Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Laying Bricks

A few weeks ago, I decided that the stepping stones to the gazebo weren't enough for a decent walkway. Luckily, we had some leftover bricks down at the farm that I could recycle. After we trucked them to the gazebo, I dumped them and thought about how'd I'd arrange them.

I know nothing about bricklaying, other that the ground should be flat (it mostly was) and I should have some kind of pattern so the bricks would fit. I raked back the mulch, removed the stepping stones, and figured out a pattern for the bricks as I went along.

Before long, I had what might pass for a brick walkway. 

It's a little shaky, but I figure eventually the bricks will settle. Since I'll be the main user, it's good enough for my purpose. Plus, I can always pull up the bricks and rearrange them if the walkway gets wobblier. Right now it looks mostly OK—not great, but it'll do.

I've been in enough writing groups to know that a lot of first-time writers are like this first-time bricklayer. They get an idea, put the words down quickly without having a definite plan, and think their first draft is the finished product. Odds are good it's not. The plot might not have a definite pattern, the characterizations might be a little wobbly, or the dialogue might be a bit shaky.

Maybe revising a manuscript is like pulling up bricks and realigning them. 

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Blogger CountryDew said...

Like the metaphor very much!

5:47 PM  

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