I write in spirals.
I always start a new something thinking I can write in a straight line. That I can begin at the beginning and travel onward. But, inevitably, as I write, I realize all the places where I’ve gone wrong. And then I have to toss those bits and circle back to try again. And then I get a little deeper in the story… until I’m wrong again. Circle round again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
I’m working on a new novel. Of course it’s a mess. Unsure what it wants to be.
I’ve forgotten how very immense that first circle is. How I want to include everything. I can’t even get my arms or head around the space of it.
But, as I recently tossed a big old chunk of words and scenes, chucking out hours worth of writing, I felt a bit giddy. I realized I’d tossed an outer layer of that first circle. The next layer is a tiny bit more solid, a little bit more manageable. I’m moving in slowly, getting the teeniest closer to the center.
I was going to compare it to an onion, with a nod to Shrek. As Shrek explained to Donkey, ogres are like onions. They both have layers. Stories are like ogres and onions – they have layers too. And sometimes they make you cry.
But I can’t stand onions (aka yiggers.)
Circle round, y’all.
Sarah Wones Tomp
WRITING ON THE SIDEWALK