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Post-Karate Revisions

I just got home from teaching at another dojo, filling in for one of our master instructors.  It's always a little awkward at first, teaching another person's students.  Every instructor has a unique way of teaching the same material, running the class, dealing with behavior issues, and so forth.  Even classes that run smoothly have moments when students and instructor stare at each other when someone does what is perfectly normal for them, but the other doesn't expect.  In my case, I spend the hours hearing, "Yes, sir! I mean, MA'AM!"

I've spent about half of my time as a karate student learning in an environment as prone to laughter as discipline, and that's the teaching style I've adopted.  Rank and etiquette are expected to be tight, but that doesn't have to mean the class is constantly tense.  I am not a dour-faced teacher.  I like to play.

The instructor I replaced this evening is both kind and strict, meticulous and traditional in his teaching methods.  I am...non-traditional in my methods.  Some of the younger students tonight weren't quite sure what to think about a sensei who uses sound effects to teach kata, though one of the adults burst out laughing when I sent a group to spar with, "Have fun storming the castle!" 

At least they weren't working on the traditional kata I've taught as Fighting Monsters In the Minivan.

And now for a little Chant.  I cannot go to bed until I figure out the best way to solve this little plot problem.

Chant was the first novel I wrote from an extensive outline.  Everything to that point was written as it came to mind, with only an idea--of varying clarity--of where the story would end.  But Chant was different.   I'd never before written a story with so many character threads (as opposed to viewpoint characters), and a plot that depended on tight timing.  Keeping everything straight would have been impossible without my index cards.  I had I-don't-know-how-many of those cards, each with its own plot point, dialog bit, character note, piece of prose, visual, or deep-story reminder.  I added to the stack as the story unfolded, and ended up making at least two completely new sets of cards before I called the book finished.

After trying to outline the sequel in narrative, I gave up and went back to the index cards.  I'm a little freaked out by how many cards I already have.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
jazzfish
Jun. 2nd, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
Do you Scriven? I ask because Scrivener makes it really easy to sort index cards, and color-code them by various criteria (character, plot thread, location, whatever you want). And it's even available for Windows now.
blairmacg
Jun. 2nd, 2012 06:20 pm (UTC)
I haven't looked at it yet simply because I get grumpy with myself when learning new programs, and I've been grumpy enough (on and off) as it is. ;-)

I've used PowerPoint to sort slides (cards) when writing shorter projects, and liked it. But when I get past about 60 slides, I struggle to keep it straight because I can't see enough of them at once.

Still, Scrivener sits in the back of my thoughts as an "I must try it someday." Have you been happy with it overall?
jazzfish
Jun. 2nd, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
Ha, fair enough. I got around that by using it for my first NaNo, a week after I bought my first Mac, so I was learning all kinds of new stuff as fast as possible anyway. :)

I use maybe 1/3 of its abilities, and I like it an awful lot. It's remarkably easy to just pick up and go with. My one complaint has been that I haven't yet figured out how to make it export to RTF reliably, and I don't know how much of that is Scrivener vs OpenOffice. Need to sit down and wrassle with it for a couple hours at some point.
blairmacg
Jun. 3rd, 2012 01:28 pm (UTC)
Gah! I would have freaked, trying to learn that much new stuff AND write. Probably would have resorted to pen and paper. I am terrible with new tech and new programs. A regular old codger, purchase of the Kindle notwithstanding.

jazzfish
Jun. 4th, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
But it made a great distraction from a very messy breakup a few weeks earlier!
blairmacg
Jun. 5th, 2012 01:46 am (UTC)
LOL!!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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