Sunday, April 15, 2018


This weekend was my first to spend dedicated time with a friend's 89-year-old mother. We decided her prize for taking all her pills would be for us to work on a jigsaw puzzle. I often compare my story line to a giant jigsaw puzzle, but today, working with Anne, made me realize something.

She kept finding pieces that looked similar, like they'd go together, but she couldn't figure out where in the puzzle they went. I had to keep reminding her to look at the picture on the box to see how it all fit together.

If you don't step back and look at the big picture, you'll never be able to piece together the puzzle–or if you do, it'll be much harder, take more time, and lead you down the wrong path more than once. The same holds true for writing a story. You need to know before you start what the total picture will look like, where all the hidden pieces are, where the minute little detail pieces need to fit in.

But, if you take your time, refer to the big picture often, and piece together the green pieces and then the blue, etc., you'll end up, sooner or later, with a complete puzzle. Or a complete manuscript. Both are well worth the effort.


  1. The constant battle between plotters and pantsers. I know very little of the big picture on books I write. I know where I want to end up.

    Letting the work tell me the hidden pieces lets me enjoy the path the story took. Details are for edits. LOL

  2. I would think that a mystery would need all the plot points in place before you start. You continue to amaze me, Lynn.