Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weaving a novel

My favorite part of editing came upon me yesterday. That moment in working on a novel that the light bulb stops flickering and stays lit. The point where my percolater goes *bing* and the questions I've been pondering are suddenly answered. I want nothing more than to curl up with my laptop and connect all the dots that I've just seen before I forget the knowledge my subconscious has just bestowed upon me.

For me, writing a novel is much like weaving fabric. I start with thread. Some of it is pretty crappy quality but I weave it in anyway because I don't have enough of the good stuff to make the design I see in my head. The thread knots. It breaks a few times, so I tie it back together. Occasionally I even use the wrong color. Hey, I never said my rough drafts were pretty to look at.

Once the fabric is done, I take it off the loom and watch in horror as one side pulls all crooked because I wove that section too tight and another section has huge gaps because I wove it too loosely. I spend weeks pulling out the crappy thread, inserting good thread, and adjusting the weave until it looks uniform. But when I show my cloth to other people, they point at the knots and the spots where the pattern doesn't quite line up. I spend a few more weeks fixing everything until surely it must be just right.

And somewhere in there it hits me--the point where I see that the pattern is much more intricate than I'd first thought. And I know just what to add to create it! Who knows, I might even add a few sequins for a little sparkle. (In this case, they were black sequins--the sparkle was quite dark.)

I've still got a little embellishing to do, but I'm liking what I see. What does your moment when all the threads fall into place feel like?






4 comments:

  1. I dunno, mine's a lot more like the game Plinko. Where it doesn't seem to matter where I start, but once I do, I have to ride it out until the end to see what happens. I drop my disc and it bounces around... sometimes, it starts to look really bad and then all of a sudden, it bounces into place and I celebrate. A lot of times things look like they might be right on-track, until I come to the end and miss that jackpot spot.

    I'm glad you're feeling on a roll, though! :)

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    1. Well here's to hoping you hit the jackpot during Script Frenzy. :D

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  2. Oh! Where can I get one of those light bulbs? It might shed some light on all the loose threads and plot holes that must still be lurking in my story.

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    1. They're hard to find. Aisle twenty-four, bottom shelf, behind the range hood bulbs. They usually only stock one at a time so, you really have to be there at just the right time to get one.

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