Writing's Like...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It seems that writing a novel is one of those things that a ton of people want to do, or even attempt, or at the very least have an interest in that's high enough to make them ask questions when they find out someone in the room is being published. One of the most common questions is "What's it like to write a whole book?"

I've found the perfect answer. Look at this picture - THIS is what it's like to write a novel.





You have all these ideas buzzing around in your head. Characters, plots, sub-plots, chapters, scenes, back story, etc. And they don't look like much to anyone who isn't in your head. They're just pieces of shiny glass.

But in your head, they're the image on the screen. You, as a writer, can see the final picture. You know how all those little pieces line up and dovetail.

Sadly, it's at this point that most who attempt to write something stop. They assume the image in their head is what the reader is seeing, without realizing that something's missing. They don't know there's a disconnect, and also sadly, far too many of them get upset when the people who are looking at those shiny bits of glass don't see anything other than a jumbled mess.

They're forgetting the light. That's the trick. You have to weave that current through all those ideas until the image starts to form and their readers can see it taking shape. The characters have to blend with the scenery, and must fit inside the setting without gaps on the sides to spoil the illusion.

As a storyteller, it's your job to take those mundane bits and make them shine.

12 Chiming In:

Stephsco said...

I've come to the conclusion that anyone can write a book, but not everyone can tell a story. It requires a lot of work and practice.

I'm in awe of great storytellers.

D.G. Hudson said...

Josie, I really enjoyed this piece. You expressed it well.

Especially this:

"They're forgetting the light. That's the trick. You have to weave that current through all those ideas until the image starts to form and their readers can see it taking shape."

Marsha Sigman said...

Ahhh. Exactly. Sometimes I feel like I seriously need to dust my brain.ha

lee said...

Oh yes.

The trick, besides lighting, is to not let your mind be distracted by too many shiny pieces of glass.

That's my problem. :)

RachelMaryBean said...

Great picture. Interesting insight. I'm still working on the tricks with the light. :)

sagelikethespice said...

Lovely post. I love the metaphor

Angela M. said...

That is a perfect picture to explain the concept of writing!

Nikki said...

Very nicely put. "forgetting the light..."

J.S. Schley said...

Excellent metaphor; and great post.

Jessa Slade said...

Lovely image and perfect metaphor. Like Lee said, distraction by the shiny is definitely a problem :) Also, those pieces can cut you if you're not careful.

mshatch said...

Very nicely put.

Julianna Helms said...

I love this.

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