Thursday, December 8, 2011

Concerning Chesterton and The Prophecies

Well!  It's been an interesting few days.  How's it all going for you?

Currently, I've just finished reading two books by Chesterton, and I've also been musing about my writings.  Shall I begin?

First things first.  Chesterton is amazing.  I've just finished rereading Orthodoxy, and now that I'm a bit older, more intellectual, and not skim-reading it, it's really a treat of paradox and imagination.  Here's a few quotes that I found particularly meaningful and/or funny.  (Feel free to skip ahead to the writing.  Few share my love for Chesterton XD and I completely understand.)

"The word 'good' has many meanings.  For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man." (G. K. Chesterton)

"Actors who can't act believe in themselves; and debtors who won't pay.  It would be much truer to say that a man will certainly fail, if he believes in himself." (G. K. Chesterton)

"The poet only asks to to get his head into the heavens.  It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head.  And it is his head that splits." (G. K. Chesterton)

"A madman is not a man who has lost his reason.  The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason." (G. K. Chesterton)

"The commonest kind of trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite." (G. K. Chesterton)

"To be sane is more dramatic to be mad." (G. K. Chesterton)

"Seriousness is not a virtue." (G. K. Chesterton) 

"For the only courage worth calling courage must necessarily mean that the soul passes a breaking point - and does not break." (G. K. Chesterton)

"There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied it was His mirth."  (G. K. Chesterton)

Also, the honorable Whisper the Spy introduced me to another of G. K. Chesterton's books, this one fiction: a tale known as The Man Who Was Thursday (A Nightmare).  It's a fantastic story of spies and plots and humor and philosophy and....weirdness.  The end is so deep/weird that I didn't really get it. XD  But the first three-fourths were fantastic.  Here's one quote I found rather humorous:

"What are we going to do?" asked the Professor.

"At this moment," said Syme, with a scientific detachment, "I think we are going to smash into a lamppost."

Now, on to writing!

A few nights ago, I decided (on a whim) to look at some books.  Only, these weren't ordinary books.  These were the books about which I had told my sisters, "I will never look at them again."

In other words, my first three novels.  Some of Ye Olde People can remember the days when I wrote those: the days when my writing was young, my technique inexperienced, and my plot a terrible mess.  Thankfully, I've improved.

But, back to the story.

I broke my own promise and took a look at the books.  (It was a nightmare, I assure you.)  One thing led to another, and I decided to count up all of the words I had written in my entire life.

Of course, I didn't have "all of the words I had written in my entire life" on this computer, so I sufficed to count up MOST of the words.  It includes all six of my novels, my poems, and my short stories.  However, it doesn't include the stories I had written on other computers and the handwritten tales of my childhood.

So, in total, I've written


in the last few years.  Which means that I've probably written over 300,000 in my life.  Over 200,000 words of that is in completed novels.

Much more than I expected.  It's no one million, but it's almost a third of the way there.  (They say it takes a million words to write a great novel.  Or a publishable one.  Whatever the quote was. >_>)

In the past few weeks, I've also determined that, after I finish the Prophecy of Einarr, I want to go straight ahead and write the last book in the series, instead of continuing with my rewrite of the Book of Shaldu.  So many things changed in the Prophecy of Einarr that need to be included and forshadowed in the Book of Shaldu; so I want to knock out two birds with one stone and make sure that, if any more plot twists come along, I don't have ANOTHER rewrite to do.  I'll also have a better perspective of what the Book of Shaldu needs to be like after I actually finish the series. 

And once I finish the series AND the rewrite, I'll revise all three books.  And after that...who knows.  But "after that" is a long time coming.  I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

How are your writings going, folks?  Good?  Bad?  If you're not a writer (and even if you are), have you read any good books lately?

If you aren't a writer or a reader, how in the world did you find my blog? ;)

And also, if you wanted me to write a blog post about one writing topic, what would it be?


Hannah Joy said...

Questions, questions. :-D First of all, before any of the questions...I love this post! I really seriously need to read some of his stuff! :-D

My writing: It's going ok if you don't count that I haven't written since I finished NaNoWriMo. XP I really need to get back into it, but it is so tough. Hoping to do a lot of winter break.

Any good books? Well, I just read The Invention of Hugo Cabret (the new movie, Hugo, is based off of it) and I really liked it. At least, the little kid part of me did. And that's the best part anyway.

A blog post on one writing to slay procrastination? How to keep inspiration flowing? You know what? What I'd really like is just a plain old post that talke about writing in general. Not specific tips or anything, just write about writing.
That'd be cool.

Eldra said...

284,712 words?! That's very Ninja of you, Sir Jake! I don't think I have that many words in my fiction projects, but my journal is almost (almost) to 300,000 words. Grr. Now I'm going to have to go and do a wordcount in my fiction.

Hehe. Some of those quotes had me giggling. Lamppost? I suppose one has to read the story to understand why it's hysterical, but still... it's rather funny on its own.

Writing? Stuck. (Re)Reading: Beyond the Summerland. Found lots of mistakes. (My inner editor is crying right now.)

Not even answering THAT question. :P

How to slay procrastination sounds like a good post. But I think you already did one of those a while back. *shrugs* One can never slay too much procrastination.

Jake said...

Pah, I don't need to write a whole post to tell you how to slay Procrastination. I even wrote an allegory about it. For the surest way to defeat to write!

Beware, Hannah Joy. If I write a post about writing, I might end up unleashing some of my philosophical side.

Actually, you gave me some great ideas about what to blog about. XD

Anonymous said...

Great post! I loved those Chesterton quotes... : ) I've wanted to read his books, but have never quite found enough time.

Wow, that's a lot of words! (Although, now that I think about it, I've probably written almost 200,000 myself. Whoa.)

My writing is going great. I just finished a short story for a contest. It's not where I want it to be, but it's coming along.

Blog post... Hmm. Write about writing. That'd be interesting!


Hannah Joy said...

@Jake: That's the point. We want to see more of your philosophical side. :-)

Pathfinder said...

My writings just got reduced by half. Pointess plot, but it hurt to draw red 'x's all over the pages of my notebook. (I always write best through the pen. A keyboard is just too much...) Now that I've gotten rid of the pointless weirdness, it'll be better.

I know this question is directed toward the non-sane (*wink*), but I found your blog bedause I saw that your name on the UG was green, and I wanted to know why....

Write about what you are inspired to write'll be better than something that you don't know what to say. (Oh, that sounded better in my head. >_<)

Ninja Tim said...

Sir Jake, I've only ever read a couple of quotes and one very short short story by Chesterton (A Piece of Chalk), and I completely agree with you. He is truly amazing, almost rivaling C.S. Lewis (if that's possible).

I'm no novel writer, but I've got one or two small projects happening right now (one of which is actually another, more vast play off of the whole personification challenge). I was also thinking of working out a poem inspired by yet another profound quote from Chesterton:

"Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."
~ G.K. Chesterton

I intend to remedy this gross tragedy as best I know how.
*marches off determinedly*