I Like My Packages Tightly Wrapped With Ribbons, But God Doesn’t!

“Nor do I hear in my imagination the parts successively, but I hear them, as it were, all at once.  What a delight this is! All this inventing, this producing, takes place in a pleasing lively dream.” (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Wolfgang Mozart (1756-1791) composed over 600 classical works – symphonies, operas, choral and chamber music, piano etudes and so forth. Yet, unlike most creative geniuses, Mozart’s amazing abilities were recognized during his lifetime. A contemporary of Mozart, Joseph Haydn, who was called the “Father of the symphony,” wrote: “Posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years.”

Haydn was wrong. So far, 220 years later, no one has stepped forward as an equal to Mozart.

Now, when we consider composers, we usually think of a person sitting at a piano. A pencil in one hand, his other hand playing a few notes, his hair all frazzled and his eyes glazed over from lack of sleep. After a while, the composer turns and quickly jots down notes in his notebook. He then returns to play a few more notes on the piano, shakes his head in disgust, turns to erase what he wrote earlier in his notebook and writes new notes on the paper. His notebook paper resembles a smudged and scribbled kindergarten fire-drill.

The composer continues this tedious process over and over until he has finished the musical work on the piano. If it’s a symphony or chamber music, he then has to arrange the music for other instruments.

Composing is a time consuming, laborious task. That is, unless you’re Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Mozart would sit down, with an ink pen in hand, and write the whole musical piece as if he were copying it from a book. He could carry a conversation or get up and walk away and then return to finish it later. It mattered not if it were a piano solo, a complete symphony or an opera, he wrote it all without a struggle. His first copy was his last copy, no matter how many instruments or arias were involved.

Okay, when it comes to writing, I’d prefer to be a Mozart, but sadly, I’m not. I’m that bedraggled, frazzled composer with glazed over eyes who struggles through every sentence, dangling participle and verb tense.

And when I’m finally done writing my article or novel or whatever, I’d like to finish it off by writing: THE END.  And never, ever look at it again.

Yet, that’s not how God works with me.

After I’ve finished writing, and it’s been rewritten ad nauseum times, along comes a new revelation which forces me to rewrite the whole piece again. Does this happen often?

My novel, Jonah, has been rewritten almost 60 times. New Wind Blowing is nearing 40 times. Then, if you toss in the four other works I’ve been writing and rewriting for years,  you get a good glimpse of who I really am: God’s hack.

Guess what?

I have just received a new revelation which has to be dealt with in a few of my so-called finished works, the ones which I thought were ready to be published. So, it’s back to the keyboard.

I will continue on with Part 7 of You Can’t Go Home Again in late January. See you then, okay?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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16 Comments

Filed under Christianity

16 responses to “I Like My Packages Tightly Wrapped With Ribbons, But God Doesn’t!

  1. Merry Christmas, Larry! Thanks for telling us about Mozart and then your own creating process. I think I don’t work hard enough at what I do. The work that I feel the best about, it just comes to me and I can mostly leave it as is. The other stuff I should stick with and rewrite for longer than I do, but I don’t. I need His help big time.
    God bless you as you write what He wants you to write and what we need to read. 🙂

  2. Debbie,

    Thanks. The reason I don’t mention much about how my writing comes about is that I don’t want people copying me. I want them to do it the way God has taught them.

    Mozart wrote his remarkable way, but Beethoven, also a classical genius, was like me. Everything was written and rewritten while he struggled with each note. His works are compared to Mozart.

    Two different composers, two different writing styles.

  3. SR

    Well I know you will succeed at whatever you do. Was Mozart the one who was deaf? I cannot remember.

    Hang in there, as sometimes re-do’s give to us patience. (No I am not one to talk, as I have none) I feel Larry, the way God has touched your life, that through Him, anything you touch is going to be okay. Let us know when it comes out in print!!!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and family. God Bless, SR

  4. SR,

    Thanks for your kind words. God bless you.

  5. I love the mind, music, and inspiration of Mozart… one of my favorites, too. “Back to the keyboard’… very clever.

    Does your writing reflect your place at the moment, and will updating still be within the voice of your character? Just a thought since I’m writing a little story, too. I struggle to stay her.

    Just wanted to drop by and learn something… : )

  6. Linda,

    Thanks. For me, the focal point of the story has always stayed the same and thus I can stay with the same voice. The problems I’ve incurred is that the revelations uncovered along the way have increased and I have to write them into the story.

    To be honest, if I could, I’d write all stories with the main character and main voice speaking in first person. This is the easiest for me to convey thoughts, emotions, frustrations, etc. But the problem with a first person voice is that character has to be in almost every scene.

    Since I read and examine mysteries for my writing style, I’ve noticed that James Lee Burke and Michael Connelly use some tricks to go outside of their main voice. For instance, Burke in one book wrote something like this to go outside of his main first person voice: “What took place next can best be told by XXXXX who reconstructed the events as she related them to YYYYY in a phone call minutes after they happened:”

    Obviously, I was impressed by Burke’s trick and memorized it.

  7. Very interesting. Thanks for revealing that about your work. I’m thinking about writing Part 2 of my story in the first person (your suggestion) because that’s when Miranda/I meet Jesus and unlike Part 1, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Might be a stretch for the reader… still pondering.

    Blessings to you…

  8. Linda,

    In my first attempts at writing fiction, I wrote too close to who I am and who I was. Thus, I was worried about embarrassing my children and other family members. So, I changed my characters and made them more extreme and added some other flaws. It’s fiction after all and it needs to be more extreme in order for it to be believable and a page turner.

    Thus, the male characters in my writing are a little like me and a whole lot not like me. I’m more comfortable with that.

  9. I’m benefiting from you and Linda talking here. 🙂 Thanks. I think it IS hard not to put a lot of ourselves into what we write. I also think it’s something most go through, starting out.
    I write other poems, and find it very difficult to do fiction. ..just pure fiction.

  10. Debbie,

    People who write fiction read a lot of fiction. That’s the secret.

  11. Happy New Year, Larry. Glad we got to be friends in 2011! : )

  12. Linda,

    Me too. God bless you.

  13. I’ve gone through few of your earlier posts based on a bible story David and Saul – You can’t go home again. It’s interesting to read it the characters David and Saul in your light of understanding the story from the Bible. Writing is an art, and you definitely have it in you. Looking forward to read the continuation of your series : You cant got home again.

  14. Elvirah,

    Thanks. Your name is the type that causes one to click on it to check you out, and I did. You’re a writer, too, God bless you.

  15. someone like Mozart blesses me through and through… but then some one pens three words that were breathed from the heart of God so long ago, just to remind us who we are and who loves us… and we are undone

    All is Grace
    however the song gets written or the poem or the book… when it is just right, it changes hearts or takes our breath away or inspires us to move on with God~
    All is Grace
    I am looking forward to your books 🙂
    a good post!!

  16. Thefisherlady,

    Thanks. God bless you.

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