Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Home construction and writing?

We've been working on finishing our basement for a while now. It has taken longer than I thought it would, but is actually coming along faster than I thought as well.
How is that possible? Well, when we first got started, I had in mind what it should look like at the end. We only have a half basement, filling the underneath level between our kitchen and front room, since we have a sunk in family room that isn't a basement, but isn't on the main level either.

SO I knew we'd only have two rooms, a bathroom, and a storage room with a small utility room there as well. My image of it and my husbands image were similar, but until we actually got to the framing, and building, of it, it was just an idea.

After the frame took shape, then we could tweak the little things, like the wall texture, the paint, the lighting, the flooring, the molding, the fixtures, the cabinets, and such in the bathrooms, as long as they fit within the frame of our rooms. (sometimes it took a little force and some shoving, but we made things fit when we really wanted them in there.) In the bathroom, I picked a color I loved, but the honey didn't like it as much, so we tweaked it a little by splotching it with some white paint and a loofah sponge. Easy fix, and I could see the change made a big improvement.
It came together little bits at a time, with a lot of hard work and effort going into it. We (and I mostly mean he) worked on this and did most of the work by our(him) selves, but on things we knew we needed help on, we went to a professional, or one who knew exactly what to do and how to do it.

Don't ask me why, (I'm a writer, I couldn't help applying what I learned to writing a book) but I started to think how the writing of my story followed a similar pattern. I have a basic idea of a story. The size is determined by the genre, and the age range I'm writing for. The frame is what I have to work with and relates to my plot. The little things I can tweak are easy to do for a bit, and I have a lot of options, but once I pick them, I need to stay true to them and their abilities, strengths weaknesses, and so forth unless I want to go to a lot of effort to redo them, so the thinking things through before I commit comes in handy.

There are times when I needed the opinion and a fresh view of someone else to tell me how to fix my problem, and make it work. Other times, I pushed and shoved and edited, and changed things until it fit.

Thankfully I never had to completely tear out anything, in either situation, but this thing called writing sure takes longer than I thought it was. Once I had the frame and the walls set up, I thought I was done, but now I'm going through, fixing the dings, making sure the cement holding it together is pretty and smooth, the paint needs to go on evenly, and the accents are being worked on to make it all a beautiful finished product. I'm still working on it, but I sure have come to understand that it takes more than just the framework to make a good story or a beautiful room.

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