Friday, May 4, 2012
Ask Elnora--About Building a Book??Lenora Worth
If I had a hammer.... We all know that song, right? Lately, Elnora has heard a whole lot of hammering going on. Big Daddy has single-handedly renovated our retirement condo here on the bay in Florida. I know this because while I write my chapters, he's downstairs working away on everything from carpet to tile to bathroom fixtures to paint and then he starts it all over again. He has suffered through with cuts, bruises, a hurting back and yesterday, he drilled his thumb. Not a pretty picture. He and a friend built a closet underneath the stairs, too. Amazing! That got me to thinking about how we write. Maybe we use some of the same tools but in a different way. We build our stories, word by word. We use certain tools to do certain things. For example, we hammer away at creating an outline or synopsis then we take that and make a blueprint of what we want to create. Following that blueprint (kind of) we lay out the foundation and measure off the needed space. Then we take patterns (formulas) and saw away until we have the right shape for our words. We put the whole thing together by hammering away, holding things together with plot points sort of like nails and glue hold a house together. Then we tread on the carpet. Pacing is always important, especially when building up to the end. We tend to level off and stay on task, but we are always editing and tweaking in the same someone does when creating a room. We rearrange here and move a piece there to make things match up, but we keep an eye on the whole overall creation to make sure it flows and looks pretty. We build up walls with our characters then tear them down to get to the foundation of a character's roots. We open doors where walls once stood and we go down paths where no one has ventured before. We build communities and new worlds and we explore frontiers and start all over from scratch. While writers don't drill holes in our thumbs, we do drill ourselves at workshops and with "how-to" books because just like a true carpenter, we never tire of creating. So let's discuss--building books? What are some of your favorite tools? And who amongst us has the cutest tool box?? Are you a carpenter or are you a design specialist? Architect or contractor? If we build a good story, they will come. What do you think??