Why writing a novel is like building an addition…

Both of these things are taking up much of my time and attention right now.   We are currently putting a major addition on our Victorian home and I am also in the last-last stages of revisions before sending out queries on my YA novel FLASH.

Both are wholly consuming in mind-trapping ways and cause you to focus on them to the exclusion of other less important things… like, say, laundry or remembering to buy pet food (sorry Biscotti and Bruschi!).. 

In each of these instances, you’ve built ideas in your mind – whole new worlds and rooms.  I’ve got big plans for our new master suite and bigger plans for FLASH.  It’s the process of getting the ideas out of my mind and into reality that’s trickier. 

The hardest part is trying to decide where to start.  In the addition, we’re not doing any actual construction, but there are so many decisions we need to make.  Colors, flooring, fixtures, set up, windows… And with FLASH, where to start writing?  Do I have to write the book in order?  Would Tessa really say that?  What’s the hero’s motivation?  Colors and conflicts are the things that keep me up at night.

In some ways, it’s easier to transfer my ideas to reality with the novel.  I can take the world I’ve built in my head and record it on paper – often the hardest part is keeping my fingers moving as fast as my brain.

It’s harder with the addition.  I’ve spent 10 hours this weekend trying to find the tile that I can see so clearly in my mind, but that doesn’t apparently exist in any actual tile store.  Bringing my mental image of our bathroom-to-be to life is constrained by available materials – sigh!

Maybe I’ll give my heroine my dream bathroom so that it will still exist somewhere – even if it’s not in my house.

Wish me luck and patience in both of these endeavors.