Fiction Writing is a Jugsaw Puzzle

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.

About Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle is a professional freelance editor, writing instructor and multi-award winning author of 21 books—6 nonfiction on writing (Write It Right), 6 suspense novels and 7 collections of award-winning short stories. She also has stories in both volumes of "Deadlines", the new anthology from the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Tales from a Rocky Coast, and the SLO NightWriter anthology. Under the pen name Susan Grace O'Neill, she is the author of the Journey With Jesus series: Lord, Let Me Grow (Parables) vol. 1, and Lord, Let Me Walk (Lent). She is currently working on volume #2 of her Skylark P.I. series (a PI with paranormal abilities), as well as 2 YA fantasy series. And she teaches fiction writing in both the morning and afternoon every Wednesday. Email her if you're interested in joining her class. And follow her on Twitter and FaceBook.