Working your abdominal muscles is an important part of most exercise programs. Especially when you delve into the types of exercise that deal with your whole body and mind such as Yoga Tai chi and Karate. A lot of focus is placed on the warming up and stretching out/strengthening of those abdominal muscles which these exercise regimens call “THE CORE”. Every kick or hand movement in Tang Soo Do uses those core muscles. Every pose or asana in Yoga uses them too. The same with Tai Chi. The Core is something essential and I know it, often times when I laugh after Karate class I feel the work I have been doing on my core.
Using your core in writing is important too. I know exercise and writing they have so much in common. What I mean is another word for Core or abdominals is your gut. And when writing you must use your gut. It is an essential writing tool.
You know I revised my first book, and the rough draft was finished. Well I exaggerated a little; even finished it still sat under 70,000 words. I fretted and worried about it until I had two clear scenes come into my head and a way to fix one chapter that was missing ”something” so I fixed the chapter and added another scene involving my assassin in a long distance hit which I hadn’t done before. (another post: how to write an assassin when you aren’t one.)
Adding that scene pushed my MS over the 70,000 goal by a hundred or two and I stopped-- staring at the number feeling pretty darn good. Then as I began to ponder the next chapter I had a feeling that the MS was good enough without it. I filed the idea away and worked on dinner. The more I thought about the more my GUT told me that the MS was really finished. I don’t need the extra chapter and it would just drag my MS down in excess.
Like typing the end of a sentence and knowing that it is the end of a chapter; or knowing the perfect words to open the next chapter. Trusting you gut is as essential in writing, as working your abdominals is to Karate.