On Versions of Adventure
Introverts have enjoyed a recent surge in acceptance lately. Perhaps it hasn't gone so far yet to infiltrate school hallways, locker rooms, or playgrounds. But one can hope. I am rather introverted. It wasn't until my thirties that I considered the possibility of isolation carrying any inherent risk.
I could go weeks without leaving my house if my life would allow it. In fact, doing so would probably result in an uptick in productivity and mental health. (I live for snowstorms people.) Ask my friends. They will tell you about my inclination to bring a book to their awesome Halloween parties. You might hear about how I see them once every other month and that suits me perfectly. Just do me a favor and ask them instead of me. Because I'm an introvert. Remember?
But before this gets too self-congratulatory, let me recall the point. In my thirties, I considered the possibility that isolation carries inherent risk. It was a conversation with a friend from church. He was kind and wasn't shaming me for my irregular attendance (shame which I fully anticipated).
"Community" had become THE buzzword at every church I visited or heard about in the early 2000s. I have always been suspicious of churches peddling ideas en masse like that. Unless it's "Jesus" or a bible verse I get twitchy. That has all the hallmarks of kool-aid in my experience.
So I asked my friend why "Community" mattered so much. His answer was surprisingly simple and sincere. "Do you know anyone that is older, that has lived a life in isolation, that isn't a kind of crazy?"
The truth of his words eliminated my reflex to be insulted. Most of the men and women that I personally knew, had reached their golden years happily did so with friends and relationships.
I am not opposed to being odd. I am not familiar with isolation meaning loneliness, which so often begets mental deterioration. But his words had done their job. The idea festered and made me wonder if isolation could be best used in moderation.
Today I am writing in the last 30% of my draft. I am developing scenes after pinch point 2 and heading toward the "Dark night of the soul" moment at the end of the act. It feels good to be so close to the end. And as I contemplate isolation versus community and their roles in my book, I can't help but acknowledge how very much isolation is required to write a book. I am in my 8th month of year 2 on this book's draft. In year one I logged 700 hours on this career. Some of that was writing craft study. Some of it was writing. I have spent more time per week on average this year. The vast majority of that time was spent in isolation. I see the value of it.
Tonight as I read my outline I realized something wasn't working. this section of the book is supposed to be intense, action-packed (this is the part of the story they make movie trailers out of).
What you read below is the major "action" focus of the scenes in this section (keep in mind each of these was supposed to be a whole scene in a fantasy adventure novel):
- Character A TALKS to Character B
- Character B SITS AT A DESK and DOES RESEARCH
- Character A TALKS too Character C
- Character B SITS AT A DESK and DISCOVERS SOMETHING
...I'll spare you the rest.
No really, I will spare you the rest. I am revising the heck out of that outline because OH MY GOSH IS THAT BORING TO READ. 😂😂😂
But the truth is that those things ended up in my outline because those things feel like an adventure to me.
Maybe...Just maybe. I am turning into that "kind of crazy" person that my friend told me about all those years ago.
I think I'm going to call a friend now and leave my book at home.
What about you? Are you an introvert? Extrovert? What feels like an adventure to you?