I strained my voice yesterday. That used to be a lot harder to do.
I was talking with two other ladies at an indoor playground with forced-air heat. (Read: loud with happy children & other noise). With barely 18″ between us we still had to work to converse.
But it was lovely, talking with two women of similar intensity and confidence. The whole conversation was very balanced, constructive and encouraging.
But it reminded me that I function best in a small group of two or three. I’m basically wired to pull 1/3 to 1/2 of the conversation, and that inclination doesn’t always change as the group grows.
Yes. I know. I’m getting better.
This basic tendency seems to affect my writing as well. I’ve said before I have a massive cast, and sometimes loads are on the stage at once, but usually no more than 2-3 interact at a time. Maybe 4 do, once.
This explains why I freeze up when the prospect of an “epic battle” crosses my radar. I feel desperate as any soldier’s mother for peace-before-conflagration; largely because I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to put off a large-scale anything… (and I’m afraid of what writing about war would say about me).
There have been three distinct times in my Lindorm novel when the action seemed to be pulling toward a war.
I suppose I’ve watched too many fantasy-genre movies– that obligatory CGI massiveness really can impress itself on the psyche.
And each time my “fear of conflict” (HA!) has forced me to find a different and (I believe) more creative solution to get to the next stage.
I can safely say that natural wiring does not have to be a liability.
I’ve never tried to do crowds. I wonder how I would react.
On different lines, even if a war is about a crowd, you are still only writing about the crowd in relation to the two or three people that it really matters to. So they are still taking up that 1/3 to 1/2 of the conversation.