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??


  1. Sure, writers are builders. Not only in building up the story, building the lives of the reader. Many times I have gone on my knees in prayer after reading some Christian books. I would have asked myself: if I were to be in this person's situation, how will I respond to the antagonism? One way or the other, virtue is added. This is what I also seek to achieve as I launch into this beautiful and (yes) demanding Writers' World.

    Secondly, one similar thing about carpenters (my husband is also a furniture-maker) and writers is INSPIRATION which gives birth to CREATIVITY.

    Glad to know your condo is taking shape and YOU are in good shape.Love you, always.

  2. You are so wise!! Great comments and so true. Love you back!!

  3. I couldn't help thinking that our editors are like building inspectors. If they see something that isn't quite right, they make us change it. :)

  4. You are so right. They make us explain our discrepancies. And fix them!!

  5. Im here wincing in pain about the drill in the thumb!
    I have put a needle through my had before and know how painful that was.
    Its nice hearing how books are written and the different descriptions.
    (am hoping blogger likes me today)

  6. I replied and blogger ate it. I forget what I said but I did reply.
    Im scared blogger will eat this one too.

  7. AusJenny, don't let blogger gobble you up!! This blog has a mind of it own sometimes!


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