Six year ago, I listened a lecture given by a very famous music composer, Wang Liping(王立平). He composed all the 13 pieces of music for the TV show “The dream in red mansion” during 1982-84. “The dream in red mansion” originally is a novel’s name. It is the best novel ever in China. Almost every Chinese know it after it was written more than 200 years ago. The author spent 10 year to write it. According the novel, movies, TV shows, operas, pictures, comics…. all kinds of media were created every several years. Under this kind of situation, all the creation according the novel was examined and critiqued by all the Chinese. The characters, the stories and the poems in everybody’s heart beyond all of these media. Compose all the music for the TV show became a very stressful task for him. He began to compose right after the got the task first, because he believed that he read the book before, and knew the book very well. In the first three months, he wrote and wrote, but never satisfied. The he put down his pen, and began to re-read. He told us that he could not write down even one note more than half year. He read the book over and over again even he has already read the book for several times before he got the task. He could not eat and sleep well since the day he got the task. And one day, he suddenly knew the feeling of the author, what the author was writing. In the end, he composed 13 pieces of music for the show in those two years. The music and the show became a classic, and was applauded until now.
This story remind me that writing, and also design is a process which require us to step back and put a lot of effort on it. After Tuesday’s class, I noticed that what I post on blog is pre-writings. Something, one thought or others words triggers our thought, a piece of thought shows up in my mind and I just write it on the blog. Some of these thought was destroyed by further thinking, some of them were revised in mind, and others were forget behind. If only I could persist a little bit more…maybe nothing will happen ^_*
We need to write a whole thing, and revise it as a complete one. Unfortunately, most of those I present to others when I said I have done is those result of pre-writing. Revise is even harder. How could we spend our time then?
Anyway, the hardest and most exhausting moment is the nearest point to the most creative point. I believe. And the worst thing is to give up at those moment. This is why we need to write a whole thing, and revise it as a complete one.
The novel that Mingxian refers to truly is a classic of Chinese literature. It’s also quite long, spanning 4 thick volumes. Interestingly, it goes by different names, and not merely because of translation issues. Its title is often translated “Dream of the Red Chamber,” and another common title is “Story of the Stone.” For the curious, here is a link to a 4-volume translation I found on Amazon.
I read it (in a different translation) in the 90s and found it engaging.