Know thy parameters


In working on the garden this week I discovered accepted something important about myself that has huge ramifications for writing: blueprints don’t work for me.  In the case of the garden I had a set of parameters, in this case it was the physical limits of the area that would contain the garden, but the possibilities were virtually boundless. Before beginning the project I knew only what I wanted the garden to feel like – I had no visual in my mind. I bought plants and other enhancements based on what I liked and then set about putting it all together. The garden came together in a day and the end result surpassed my expectations. By working this way I was able to be flexible, changing what needed to be changed without deviating from a set idea I’d imposed on it. After the project was done it occurred to me that this has been the problem all along with the novel: I’ve imposed margins that are difficult to operate within. I have tried to outline and plot the novel without success. In fact, I’d say it has hindered the progress more than it has helped. For me it is important to know the parameters – the frame if you will – but the rest needs to flow naturally, to be stitched together at a later date. With this in mind I’m scrapping the outlines and going to feel my way through the story, the way I did with the garden. In this way the story will tell itself. For me, knowing the parameters is knowing enough.

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About Sharon

Writer, bibliophile, dreamer and student of everything
This entry was posted in ME ON WRITING, The writing process and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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