I stopped at the job site where my husband was working on an addition to an existing home the other day and it hit me. Our jobs have a lot in common. I know, I know. How you ask?
First writers start with an idea; the carpenter with a set of plans.
Whether it is a novel or a house you need to prepare the site. In carpentry that would require ground work. In writing it would be the idea or inspiration for your story (see, story ideas come from everywhere, this post proves it).
The foundation is next. The house requires a good sturdy base, normally poured concrete. Writing also requires a good sturdy foundation. Researching one’s subject is essential to a good story. Knowledge is power.
After the foundation is poured then comes the framing. A house couldn’t stand or last without a good solid frame. The same holds true for your story. Outlining your story whether in your head or on paper is necessary for your work to flow, so you can pull your reader deeper into the tale with you.
Once the frame work is complete, the house would be ready for the mechanicals (such as plumbing, heating, electrical, etc.). In the case of story constructions your mechanicals are the plot and sub-story lines (sometimes referred to as the B story).
As you write the story it flows from your mind to your hand and before you know it, you have your first draft. You are now ready for the finished work. Yes, in writing that is revisions and editing and review by our critique partners; in carpentry it’s the trim work.
Before a carpenter brings in the inspectors for the CO (certificate of occupancy) he reviews his punch list and corrects or adds items necessary to make the house perfect. We as writers have punch list, only we call it editing. The final edit occurs before we feel it is ready to submit to agents, editors or publishers.
Now pat yourself on the back, because you have built/completed a novel and only one in ten thousand people who start writing one finish it.
Remember, writing and carpentry take talent, pride and time to get it right. When it is finished both are works of art. Happy writing!
And yes, I did thank my husband for today’s blog idea. I hope my writing is as beautiful and as well constructed as his work.