Writing a Novel is Like…

As cover artist Kirk DouPonce and I bat around ideas for cover art for The Glass Bridge (Bell Mountain Series No. 7), flashes of The Temple (No. 8) are coming to me almost too fast to be written down.

I tried to explain it to my editor: “It’s like a model kit. God gives me the pieces, and I have to put them together. With a model battleship you get pieces that are obviously big guns and little guns, and other pieces that are not so obvious. The trick is to put them all together.”

When I was a little boy, you could see a big difference between a model put together by me and one assembled by my father. I followed all the instructions, but my Tyrannosaurus skeleton still wound up looking like something that got all messed up while being teleported to the Enterprise. But by the time I was 15, I could do a model with the best of ’em. All it took was growth–and lots of practice.

So now I have a lot of pieces of a story, but not all of them, and I have to fit them all together just right. Unlike the picture on the box of a Ford Falcon kit, I don’t get to see what the finished product looks like until I have a finished product.

God doesn’t give me the pieces of the story in the order in which it’s to be written and read. He has left me the fun–and it is a very satisfying pastime–of figuring that out by myself. But He does give me each and every necessary piece.

I wonder what it’ll look like when it’s done.


12 comments on “Writing a Novel is Like…

  1. I really loved your analogy Lee, about writing and building models. I think it also applies so well to life in general – God gives us the parts and some ideas on how to use them – and if we listen we sometimes get some really good advice – but most of us have trouble staying the course to get there and I think few of us know what the result will be till its in front of us at the end of life. I pray you continue to get good parts delivered to you as you put them together. Amen


    1. God sometimes gives us pieces that include constructive comments for others. I just happened to see where that one would fit. LOL – by the way I am having fun blogging – will have to blame that on you I expect.

  2. Those of us on this end of your books are blessed by your writing, Lee. It’s always such fun to see where each thread gets woven in, and there are always twists that we didn’t see coming. Not only does God give you the pieces, but He has given you a true gift of writing and weaving all the threads together in such a beautiful way. Keep ’em comin’! By the way, any word on when ‘The Silver Trumpet’ will be available? I don’t mean to pester you over it, but I’m anxious 🙂

    1. When someone is truly immersed in a creative endeavor, they can become intimately acquainted with every detail of their creation. When that happens, the results can be extraordinary.

    2. Well, my characters seem real to me. It’s the only way I can write about them. And often they come up with actions and words that truly surprise me.

    3. Yesterday a lady at the Y told me she’d just finished reading “Bell Mountain,” and loved it–always music to an author’s ears. But she was awful mad at Martis, though! “Well, he is a professional assassin,” I reminded her. She’s pumped to read the next book, “The Cellar Beneath the Cellar,” and I think she’ll come to like Martis better after that.

    4. I felt the same way, but now nothing would be the same without him! 🙂 At one point I even wished that giant bird would get him lol

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