Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Half-full, half-empty, or the whole glass?

Artist: Isabel Quintanilla
Glass pictures via Pinterest

     My dad and I were talking about artistic people.  You know, the ones who take their time to sketch a glass and the result looks exactly like the glass.  These are people who can see the whole glass -- seeing things that other people never notice -- and it makes them amazing artists.

Artist: Linda Huber
Glass pictures via Pinterest

     I know some writers who take time to see the whole glass.  They sit down with their characters, having conversations with them for hours on end, until they feel they know their characters as real people.  And they do this because they are artists and they want to see each character completely.

Artist: Nono Garcia
glass pictures via Pinterest

     But what happens when a glass has nothing to stand on?  It will fall and shatter...Unless it stays safely in the artist's imagination.  Knowing your characters is not enough, by itself, to get a book written and published.  The rest of the story must be created.  The author has to be persistent to write it down, even if it doesn't come out perfectly the first time.  She must tackle the edits and do everything she can to polish her book for the public.  And then she must pursue publishing, being willing to face those hurdles as they come.

     What does this mean for the artist who is slowly memorizing every fracture of light in a glass?  It means one of three things: Either...

a. She will spend the rest of her life happily admiring glasses.  

b. She will realize that the extensive glass study is not getting her where she wants to go, and she will change tactics.

c. She will find a way to apply her in-depth study to every area of creation -- characters, plot, setting, etc. -- and she will create the greatest masterpiece in the world...but it will take her many decades.  And that's okay because her desire was to write one book and to write it to the very best of her ability.

      And who's to say, except perhaps the artist herself, which of the three she will be?

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