04 July 2012

The Importance of Staying Flexible

While there is a high value connected to kicking someone in the knee, there is also an advantage in being able to kick higher than that.  If you’re flexible enough, you can knock your opponent’s hands away with a kick, get them in the head or stab your toe into the side of the neck…which is very effective, by the way.

But if, like me, flexibility is, shall was say, something that doesn’t come naturally, then your options are restricted to targets below the belt.  Yes, yes, there are plenty of them there, but the top half of the body is a cornucopia of pressure points and soft tissue areas.  And frankly the more targets and options you have in a fight, the better.

Unless making decisions is difficult for you.  If that is the case, just stick to the groin.

So what does it mean to be flexible in writing?  Well, about a thousand different things.  This blog post I will elaborate on one of them.

Be flexible with your brilliant story idea and those scenes you’ve polished to literary perfection that may not actually need to be in the text.

Believe me, I know what hacking and slashing a novel means.  Instead of whacking the jungle with a single machete, I tend to bulldoze through great swaths of stories, leaving them barren and terrified.  And I curse myself, writing and the world in general each time I have to do it.  But you know what?  My story always comes out better.  Always, always, always.

Even if the best scene of description I’ve ever written will now sit on my back up drive for the rest of its life because I totally cut that part of the story out of my novel.  I did it.  I wasn’t happy about it, and sometimes I go back and read it just to prove to myself that it really happened, but I did it.

So don’t get so attached to your baby, er story, that you can’t see past the pretty to the problem.  Keep your mind and imagination flexible.  Trust me, you’ll be grateful for it at some point.

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