“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
This sentence, supposedly said by Abraham Lincoln, got me thinking since I started writing my novel.
There is something I noticed in the past couple of months, something I guess I’ve always been aware of but that now is becoming quite clear. I tend to write too much about a story I know too little.
Bear with me, this is not necessarily bad. The way I see it, it can be useful. It can be even necessary. I kind of think to this whole process as a useful waste of words.
If you followed me up to this moment and read my previous post you know I wrote quite steadily since the beginning of this new project. Almost every day I wrote an average of 1000 words per day.
Most of them will never see the light of the day.
So how was it useful, this useful waste of words?
It was useful because it helped me in the process of world-building. I now know more about what this story is about than when I started writing it.
I learned the importance that the concept of ‘time’ will have in the plot, I figured out a way to savage past ideas to create a bigger, better one and I discovered how a man sitting on a bench might be the single most important image to convey a message I had no idea I wanted to share.
I now start to see these past two months for what they’ve always been: a preparation period, a moment of gathering ideas. The sharpening of an axe.
I now only need to use it to chop down the tree.