Saturday, April 20, 2013

How Writing is Like Putting Together a Puzzle

As many of you know, I love to write. Another thing I love to do is puzzles--particularly 1,000-piece puzzles. Anything smaller isn't challenging enough. I love Thomas Kinkade puzzles, wildlife puzzles, and landscape puzzles. It typically takes me between three days to one week to complete one.

Writing is a lot like putting together a puzzle.

You start with a bunch of random pieces. Looking at them as they are, they make no sense at all.

So you start to search for pieces that go together. As connections are made, something begins to take shape.

If you're an outliner, you may build the outside of the puzzle first. This sets up a boundary--something to follow. If you're a seat-of-the-pants writer (or panster), you may start with whatever pieces you come across first, looking to tie it all together before you write "The End."

Puzzle pieces are like words. Randomly set on a table, they don't make any sense at all. Placed together in proper order, they make a beautiful picture. Much like writing.

As you place word after word after word, you tell a story. Once you've linked all of the pieces together, you have a big picture--something to enjoy, to look at, to wonder about, and to share.

However, if one piece is out of place, it won't come together. So you must be careful to make sure nothing is misplaced. In the world of writing, this would be editing and/or rewriting. It takes time, but the end result is a story to be treasured by your readers for years to come.

Can you think of any other ways that writing is like putting together a puzzle? I'd love to hear them! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Images

1 comment:

  1. Jigsaw puzzles? Oh yeah. I love them. Nothing smaller than 1000 pieces. I'm a bit of a puzzle snob and will only work Springbok puzzles. My wife hates them, but I always save the last piece for her to put in. Nothing better on a cold wintery day, fire going, hockey game on tv. :)


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