An Explosion of Metaphors
When I first got back into knitting (August 2003) I was struck by the parallels between looping yarn over needles and writing. It got to the point where I had to close my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears, and start humming really loud to keep them at bay.
And then it stopped. Knitting was knitting. Writing was writing. Two separate activities with absolutely nothing in common but me. One was wordless. One was (God help me) sometimes a little too wordy. Both had the qualities of an addiction. Unfortunately only one could pay the mortgage. (Unless you count the two-scarf contract from Penguin that Goldisox likes to tease me about.)
Just when I thought I was over the worst of it and the metaphor monster had been put to rest along with the Ab Fabs and the multi-directional scarves and novelty yarns, it came swooping back in at me thanks to Susan Wiggs and the terrific workshop she's holding this week over at the Romance Divas Forum. Susan is talking about Plotting From the Inside Out (a technique I definitely hold close to my heart) and she asked a fascinating question. What type of writer are you? A quilter? A sculptor? A knitter?
You guessed it: I'm a knitter through and through. I work line by line, row by row, and have to frog the whole damned thing each and every time I find a mistake. I long to be a rough draft kind of writer, someone who powers through the story from start to finish in an explosion of heat and enthusiasm and then, when the passion cools, goes back and layers in detail, dialogue, changes in direction. But I'm not. I can't move forward without taking at least two or three steps backward. How can you know where you're going if you're not sure where you've been? I have to know where I've been, know it in great and excruciating detail, before I can take that leap of faith into the next page, the next chapter.
Kind of like where I am right now with the never-ending What Am I Going To Do With This Gorgeous Noro Silk Garden series of scarf attempts. That's Take #3 (WAVY from Knitty) up there. It's longer now.
Fortunately, so is the book in progress.