Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sound waves: a ramble on writing and music

Reading about how music is made and how writing is done got me thinking. That can be trouble, I know.

The whole process of writing a novel is so much like making a record. Some of it’s done spontaneously, some of it’s labored over. Some parts fall out of your fingers almost perfectly and you can feel that it shouldn’t be messed with. Other parts ooze out a tiny bit at a time and never feel right so you spend hours, days or weeks tinkering with it.

How something sounds influences what you do with it. You write something and run through it either in your head or out loud. If something sounds off, you try to isolate what and why. If something makes your point especially well, you may decide to emphasize it with an addition.

In order to continue with a piece of work you've set aside for a while, you have to re-familiarize yourself with it. But the more often you do that, the more objectivity you lose and the more you increase the odds that you'll just get sick of it before it's finished.

I suppose this is true for other forms of art. It's been brought home to me how alike people can be. Like in an event as vast as the Olympic games, when we produce art, we share so much while retaining what makes each of us unique. I am so glad I learned to write and read. I love seeing the ways people are connected yet separate.

Although, it would have been nice to win that gold medal in hockey, in Canada. . .

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