Sunday, October 15, 2006

Writing Mysteries is Like Eating Noodles

An odd metaphor? Perhaps. And yet I see a parallel, especially to the idea of trying to master the chopsticks. Trying to get those slippery noodles between those two pieces of wood--well, that's trying to wrestle your plot into shape. And then there's the other struggle--that long string of noodles that you can't bite off without looking rude. I see that as a lovely analogy for revision. Where to cut it off? Too much? Too little? How to decide? There's a lot of pressure here; people are watching, after all.

And of course they say that when you eat stir-fry food you end up being hungry again in what seems like just a few minutes. When I struggle through a mystery I think, okay, that's IT. I'm finished. And yet it's not too much later that I find myself jotting notes for a new idea, because I'm not truly FULL. I have to keep writing.

Does my noodle comparison work? You tell me. But in all honesty I just wanted to post this picture of Graham and his first attempt at chopsticks. (And by the way, he was a natural). :)

7 comments:

Bill Cameron said...

It's a superb analogy. Right now, I'm at the noodles-sticking-out-of-my-ears stage, and wondering how they got there.

Julia Buckley said...

Well, not bad for a Monday, right? Oh, Bill, I need to get back to my book, but I'm afraid to write the ending! So many loose ends to tie up. (Loose noodles?)

Bill Cameron said...

I am at the "ending", but that probably means 10,000 words to go. The tale is a complicated one, and I've found myself bouncing around to different scenes, figuring I could noodle them together later. And also wondering if they will make the cut. I am determined to have this draft done in two weeks, which means I have a lot of work to do!

Julia Buckley said...

You are better at my noodle analogy than I am. :)

Bill Cameron said...

I just like to use the word noodle as a verb.

Today was a good day. I solidified the last two chapters I finished, made good progress on the next chapter, and have a clear idea of where I'm going next. It's been so vague the last few weeks, with so many noodles floppy around. But I feel good right now. Just need a little marinara.

Jess Lourey said...

The noodle analogy works for me, too, Julia! You're never full of writing, but sometimes you're full of...oh wait, that's me. Hey, you two, did I tell you that I discovered outlining a novel to be a fantastic way to avoid writing it? Plus, it makes it easier to tie up loose ends. I'm up to a ten-page outline on August Moon, which is three times longer than my norm.

Julia Buckley said...

Hey, Jess--maybe you can just publish the outline! It will start a new trend for a short-attention span society. :)

And I am avoiding both the book AND the outline. Maybe we can start some sort of avoidance support group.