Friday, November 4, 2011

Fixing things early

Being a black belt means you’ve gotten down the basics. Sometimes, though, it just means you are aware when you’re doing a technique incorrectly and (hopefully!) can figure out how to fix it.

Let me explain. I’m training for my next belt and having a hard time mastering my new board break technique, a spinning roundhouse. It requires some fancy footwork. (Um. Not my forte.) The other day, I was practicing and discovered I was pivoting on my heel and not the ball of my foot like I was supposed to. It was throwing my balance all off and causing me to lose power. I know I have the same bad habit of spinning on my heel with other kicks. But knowing what I’m doing wrong isn’t going to make it any easier to fix it.

Which brings me to my WIP. This morning, I woke up and suddenly realized with crystal clarity that what I was doing isn’t working. Or, more accurately, it isn’t going to work for much longer. If I want to tell the story I set out to write (with power and balance), I need to go back to fix the foundation, master the basics first. In other words, I gotta stop spinning on my literary heel - it’s not as stable as it feels.

Of course, just knowing that something is off is only the first step. Now comes the hard part. Rewriting. Relearning. Rewiring. But, hey, at least I realized the problem at chapter 4 and not chapter 40.

Has this ever happened to you?



  1. Um, yes? I think I had to rewrite and rethink the first 1/3 of my first novel about a dozen times. Which is why I'm now a confirmed proselytizer for outlining!

  2. This happens to me a lot! And usually a lot later than chapter 4.

  3. Yeah, I usually get to the end and realize that something when wrong earlier in the novel. I'm thinking more and more that it's important for me to have a strong plan, even outlining what should happen in each chapter, BEFORE I start writing.


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