Jan 4, 2010

Piecing it Together

By: Rebecca Irvine

Today I spent a few hours with my children putting together puzzles they received for Christmas. The first puzzle was a picture of what seemed to be small, funny doodles. There were people, animals, buildings, vehicles, and even a swimming pool. I learned to pick up each piece and look closely at it and then the box to find where it belonged. Because it was larger and the pieces were smaller it took longer. But we enjoyed the process of putting it together.

The second puzzle was of a Disney princess. And most of the puzzle was done in varying shades of pink colors, the monochromatic look making it moderately challenging. An added challenge, though, was in the oddly shaped pieces that were not always situated in a standard horizontal or vertical manner.

These puzzles have made me think a little about my writing. As I am "piecing" together my third manuscript I have learned to look closely at each part and then compare it to the bigger picture. In some cases I have found portions that just don't seem to fit and have had to either move the section, rework it, or cut it out altogether. And the more research I have done the more missing pieces I have found!

In other places I have noticed my writing is kind of monochromatic--repetitious and bland. I am sure this makes my writing as hard to read as it was to put together that pink princess puzzle (maybe harder). But as I have worked to add contrast and color to my writing it becomes easier to read and more memorable overall.

Next time you sit down to write, look closely at each piece of your "puzzle." Don't forget the overall picture you are trying to paint and be willing to add color, shape, and contrast to improve your writing.

Happy writing!


  1. Excellent analogy Rebecca. I love puzzles myself.

  2. Love this analogy, Rebecca! You gave me a lot to think about today. Thanks!

  3. I love this! And Agree!
    I posted a similar topic on my blog. Deconstructing the puzzle. I just did a major overhaul on my book, reconfiguring the first 20 chapters- I resisted it for months. Finally bit the bullet and dove in. I can't believe how much better my novel is for it. Rather shocked I might add.
    Excellent topic and thanks for letting me know I'm not alone.
    I love ANWA!


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