The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

On the Rebound pt. 3

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If you ever want to test the knowledge of even the most hardcore basketball fan, ask him to explain the concept of a “team rebound.”  It’s a stat that shows up in most every box score, but is seldom understood even by coaches and analysts.  The most frequent explanation I’ve heard is that a team rebound is scored when the ball hits the floor after a missed shot, and the team rebound goes to whichever side grabs the ball at that point.
The team rebound statistic exists in the first place so that the number of missed field goals is equal to the number of rebounds.  It seems, too, that a team can ‘t inentionally get a team rebound; one happens only circumstantially.  No game has ever been decided by the difference in team rebounds.  Nonetheless, here’s how your team can register a team rebound:  when you miss a shot at the buzzer, when the other team misses a shot and it goes out of bounds without touching a player, when the other team misses the second (or third) free throw in a sequence and the ball doesn’t touch the rim, and when a missed shot goes out of bounds off a member of the opposing team.
This chart has absolutely no bearing on anything I’m saying.
That’s all good, but team rebounds are pretty much irrelevant in the grand scheme of writing, unless you are using the concept of rebounding as an over-wrought metaphor to explain how you’ve tried to recover an abandoned short story so you might turn it into something decent or at least personally meaningful.  Even then, you play fast-and-loose with the concept and refer to the “team” part of “team rebounding” as the members of your writers group who are nice enough to look at your story and give you some feedback (those same members who are probably cringing at all this pain-inducing figurative language).

So that’s where I am now, in the “team rebounding” stage of my writing.  I’ve ground through six drafts of the story, and am ready to have other critical eyes on it.  It has to be this way when you write.  So seldom do I speak in absolutes, but this one is unavoidable.  If you’re going to do anything with your writing except keep it as a warm memory, you have to open it up to others.

I already have some feeback, and it has made a difference.  Now the rest of my homies are going to pile on their drop-dead assessments.  I’ll walk away with five or six sets of notes on where things went right, but mostly about where I need to fix things.  My biggest fear with this story is plausibility.  I’m dealing with two clinical settings, neither of which I have had any real experiences with (nor have I researched them).  I’m hoping I’ve handled the nuances of both settings with aplomb so as not to ring any false notes and so that the experiences of the characters carry the story without it getting snagged on jagged edges.

This is hard stuff for me.  I’m not trained as a fiction writer, and it seems that I like to build beyond my means with little deference to the strength of my foundation.  Sometimes the structure holds, but it seems over the last year that after the building inspectors get done with me, I’m left standing around with chunks of plaster in my hands, covered in sawdust, and that I don’t feel like pounding many more nails or hanging anymore drywall.  But I’m better for having tried to build something.  I guess.

A visual representation of another lame metaphor about writing.


Written by seeker70

February 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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