Sunday, 18 November 2012


I stopped using a thumb pick to play the guitar earlier, which might not sound like much of an announcement, but it seems to me like a comment on the way people sometimes choose to go about doing things. I'm generally more guilty of it than most, but people do have this tendency to want to do things a different way, a new way, a way that is all theirs. Like playing rock guitar with a thumbpick rather than the easy way.

What changed my mind was simply thinking about what my various guitar playing heroes do. While I can admire players like Scotty Anderson and Brent Mason, frankly, their music isn't what works best for me, so why would I copy them rather than, for example, Joe Satriani?

It's a thought that translates across quite well to writing. Sometimes, we wander off because we don't want to be the same as "everyone" else, when in fact, that can mean wandering away from the things we want to write. I have a deeply silly novel idea in the works, incidentally, and I won't be drifting off from it out of concerns that it isn't what I 'should' be writing.

Yet obviously, there is a case for being different. For just being yourself. In the realm of grappling, I'm playing around with something called the "inverted shot". It involves attacking an opponent by doing a kind of backwards roll thing at them. I'm doing it, not because it happens to be very unorthodox, but because it happens to fit in with my game. How can that be the right thing to do and messing around with thumbpicks be wrong?

It seems that the criteria here is, as so often "are you doing it because it takes you in the direction you really want to go?" I'm not talking about some sort of overarching life plan (because it would have to be a very strange plan indeed to encompass all these things) but rather just a simple sense of identity and what you want it to be.

Oh, and I can't say much about the novel idea, but it encompasses fantasy heroism as a kind of extreme sport, the difference between generic Villainy and actual evil, henchmen, quests, and an assortment of concepts I've played around with in much shorter form. Also possibly goblins, though I haven't decided on that yet.


Deniz Bevan said...

Funny you should mention the guitar... I just read an old issue of Guitar World magazine this morning, all about Eddie Van Halen and building guitars and so on. Really interesting!

stu said...

Ah yes, Frankenstein. Amazing what you can achieve with enough gaffer tape, really.