Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Write Way with Dead Horses

Babe's Always Write
It's official. I have too many things to do and too many ideas pulling me every which way so that I'm not finishing anything, just spinning in a constant whirring busy circle like a boat with one motor out. Of course some of these ideas that plague me are no doubt lame ducks (but, um, so what? A duck can always swim, right?) Ack, how to sort out what is potential poo- litzer material and what is other forms of doo-doo. A perenial problem for those of us with a head like a dictionary explosion.

When do you let a story idea go as dead? When your enthusiasm for the project gets reined in? When you're saddled with rejections? When the mane idea goes nowhere and you're left with a sting in the tail? When the pun-ishment gets pushed into absurdity? Preferably sometime before your readers throw your book, or worse, YOU, at the wall. Of course when to give up on a dead horse is a cultural consideration, as the following article send by a friend to my email box will attest to.

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. In modern corporate world, governments and development assistance projects, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies is often employed, such as
1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing riders.
3. Threatening the horse with termination.
4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
5. Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses.
6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
7. Re-classifying the dead horse as "living impaired."
8. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
9. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed.
10. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance.
11. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.
12. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
13. Re-writing the expected performance requirements for all horses.
14. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.
15. Using project funds to set up an incentive payment scheme to encourage the horse to do what its job description says it should have been doing all along.
16. Sending the horse on a post-graduate study program in another country, in the hope that by the time it graduates the project will have been completed.
17. Hiring an expensive international consultant to write a long report telling you that the horse is dead.

hmm, maybe I'll have another look at my dead horse ideas. Anyone gotta crutch for a duck?


Jen said...

Oh man Babe! LOL! Those were great. I love visiting your blog.

Babe King said...

and I love having you on, er... having you. :-)

Laura Rose said...

Uh-huh, I hear ya on the dead horse thing. When should I give up? Well, I'm flogging that horse, dead or alive, so if I learn anything, I'll let you know ;)

Babe King said...

Laura, given how hot you write, I think I'm afraid of being near enough to learn something from you when you're holding a flogger. Plus there's that whole teacher with a cane thing to make my knees knock. Yep, gotta history of being in the principal's office and sweating.

Chuck said...

I love your blog. It's very infomative about funny videos