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Joel Arnold

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Member Since: May, 2010

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Simply From My Heart
by Sherri Smith

Poetry dedicated to my dad John E. Sheppard...  
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Blogs by Joel Arnold

Rudiments
11/11/2010 12:23:36 PM
I played drums in my high school and college days to earn a little extra cash on weekends. But before getting to that level, I had to learn my rudiments; rather monotonous exercises that you repeat over and over again until you can practically play them in your sleep. If a drummer wants to be any good, rudiments are a necessary evil. They have funny names, too; paradiddles, flamacues, ratamacues, flamtaps. But once you have them mastered, your coordination and timing will have greatly improved. Aspects of these rudiments can also be combined to come up with an almost infinite number of beats and rhythms. Even when you have them mastered, it's important to continually revisit them in order to keep your hands in shape and your mind sharp.

All skills have their own set of rudiments - and writing is no exception. What are the rudiments of writing? It's not quite as straightforward as the rudiments of drumming. Aside from the obvious - sentence structure, proper use of grammar, the mechanics of dialog - another rudiment that I feel is just as important (and one that I have to constantly remind myself of) is the act of getting the words out. Just writing shit down. Purging it from your mind and getting that raw material on paper so that from there you can use that mess of basic words, fragments and sentences to shape, shape and reshape them into a solid structure - a dwelling into which minds can explore, experiencing, as John Gardiner talked about, the uninterrupted dream that a good story should strive to be.

I find that once I coax those initial words out, no matter how garbled and crappy they may be (and believe me, they are more often than not quite a mess!) I at least know that I feel much more committed to making that story work.



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More Blogs by Joel Arnold
• The Sucking Suckathon of Suckiness - Monday, May 21, 2012
• Mississippi Pearls and a Car Biding Its Time on the Ice 'til Spring - Thursday, December 29, 2011
• One Decade, One Story - or how One Thing Leads to Another - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
• Racing Minnesota-style! - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
• This Here Minnesota Horror Author was a Big Old Scaredy-Cat - Thursday, December 22, 2011
• Jack the Blob Killer - Monday, December 19, 2011
• Death Rhythm - Tuesday, September 20, 2011
• More Writing What You Know - Monday, September 19, 2011
• How I Interpret 'Write What You Know' - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
• Blessings - or - What I write after having one too many... - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
• 120 Miles in a Canoe - Monday, June 27, 2011
• On Stephen King - Thursday, June 23, 2011
• Why Horror? - Wednesday, June 22, 2011
• Zen & the Art of Swearing - Friday, June 10, 2011
• If Coffee Shops were Run by Airlines - Thursday, May 12, 2011
• Trying to Figure Out What Scares Me - Monday, March 21, 2011
• My Confession - Tuesday, March 08, 2011
• Going Indie with my novel Northwoods Deep - Friday, March 04, 2011
• How I Envision Conflict When Writing - Thursday, March 03, 2011
• Wall Drug - why it's one of my favorite places - Wednesday, February 02, 2011
• Jonesing for a Road Trip - Wednesday, February 02, 2011
• Snowmapocalyptopalooza - Tuesday, February 01, 2011
• How Do You Remember? - Thursday, January 20, 2011
• When your parents are librarians... - Tuesday, January 18, 2011
• The genesis of a novel - the first 6 days - Tuesday, January 04, 2011
• Searching for Truth - Characterization - Thursday, December 16, 2010
• Control - and a little more about Northwoods Deep - Monday, December 13, 2010
• Bukowski - Wednesday, December 08, 2010
• Flies, Flies, Spam, and Flies - Friday, December 03, 2010
• Naivete and the Young Writer - Thursday, December 02, 2010
• For Writers looking for some Adventure - Wednesday, December 01, 2010
• My usual rider for family/friend appearances - Tuesday, November 23, 2010
• Writing and Me - a dramatization - Wednesday, November 17, 2010
• Writing Tip o' the Day (now with vitamin C!) - Tuesday, November 16, 2010
• The Power of Music - Tuesday, November 16, 2010
• To All the Bookstores I've Loved Before - Monday, November 15, 2010
• The Care and Feeding of Writers - Sunday, November 14, 2010
•  Rudiments - Thursday, November 11, 2010  
• Writing Tip o' the Day - Wednesday, November 10, 2010
• Tragedy - now with 50% more pathos! - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
• Perspective - Monday, November 08, 2010
• The Daunting Dauntiness of Tweeting on Twitter - Saturday, November 06, 2010


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