Friday, May 15, 2015

On Commitment

by Meghan Namaste

Writing a novel is a huge commitment, but then again, so is horse ownership.

The big difference between those who casually write and novelists is the ability (the drive?) to commit. Novels are a different animal than the short stories and blog posts of the writing world. Such a large body of work requires a lot of investment, sometimes many years of devotion. It's not for the fly-by-night writer. To write a novel (and follow through) you have to truly commit to the story. Without that deep-seated desire to complete your narrative, without that abiding love for your characters, your novel will forever remain a mere concept, not reality.

Aside from the time commitment, the attention to detail required is the next biggest hurdle in actually producing a finished novel. Anyone who merely loves writing action sequences (fight scenes, dramatic cliffhangers, makeout scenes, you name it) will quickly bog down when it comes time to actually formulate a plot and fill in all the gaps. The first rule of novel writing is that every scene is important, not just the Big Important Scenes.

I believe one of my strengths as a writer (and potentially my downfall in real life, as it happens) is my ability to milk the drama in any situation. Little moments can still convey powerful emotion, and every scene should move the plot forward.

Without romanticizing the writing process, you begin to see it for what it is. Not easy, certainly not glamorous, but for those who want it enough, the magic is there. It just takes a lot of work to achieve it, just as horse ownership isn't all brisk gallops through scenic fields with the wind in your hair. There are those blissful moments, those foot-perfect rides, to be sure, but then there are those downtimes when lameness strikes, or when you drive to the barn in a whiteout just to drop off food baggies.

Cumulatively, it all adds up into something special. Is it any wonder why so many horse owners also happen to be writers?

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't considered that Meghan, but indeed so many do own, love and write horses! :)