Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Think much?

I think to much.

I know, this is so hard to believe. Krista? A thinker??? Who would have ever thought?

Seriously, some days it is a blessings and others a curse. I suppose if my thoughts were always right, it would probably be mostly a blessing. Unfortunately I'm not always right, which then makes me want to think more to figure out why I am not right, which makes me want to think about why I want to think about why I am not always right, which makes me want to think about why I think I should think right things when we are only human, right?

If you didn't think that I thought too much, I think you think that now.

Again, some blessing, some curse. It is a blessing usually in my righting. I for the most part remember things well, and have a pretty well thought out plot. I am still perfecting my style, or my delivery, but very few people have issues with my plots, pace or organization. I have always had a strong passion for strong plots. Even in school when writing papers, I was meticulous about my outline. A well thoughout paper, being well organized and flowing well, could cover up a multitude of errors. I remember one time in the 8th grade I think, I was writing a paper on the Civil War. I didn't mind studying the Civil War, but the deadline snuck up on me and it was the night before and I had not started writing a thing. Keep in mind, this was back before we wrote all of our research papers on computers or type writers (wow. I officially now feel old as I realize this!) Anyway, I had the task of handwriting a paper with so many words (I dont remember how many, but it ended up being almost 10 papes long, so it was quite a few!) in one night.

I was slightly panicked, but writing was my thing, so was up to the task. I didn't have time to study the facts, which presented a big problem. I then proceeded to write a paper that was a bunch of.. well... since I am not a cussin woman, I'll just say it was a bunch of bologna! I went on and on about the civil war, and the bravy of them Union Soldiers, and the horrors of slavery. I in a few paragraphs actually listed a number of the battles that were faught in order (I got this information by looking at the headings of the sections in my history book. smart wasn't I!).

Part of the way through, I realized that I was going to be short words using this method, so I got this great idea input my own family history into the research novel! I asked my parents what our heritage was, but I found out it was pretty lacking. My dad's side of the family was still in Norway, we were mostly Norwegian, but I still put that fact in the book… it added a few more words! On my mom's side, we actually had a Crum genealogy book that told how our family members paid the government to keep their sons from having to fight. We were a bunch of wimps, but of course I expounded on that in the paper anyway. It took up quite a few words.

I ended in telling about, of course, how the war ended, something I at least knew a little about. i flowered it up, again, it used up word count! The whole paper was messy (hand written) with erase marks all over and probably misspelled words galore.

But I got an A. I am so proud:-) I got an A though because I was pretty good at using my words to make people think I knew a heck of a lot about what I was saying, even though I didn't know much of anything. That, and, I think this is the main reason, my paper had a flow. It was in chronological order; it made sense as it was written. I started from the beginning, and wrote until the end. You start from A and end at Z. You might skip every other letter in between, but as long as they are in order and you have the front and back, you can fool many a people.

Now, I know you are thinking, what a horrible writer she is! But please hear me out. I have learned a lot since the 8th grade!! I still am 100% convinced that flow and plot and the correct development of characters is critical to any writing, but to be a good writer you also have to have your ducks in a row. You have to be accurate, you have to include the details your reader needs in order for the story to make sense.

Take this book I read tonight. It was a small Christian romance, and I read it because it was on a topic similar to what the book I wrote discusses, but was still quite different. Anyway, it was a well written book, but there were times I had to stop and go back a few paragraphs because something didn't make sense. They were so close that she could feel his breath on her face, but last time I knew they were just walking in a park holding hands. A small detail yet, but when you are imagining a scene in your head as you read, and you skip from walking to in each other's face, it is confusing.

I also have my own, probably dumb, piece of advice I have always given. Throughout school I would be asked to help people with their writing. I always enjoyed it, but the biggest problem I saw was that people didn't know how to organize their thoughts to put them on paper. They had thoughts, or an idea, but just didn't know what to do with them.

My remedy was simple, but I still use this today. Introduction, past present future, conclusion. All of my papers were started using this as a guideline. Once I got in to the writing, I would develop it further, but this was always my starting point as it helped organize. Are you writing about crime? Then start with what crime was like in the past, what crime is like today, and then what we are doing to lessen crime in the future. Prior to Y2K I wrote a book about the possible dangers of the Y2K bug. I wrote about what had happened to get us into the mess, what we were doing to fix the mess, then the potential pitfalls if we didn't get it fixed. I of course started by introducing the topic, and concluded by stressing the importance of taking care of this problem and not putting it under the rug. I got an A on that paper too!!

Well, I think I have thought enough for one evening. It is time for bed and my hubby is home from work! (I forgot that I haven't written about him yet either... I'll save that for tomorrow night!)

God's blessings to all who read this!

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