Friday, February 25, 2011

Refinishing the Furniture

Recently a friend of mine bought an old beat up make-up table and bench. It was dark wood, stained, chipped, neglected. It was a "piece of junk". Still, she took it home, stripped it, sanded it and refinished it. She gave it new life. I saw the picture of it the other day and it is beautiful. Nothing like the old piece of junk that she took home.

Writing is sort of like this. There are only so many plots in the world. They have all been done. Numerous times. They are "old junk". It's up to the writer to take that old junk and turn it into something beautiful.

There is a lot of work involved - just as in refinishing the furniture. It can't be rushed. Each little nook and crannie has to be attended to. The words have to be stripped, the idea sanded down, the plot refinished. It has to become something else, something different, something unique. After all, no one tells the story the way you tell the story, right?

Ever have one of those parties where you whisper something into the ear of the person sitting next to you, and they whisper it to the next person and so on? It usually comes out quite different than what it started out as. Writing is like this, too.

We hear a whisper of a plot. We tumble it about in our heads, whispering it to ourselves. It changes, becomes something new. Something different. And a new story is born.


  1. Jenna, What a great post. And you're absolutely right about the number of plots and re-finishing them. We do that all the time.

  2. Thanks, Janet. I'm trying to "refinish" a few plots at this very moment.

  3. Great analogy. I never thought about it that way, but it's true. So polish away and have beautiful results.