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February 17, 2015

The Stone Table

In order to write a great piece of literature you must first write. You must write every day, and it must be done despite your feelings. This step is like pulling a stone or marble tablet from the quarry to make a statue from. When the story has been laid out it will look beautiful to you, that stone block will shine in your mind. You see the statue within the stone and it was beautiful when you first laid eyes upon it. However, before anyone else will see the beauty in your story you must first chip away all the rough edges and bring the refined sculpture to the surface.

I used to write, and in my blog often still do, in a way that just laid out the stone… but never refined it to anything coherent to anyone else. This is how I feel about Tolkien’s books. Oh sure, there’s a beautiful sculpture somewhere in those words… getting there is painful for most of us though. If Lord of the Rings had been released today the editors would have demanded that the series be cut down to just the story and none of the explanations for the languages etcetera. A guide to Middle Earth would of been released later with all the junk that weighs the story down in its current form.

I also feel this way about writing code. I look at some of my older code, and I didn’t even bother to drag the stone from the quarry… I saw beautiful potential in the code, and I asked everyone to come to the quarry, trudge through mud, and marvel at the beautiful statue I had discovered… needless to say most never appreciated the experience. I have cut away many of the sites that I just don’t have time for, and have begun the process of trimming the fat from those left.

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