Recently, I read a blog post on another site by an author who titled her entry with the “seat of my pants” title. The author went on to talk about changing her writing style from the “seat of the pants” style to a more structured form. She now writes up lengthy outlines of her characters as well as the plot she wants the book to follow. I admire that any person can do that, although I also think that thought needs to be given to your main characters before you write that first paragraph.
I thought her title was an apt description of my writing style. I start out with a story in mind and a few characters. I then build everything along the way, making it up as I go. I’ve discovered that plotting out a book too far in advance gets me in trouble. I tend to rethink things as I write and that usually means I come up with a twist to the story that makes me have to change all that those future chapters that I went to the trouble of outlining. But, each person who decides to take up the pen needs to figure out what works best for them. There is no single approach to writing and there are plenty of books on writing to prove that point. So, don’t think that because you can’t sit down with a big whiteboard, a notebook, and calendar to then outline your book from beginning to end and write up two page character sketches that writing a book is beyond your capabilities. It is not! Besides, you always have that first edit to fix all your problems.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit an excellent exhibit on the culture of the people who built Chavin de Huantar. If you haven’t already noticed, if you scroll down there is an article and photos I posted of a visit I took to the site a couple of years ago. The exhibit at the museum in the Parque de la Reserve here in Lima exceeded my expectations. Although there was a museum built in the small town of Chavin specifically to exhibit some of the treasures discovered at the site, the exhibit here in Lima had more artifacts and placards that described them in extensive detail. I learned a great deal more about this amazing and exotic culture by visiting the museum here in Lima.
The weather here in Lima and take a turn towards winter. We are having many more days with a cloud cover now, although, the temps haven’t fallen too much. The lowest so far is still in the low sixties and I know there are some places in the world that would be happy with that. We had another small “tremblor” (the Peruvian word for small earthquake) here a couple of days ago. I actually felt this one as it rolled across Lima. It also rattled my windows and made my coffee table do a little dance. As I’ve said before, having a bunch of little ones is far better than one big one.
I met up with my friend Larry for a couple of chats since I last posted. All is well in his world and we had long stimulating conversations on multiple topics. He’s still teaching a student here in San Borja so I haven’t had to make any trips into Barranco in awhile. A friend of mine, Captain Jay Horton of San Marco Fire and Rescue, in Texas (USA) received some national recognition this past week. I had stopped on CNN to watch a little of Anderson Cooper’s show and there he was, demonstrating survival techniques for victims and rescuers in flash flood situations. Way to go Jay, you’ve always been one of my heroes. I also had the opportunity to act as cameraman and director for a couple of very short films my friend Steve needed to make. He had to solve some very complicated math problems for one of his Civil Engineering classes and do it on film. It was fun but don’t think I’d like to do it for a living. Everyone else is doing fine according to Facebook.
That’s it for this week. Hope you are exercising body and mind. If you aren’t, start now. The older you get, the harder it is, take my word for it.