Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lessons

Stringer gluing continues. I think I have nine or ten of the sixteen needed ... though if any more snap when I try to bend the complex curves I'm going to need more than sixteen.

First lesson of boatbuilding: plan for failure.

With this recent spate of warm weather it's been hard to make myself scrape glue in the shop instead of frolic outside. More frolicking, less building.

Second lesson of boatbuilding: it will get done if you work on it. If you don't ... it won't.

One of the things taking me away from stringer gluing is book revisions. I keep saying this, but I mean it this time! I think I'm in the home stretch.

Third lesson of boatbuilding: balance it with other hobbies.

Right now I'm outlining, scene by scene, chapter by chapter, every section of the book. It's generating a large spreadsheet that, even as I build it, is letting me see the rhythm of scenes (choppy? languid? tense? relaxed) and the balance of points of view, energy, and emotion. I only wish I'd stumbled across Anita Nolan's "The End is Only the Beginning" sooner. Because this outline method -- laborious as it is -- is proving to be incredibly useful.

In fact, sometimes I think the difficulty of something is the best indication that it's helpful.

Fourth lesson of boatbuilding: hard is not bad.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

I'd choose the frolic part, although the ultimate payoffs for book revising and stringer building is obvious--unless you're hedonistic like most of us are.