The writing process can be described in many ways. In a recent conversation my friend, Erin, described a project she’s working on as being akin to piecing together a quilt. I have similar thoughts about my own process, having referred to it in the past as the making of a tapestry. Quilting, stitching or weaving, for myself, ideas unravel as I apply my fingers to the keyboard, flipping out skeins of text across the screen until I stop, hitting the end.
Then I begin reading the sentences, picking out threads of colour; writing words down, thinking, reworking sentences until I am left with a mess of short sentences and paragraphs to sort through and combine. Which thoughts are best; how can I weave them together to create a complete picture?
Tangents grow and my mind, embroidering a million possibilities, focal points of colour, texture and feeling. If the old man really could encase his memories in glass would he be able to hold onto them. Or would it make them unattainable; something seen but unable to be grasped to recollection?
Which idea will work better? I have to decide, thread it through and smooth out the kinks, trimming ragged edges and adding polish; fine points of colour, detail and sound woven together so invitingly it holds the reader’s eye up right to the last syllable.