Black Dog Days 02

NotebookWord count: 10,918

Writing a novel is like building a house from Lego. Each word’s a brick. The best bricks of all – the ones you end up using the most – are those commonplace rectangular ones. They’re sturdy and square, they come in an appealing range of basic shapes and colours and there’s no limit to the shape and size of the structures you can make if you put them together just right.

Sometimes you need more than just the regular bricks. Sometimes you need those ones with the sloping sides or angled corners. You might even need the really intricate ones with fiddly curves or smart little hinges. Use these special bricks well and they’ll bring your house to life. Drop one of those transparent window-bricks in just the right place, for example, and you’ll throw light into a corner that was previously dark. But beware. Don’t ignore the foundations for the sake of a little decoration. Even a Lego castle should never be built on sand.

Currently I’m faced with a toybox filled with half-finished Lego structures: the remnants of a first draft manuscript I began and then set aside last year. So the house I’m constructing now is a combination of both new and old. I’m picking out some of those shapes I made first time around – a supporting wall here, a gable end there – and working out which parts of them are structurally sound. If they fit with the new foundations I’ve laid, I’m incorporating them into the new design. If not, I’m tearing them down and reusing their components to create something entirely new.

At the 10,000 word mark, I’ve used up maybe half of the leftovers. There are still a few interesting bits and pieces buried in the toybox but once they’re gone it’s just me and the bricks. Not just yet, however. I’ve got my eye on a particularly interesting structure that’s just begging to be used again. It looks like a huge temple wall built by the ancient denizens of a lost civilisation.

And I know exactly what lives on the other side.

Comments

  1. Damn, youre a good writer.

    From: Graham Edwards Reply-To: Graham Edwards Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2013 12:28:15 +0000 To: Subject: [New post] Black Dog Days 02

    Graham Edwards posted: “Word count: 10,918 Writing a novel is like building a house from Lego. Each word’s a brick. The best bricks of all – the ones you end up using the most – are those commonplace rectangular ones. They’re sturdy and square, they come in an appealing range”

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