Thursday, May 19, 2005

Corridors and Painted Ponies

The last time I spoke with my agent, he told me to cut "corridor" scenes--parts of scenes where the characters are walking down corridors. OK. I know which one in particular he was referring to, and it did cut down quite nicely. I'm very happy with how it turned out. But there are other corridor scenes in the book that have characters doing dialogue while walking--dialogue that is important for various reasons. Character development, relationship development, planting of clues that will be built upon in future name it. I'm having a hard time cutting that, and in fact, some is virtually impossible to cut. And then there's last night, when I was trying to write a new but important scene where my heroine stumbles upon a treasonous plot in the making. I sent her down the stairs behind the bad guy and cut to the chase after only two paragraphs...and my first reader griped. There wasn't enough skulking, he said. Not enough skulking vs. too many corridor scenes. To skulk or not to skulk: that is the question, apparently.

Perhaps I can keep the skulking to 200 words or less? Compromise, anyone?

On another note: have you ever seen or heard of the Trail of Painted Ponies? It's a public art project where different artisans around the country are invited to paint a design on a horse figure. They come in all different types. There was "War Pony" in full Native American dress, "Five Card Stud" painted all over with playing cards, "Lightning Bolt Colt", "Renewal of Life", "Give me Wings", "Anasazi Spirit Horse", and so many other beautiful versions of painted horses, as varied as the artist's imaginations. My favorite is "Sky of Enchantment" with suns and moons in gold all over his black body. Absolutely gorgeous. I can never resist something like that--no matter what system of astrology you look at, I'm a horse. Fire Horse in Chinese astrology, Sagittarious in western astrology, and even the Black Horse in the Celtic system. Anyway, if you get a chance to check these out, I hope you'll do so. They're all so gorgeous and the artists so talented, it'll take your breath away if you love horse art. One site that has the pony figurines for sale can be found here.

There are some days when I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to be an artist, even when I still have that dang corridor/not-too-much-corridor/skulking scene to finish! I guess if I get too frustrated, I can always go paint a pony.

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