Monday, November 26, 2007

The Yarn of The Story

When we read, we stat at the beginning and continue until we reach the end. When we write, we start in the middle and fight our way out.
Vickie Karp

See that mess to the left? This week-end I spent my time crocheting. I started a hat and had to quit four Rounds in because this clump of tangled yarn came out of the middle of the skein. Yeah, I cussed it, but as I was untangling it, I realized something, and it was wonderful!

A good story is one that starts like that tangled mess. You write it out and that's what it looks like. A mess that has no clear beginning or end, therefore the middle is a muddled mass of confusion. And this is where the real work comes in.

You take the mess and look for the ends, only they're too hard to find. So, you go to the middle, where the action should be, and this is where it's really messed up. BUT, if you take a section at a time, work it, and straighten it out, you'll eventually find the beginning. You'll eventually find the scene where the real story starts (I'll have to admit, for me it was 4 Chapters in).

Now, I've got that begininng pulled out of my middle, it's time for me to straighten up the mid section. But what's this? The end is stuck right here, and if I pull it out and put it where it should go, I've got about six chapters that belong in another book. It's a damn good thing I'm planning a series, so I already have some material for book 2.

Now, I have no more tangles, but the yarn of the story is loose and won't stay together. This is where, like with my yarn, I want to start winding it into a ball. I'm gonna drop it sometimes, and the yarn will unravel a bit, but that's OK, that's just me finding the weaker sections of the story. The sections that need to hit the gym and get pumped up. This makes for a sturdier ball of yarn, and much healthier book.

And, when all's said and done, and my story is as tight as my ball of yarn, if I've done my job - the reader will be able to grab the beginning of the ball, hold just that starter piece, and watch the story unravel seamlessly and so fast, they want to rewind it and watch it all again.

Take Care

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