Writing fiction is like doing a jigsaw puzzle. You fit the outside pieces first, so you have a framework to fill in (your story premise and theme), then you start placing pieces in to build the picture (scenes, characters, events).
The picture emerges slowly, not as a whole, but with intriguing colors here and captivating shapes there (the backstory and the characters’ relationships, actions and emotions). That’s what keeps you wondering what the whole picture will be when it’s finished, keeps you working on choosing the right pieces and finding where they go in the framework. A little at a time: that’s what creates the tension that keeps readers reading.
Not all at once, but bit by bit, piece by piece, until at last the picture, the story, is complete. Choose just the right details of the backstory that will move the action forward as you develop relationships and emotions and write the action. Then your story will come together like a fascinating jigsaw puzzle that readers won’t be able to put down until they, too, see the full picture.
Nice analogy. I like the thought of creating a framework and then filling in the pieces. For me it’s more like a vaugue but compelling sense of something important I want to convey, then piece by piece as I write it becomes more clear, till finally everything is filled in and feels complete and whole. Except for those pesky times one piece goes missing and I just can’t figure out what it is or where it goes!
Deborah, I think I have a whole boxful of those pesky little pieces that go missing! LOL So frustrating to have only one piece and no framework or other pieces into which to fit it. Just as frustrating as an almost-complete picture lacking one vital piece. Glad the analogy made sense to you, too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts…