Writer’s Log: 1401

When you build a home, a building, a bridge, a road — things, substantial things, that take months, years to construct, you follow a design.

That design has patterns. And for the most part you replicate those patterns, over and over. Framing a home’s floors, walls, rafters, joists – becomes easy be cause you repeat the same pattern. A wall is a wall: studs, stringers, headers. There may be 20% uniqueness to the actual construction process — times when you have to deviate from a pattern. But for the most part you just follow patterns.

Writing a story is 100% unique creation.

Every word, every sentence and passage, they’re all unique. They not only must be lovingly crafted, independently, but must be cogently assembled into scenes, chapters, parts and eventually, the whole.

Imagine if, when you built a home, you had to hand craft every single piece of wood. A completely bespoke creation. Like a dollhouse built from toothpicks which you had to fashion one at a time.

It’s a daunting proposition. And if one toothpick is out of place your admirers turn their gaze and walk away. Some will forgive misplacing one or ten, but when it appears that you just don’t know how to glue at the corners — see ya.

And the nuance and subtlety required to build a story alluring enough to be read from cover to cover, like a stained glass twenty-story office building built from hand-cut colored glass. Or a ten mile road comprised of hand-chiseled paver stones.

Bloody hell! What a task.


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