In Pleasant Grove Utah, there is (was?) a small restaurant called One Man Band that served breakfast/lunch for a small Mormon town. On Sundays we’d go down there and have the place to ourselves. On Sundays, a slow day, there truly was just one guy doing everything: orders, cooking, billing, cleaning up. Slinging eggs and hash and pancakes, he was a marvel to watch, especially when a few other families would join us.
I think about that guy’s job and equate it loosely to writing.
So many jobs get bundled up in the task that is writing, novels mostly, but any substantial writing contains the hallmarks of the One Man Band.
First you have to create a compelling story, with compelling characters. Those characters need to enjoin a cyclically action packed and restorative plot, with dramatic tension between them. The story must unfold in parts made from parts each with tension and relief. The story calendar must remain accurate, the plot context’s must remain cogent, and the foreshadowing, and allusions must pan out with accuracy and intrigue.
And then there’s the craft. The writing must have a rhythm of tight terse prose and flowing boisterous description. The mechanics must be accurate, the dialog must be leading but not too vague. The tags and actions must introduce speakers while the play out of angst between said speakers ebbs and flows. And the hundreds of other nuances that make up great writing must all be compiled into this story.
And then you need to rehash it through editing. Then package it up for querying. Maybe you need to cover it, blurb it, synopsis it.
Dozens and dozens of tasks, all must come together in a natural, cohesive blend that is a novel.
After the lunch rush, the One Man Band guy always looked exhausted. Yeah, I think I know what he was feeling.