Tuesday, April 04, 2006

On the Game of Golf and Writing

Ok, really. I have no reason to talk about golf. I don't even like the game. Well, that's not true - I like one part of the game. The first part. The part where you take the big club (the driver) and hit the golf ball as hard as you can. And I also like riding in the golf cart.

But that's about it.

Come to think of it, that's the way writing is a lot of the time for me. Each chapter can be thought of like each hole of golf. You start with a big swing and through a series of puts, slices, hooks, (and other assorted golfing terminology), you progressively move towards the end of the chapter - putting the little ball in the hole. The combination of all these little moves creates the build-up to the end of the game.

But there are black moments - the sand traps, the ponds, the brush. And you stand there with your golf club (pencil, pen, or fingers on the keyboard) madly hacking away because you can't get that stupid little ball (i.e. hero, heroine, villain, plotline,etc.) to go where you want it to go. And the tension! The curse words! The aggravation! The throwing of golf clubs (pens, pencils, Ming vases, plates, glasses!)!

But then there are the days when your golf game is good - you drive, the ball gets really close to the hole, and with three strokes, you put it in the hole. Or whatever it's called. (I TOLD you I know nothing about this game! I've played it once, if you don't count miniature golf!). Translated to fiction-writing terms, your characters' dialogue is awesome, they do what you want them to do, and your writing flows.

I feel like I'm having a bad golf game right now - but rest assured, it will pass. I actually got some writing done last night, but I'm still in need of a good brainstorming session to work out the details. Maybe I'll call an emergency board meeting for my RWA chapter. ;-)

15 comments:

  1. Did you say something? I saw the picture of Hugh and kind of lost focus.

    Never actually heard writing compared to a golf game before.

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  2. Wow, yummy picture. Good analgoy and exactly how I feel sometimes. :-) Thanks for the laugh.

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  3. I have to say, golf gets me so uptight sometimes that I have been known to end up in a crying fit. Thankfully, writing doesn't do that to me. I also feel a little more confident about my writing than my game. And, I can cheat at golf or not give a care and pick up my ball and walk to the next green. Mind you, I could do that with writing too... maybe that's why I've not been published yet!

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  4. Hmm, I'm pretty certain my dad would have understood writing better had I used your golf analogy :-)

    Hope you get out of the sandtrap soon and sink that ball!

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  5. I've learned that when I'm stuck in a sandtrap, I need to back away and refocus. Maybe look at your book again and see if there's something bugging you. Once you fix it, it might all come together? Good luck!

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  6. Ugh! I lived in St Andrews for a total of 10 years! Please do NOT mention golf!

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  7. Toni - LOL! Sorry...actually, I must confess. I had an irresistable urge to post this picture of Hugh Jackman playing golf...and I thought, how can I tie this into writing so I'm not just posting a hot pic of Hugh? ;-)

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  8. Can't think...drooling too hard...brain...shutting...down...

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  9. Who says you can't just post a picture of Hugh Jackman and nothing else?

    Great post!

    So, maybe if you lay down next to the computer and see which way the grass lays, stand up and toss grass into the air to see which way the wind is blowing you'll be able to get that ball into the hole. (okay, it's early and not enough caffeine yet).

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  10. Melissa, just an aside. Moira Allen's 'Writers Wanted' section is back. You can find it here:
    http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/wanted.shtml

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  11. Great analogy! My game's in the crapper right now. (And no, I don't play golf.)

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  12. My game is not too good now too. The writing game.

    When I do play golf, I take the ball and throw it as afar as I can. I can't hit it hard enough withthe club to make it go far, so I improvise. I'm an awesome putter though! hehe

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  13. Hey Melissa. I've been meaning to ask you where you work. So? Where do you work, and what kind of cover copy do you write?

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  14. If your game is going badly, just take a mulligan or two. Your score will be better in the end. ;-)

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  15. Anonymous7:47 PM

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