Metaphor for writing a book

Since embarking on my new book project on the Rhythm Club Fire, I’ve gotten questions about why I’d want to work on something so depressing, which is a blog for another day, but mainly they’ve been about what I’ll say.  At this point, I cannot answer that question.  None of us who has authored a book can, especially when we are so early in the process. So, I’ve come up with a metaphor that I think works, and one which people who’ve never written a book can understand.

“It’s like putting together a 500-piece puzzle,” I answer.

At the beginning is the idea, and all of those pieces of evidence.

Puzzle Pieces GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

In the early stages, you begin pulling together ideas that form the basic framework for the book.

So, the basic outlines of the story are . . .

Further into the project, some of the ideas begin to take shape.

largeportionspuzzle
This much is very clear.

Eventually, the day comes when you have figured it out and hooray!

My book is almost as good as a Renoir painting! Not quite, but . . .

As with any puzzle, it takes time and patience, but part of the joy is in the process–figuring out where the pieces fit. When it’s complete there’s a moment of euphoria, but it is fleeting.

Now what?  Time to start a new puzzle.

2 thoughts on “Metaphor for writing a book

  1. This may not be the proper place to ask a question but, in Goat Castle your cover refers to “the Gothic South”. What exactly does that mean? I can’t work any definition or colloquialism of Gothic to make sense of it.

    Sorry, but it’s the kind of thing I sometimes puzzle over.

    The book, interesting. Thank you

    Grant Beal
    Merryville, Louisiana

    1. From the Oxford English Dictionary: “Southern Gothic is a mode or genre prevalent in literature from the early 19th century to this day. Characteristics of Southern Gothic include the presence of irrational, horrific, and transgressive thoughts, desires, and impulses; grotesque characters; dark humor, and an overall angst-ridden sense of alienation.” Dick Dana was irrational and grotesque, the story contained dark humor, and certainly Octavia felt a sense of alienation. Also, in southern gothic literature the appearance of a crumbling ancestral home, like Goat Castle, appears.

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