Tuesday, 18 May 2010

How writing a book is like making baby shoes out of felt

You have an idea. It might be filling a hole in the market, it might be because *you* want it and nobody is doing it the way you'd like to see it happen...whatever. Anyway.

This idea of yours? It's yours. Unique. Only *you* could tell this story in this way. You look on the internet and find designs, but they aren't yours. Not what you could do if you took the time to do it. So, taking yourself in hand you begin!

You get your research and plot pieces together before starting.

Then you work on the second draft. (First draft was waaaaay too big of FAIL for me to post here. A girl must have some standards!)

But that's what happens. To use Cindy Pon's best advice, you chant to yourself "I am allowed to write utter poo! I am!" First drafts normally just suck. There's no way around it.

But from manure do the flowers grow.

Sometimes life interrupts, and you have to change a diaper or soothe a nightmare. Then you get an idea for another subplot, and cut them out to weave them in.

Then you finish your first draft, and you believe it is complete.

But it is not, young grasshopper!

There are always things you can fix! So you step away awhile, and think. (For instance, the green could match better, and I could have a top cover to levy the lowering of the sides into a more 'ballerina'-like form. The flowers could go, and a ladybug could come around instead.)

And then there are the extra subplots you think to add...sometimes they work, sometimes they patently DO NOT. (white flower is a prime example!)

But you keep plugging away. And pick and pick and make prototype after prototype (revise and revise) until you have the winner. (This took me four revisions, all told)

Short, clean, simple in every way.

Created exactly how you wanted, quality designed from the ground floor on up.

Even the tiny details have been better thought out this time, and you're not paralyzing anybody with a manuscript of utter ugliness or extra doo-hickies where they don't belong.

And best of all, it is perfect for exactly where you wanted to have it in the first place - on the shelf.

Or the foot.



Heidi Willis said...

Oh my!! FANTASTIC post!!

AWESOME shoes!!!!

And I LOVE the lil Lokie pics!!

Look like motherhood is sitting good on you. :)

Marissa said...

Cutest. Shoes. Ever.

Hilary Wagner ~ Writer said...

Why does Loki get snazzy custom shoes and I get squat? So not fair! ;(

Ha, ha! JKB, those are beautiful! I see side ebay business--no fooling!

xoxo -- Hilary

Olugbemisola (Mrs. Pilkington) said...

lovelovelove this analogy, and those darling shoes! felt is one of my favourite fabrics to work with. happy writing/creating!

Jemi Fraser said...

Terrific analogy and super cool shoes - I have no sewing skills, so this amazes me!

Merrilee said...

So freaking adorable :D :D

JKB said...

You guys are the best!

My husband gave me crap for tying writing to making felt shoes, but I was all, WHAT-EV-AH!

XOXOX to you all. :-)

Medeia Sharif said...

You write and you make shoes. You're amazing. I tried, but I could never get into the spirit of arts and crafts.

Kerri said...

Those are adorable!