Imagine comparing different trades to the world of writing. I, myself, was a carpenter beginning in my late teens, building houses and then moving to commercial construction. From there, I became a superintendent building everything from small businesses to office complexes. Never having considered this before, I can now see the similarities between constructing a building and a novel. First, a plan or a plot is necessary to begin both. Secondly, a carefully thought out process of constructing a solid foundation whether brick or paper is mandatory. This is true throughout the entire building progression until complete.
Of course, there are extenuating circumstances in both endeavors. Construction is wrought with change orders, as writing is wrought with changes of a different nature.
Working on government jobs, strict standards, including safety, must be adhered to. I was an easy person to work under until procedures I was responsible for were ignored. Depending on the day, after an offender had been warned previously, my demeanor was unpredictable. It could surface anywhere between a stern alert to threatening to remove the person from not only my job, but the face of the earth if they couldn’t follow my request. (All done in a sweet, calm, soothing voice, of course.)
In the construction of a novel, more liberties can be taken throughout its building process. For instance, a carefully constructed building maybe smashed to smithereens by a two hundred foot tall, furry, scaly, fanged creature with bad breath and heartburn. These two symptoms (brought on by an overabundance of ingested human body parts) caused such a nasty rampage.
Remember, my yelling at an uncooperative employee? This might have just as well ended in a similar fashion as the people munching creature (even though cannibalism is not a regular part of my diet.)
How about a writer verses a flight attendant? (Even though this is not actually a trade, it bears mentioning.) Flight attendants take a lot of flak from unhappy travelers-everything from terrorists to screaming babies and intoxicated knot heads. Either the coffee is too hot or the water isn’t cold. So and so won’t come out of the bathroom and such and such reclined their seat too far. I don’t like chicken. Why isn’t there a movie on this flight? I don’t have a magazine. BoBo can climb on the wing, why can’t I? It goes on and on and on and on. I’m surprised when the phrase “going postal” was coined it wasn’t instead “going attendant.”
This, again, is a suitable comparison to the writing world. Authors take a lot of flak when they’re not handing it out in their writing. I’ve been transported to the mountain top with a stellar review, only to be shredded into small strips of hamburger by another reviewer.
Within my novels I’m constantly looking for different creatures to create and at the same time unique ways to destroy my creations.
So you see writing does pair up with other trades and occupations. Now that I’ve written this I feel as though I’ve done a great service for the working community. Exactly what this service may be I have yet to establish, but it must be pretty important because I wrote it.
Hopefully by next week I’ll have it all figured out. If not, it’ll be another one for the ages.