Thursday, September 3, 2009

Quality or Quanity?

I'm starting Chapter 6 in my new book today. At this point in a book I'm not really sure where it's going. (See this previous blog for what that means.)
So what I'm writing seems a little discombobulating and I'm not sure that it fits. Last night it hit me that a lot of what I'm writing right now will end up being taken out later because it's not needed to move the story along.
Barbara Kingsolver's book, "The Poisonwood Bible", tells the story through the eyes of five characters. At least that's what the final book is, but she initially wrote the entire book through each character's eyes. Then took parts from each of those to make the book. That's a lot of words to not use. But she wanted to know in her own mind and for her background what each character thought of each happening.
And that's what's going on with me - the scene I wrote yesterday may have been written just so I'd know what was going on at the house, but that may not be needed in the final story.
Made me think about how I often don't take the time to get to know the background and details of folks around me. I want to just get to the interesting part or the part that concerns me.
It's back to that time thing - it takes time to get to know my book characters or other folk. Time that might appear wasted, but makes everything else come into a clearer view.
It's that old argument about raising children, isn't it? Quality versus Quanity. Maybe that's it - to get to the Quality we have to invest some Quanity.
So where, and on whom, do I need to invest some Quanity today?

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