The Quirky Ladies is a group of eclectic (and dare I say quirky?) ladies who are passionate about writing romantic fiction. All types of romantic fiction...paranormal, fantasy, historical, erotic and contemporary. Bring it on!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Puzzle People


I am a puzzle person.
(Disclaimer: this does not include Sudoku. Sudoku=numbers, numbers=math, math=hell.)

My favorite are jigsaw puzzles, and Quirky fact I may have mentioned before, my favorite jigsaw puzzles are Thomas Kincaid. No, I do not have pictures of cottages and waterfalls in my house, and I don't plant ivy up trellises, etc. In fact, I don't plant anything. I kill plants. Even my MIL, past president of the local garden club, has given up on me there.

So, back to puzzles. There is something relaxing about sitting down and making pieces fit. Not forcing anything, not having to use a lot of brain power, just the ease of, "It goes there, therefore it always works." Can you think of anything else in life that is that clear? Certainly not writing books, though I am a pantser, puzzler there.

When I first started writing, I wasn't even a linear pantser puzzler. I literally started with a sex scene and/or the black moment and wrote scenes as they came to me. Inevitably, those first scenes never made it into the book because I didn't know the characters well enough at that point to have any real development. It worked, but there were a lot of rewrites. I still edit to death, especially those first three chapters, but I'm no longer working with multitude sticky notes, napkins, notebooks, whatever I could get my hands on when inspiration struck.

I still love that magical moment when it all comes together. It's toward the end of the puzzle, when each piece makes sense. When you can look at it and know where it goes. When you've built sections and you figure out the connection that glues them to the main picture. Whether I'm talking about intricate plot lines or cheesy jigsaw puzzles, that moment exists and it's gratifying. Any puzzler worth their salt knows what I mean.

My puzzle awaits...

10 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

I've loved puzzles since I was a kid. I'm a pantser puzzler.

Kate George/Bodacious Betty said...

Hey there Dalton!

I'm a puzzle person too. And a pantser - although I like the term puzzler better!

My mother used to tell people that when I was three I would take two adult puzzles dump them upside down on the floor and then make the two puzzles. I'd believe that if she'd said I'd take two wooden toddler puzzles! My mother could exaggerate when she felt like it.

I like puzzles. They make me happy. As does finishing a book!

Kathryn Esplin said...

Great post, Dalton~ I admire people who love puzzles~

Dalton Diaz said...

I'm always amazed at how many pantzers and puzzlers there are among writers. I think it would be easier to follow an outline, etc., but it's just not in my nature. Believe me, I've tried!

Penelope said...

My 8 year old daughter has me doing puzzles, something that is not natural for me. But I love that attitude about writing...when all the pieces come together and eureka! It works!

Michelle Picard said...

Only now later in life am I appreciating puzzles. I consider it personal growth. I'm a plotter by nature who is trying to overcome the need to know.

Kat Duncan said...

I love jigsaw puzzles! I'm a plotter/puzzler when it comes to writing. Maybe that's why I always do the edges of jigsaw puzzles first....

Mia Marlowe said...

When my youngest daughter was about 8 she used to dump the puzzle upside down and put it together based solely on the shape of the pieces, not the overall picture. Since my brain doesn't work that way, I was fairly impressed.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Hey, Dalton. I know what you mean about that moment when it all fits together. Even though I'm SO not a puzzler, I'm still amazed when all my loose ends neatly tie up. It's a great feeling.

Like Kat, I put together the borders first...then walk off and let someone else fill it in. LOL. Sounds like our duo writing process.

Dalton Diaz said...

I always start with the end pieces, too. I'll admit, at that point it's a PIA!