (and let’s not pretend that the biggest single reason wasn’t fear), is that I lack patience. It’s not that I get cross if things don’t go my way, it’s not that I want everything now, it’s just that I was always a very immediate sort of a person. To be fair, I still like jobs that I can finish in one sitting. I think that’s why I’ve been able to write a blog every day; three to five hundred words isn’t very much, and it’s easy enough, once I’ve lucked into a subject, to talk about almost anything for a little while.
A novel is a much, much bigger prospect. 
The husband patiently plots and plans and researches.
I blunder in blind. I like to get words down on the page. I like to think as I write. I like for what I’m doing today to inform what I do tomorrow.
If I plotted everything, I’m not sure I’d be able to start writing a book, let alone finish one, because finding out where I’m going as I wander along is the best part of the writing, as far as I’m concerned.
As in life, in writing, the journey is everything. It’s almost as if the story is telling itself to me, and I’m the cipher for writing it down.
Gosh that sounds grandiose, doesn’t it? 
When writers are portrayed on film, they are often shown screwing up one piece of paper after another, or, in the computer age, backspacing over whole paragraphs. That’s impatient. That’s not allowing the thing to work itself out.
If I stick with it, I generally find that all is well in the end, that the thought I’ve written down really is pertinent. 
I do excise material, but I never delete it.
Can you imagine wading through a waste-paper basket, flattening out all those rumbled pieces of paper to find the sentence that you typed two days ago, which, it turns out, is the key to the whole novel? I know I wouldn’t do it.
So, everything I excise, which generally isn’t much, goes into a document file, and is colour-coded, and I can almost guarantee that ninety percent of that material goes back into the work at some point.
So patience might be a virtue, and certainly is in the husband’s case, but organisation will get me there in the end, too.
There are now only 3 days before my hundredth blog, so I'm going to use them to suggest some blogs that you might want to visit. Today’s is something new that was recommended by the very talented Chuck Wendig; I haven’t been reading this for long, but I do think it’s awfully good. So, take a look at Lili Saintcrow’s blog and see what you think. Well, would you look at that? Turns out you got two blogplugs in one today. What fun!

1 comment:

  1. Debbie from Canada I atAstaYosei9 May 2012 at 21:29

    Thank you so much for these words you have no idea how they've enlightened my day! :) I have a bit of both: I love doing tons and tons of research and then tons and tons of writing... But because I want to get everything done really quickly when I realize my work will require a lot of time and dedication I file it away and postpone it never looking at it again... Thus why I was never able to finish a novel... My file is just cluttered with unfinished projects... Maybe I should just work on things that can be done right away first and slowly move on to more dense tasks... In any way thank you from your words!