Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From Head to Paper

Copyright Konami.  Source

Someone (a hobbyist composer) recently said to me that it is extremely difficult for him to get the song he has in his head onto the computer or the piano.  That got me thinking about the same problem I have.

It seems all creatives have a problem of interference or distortion on the path from the brain to the paper/canvas/computer etc., wherein the result is not exactly the way they imagined it.

So the question is, how do we minimise the effects of this interference?  Let me give you an analogy.

If a sculptor or wood whittler starts out, the first thing they do is find a piece of stone/wood that is roughly the shape of the thing they want.  After that, they go a little more detailed and then a little more, until they finally have the thing they want.

With writing, revision is the key to minimising interference.  Every time you redo the piece, it will be closer to what you imagined.  Though, I suspect, it will never be exactly as you wanted it.  It’s like the tortoise/hare philosophical problem.  If the tortoise is in front of the hare, the hare can never catch up.  Why?  Because to reach the tortoise, he first has to cover half the distance to it.  After he did that, he has to cover half the rest of the distance and so on and so on, resulting in an ever decreasing distance, but an ever present amount that can be halved.

The point is, your work will probably never be as good as you want it to be, but repeated revision will minimise the problems.

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