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Three Ways Why Remodeling is Like Writing a Novel
Teri Brown - Young Adult Author

Three Ways Why Remodeling is Like Writing a Novel

As my tweets and facebook status’ will attest, my life has been insane the past week. I took the week off of writing to start the process of remodeling the tiniest great room in America, i.e. my living room kitchen and dining room/office. I don’t know how many square feet this conjoined space is, but it is Lilliputian small, which is fine, the kids are on their way out the door and then my husband and I will have three bedrooms all to ourselves. Basically, it’s the starter home we never left and now we don’t have to get rid of half our belongings and downsize when we get old, so neener, neener, neener.

(Ahem)

Having never remodeled before I was unaware of the amount of chaos it engenders. I’ve learned it’s a lot like writing a novel and here are three reasons  why:

  • I’m sure some people collaborate just fine during the rough draft of the novel/remodel but not me. I generally prefer to have input from an editor,(or my husband) after I’ve made all the major decisions.
  • In remodeling, things have to be done in a certain order. I need the floor installed before the appliances are, the appliances have to be in before the countertops can be measured for the granite and I have to paint my cabinets before the granite is installed, etc. When I write a novel I have to have the concept firmly in place before I develop the characters, the characters before the major plot points and the major plot points before the black moment. Everything builds on the thing or event that comes before.
  • Remodeling and writing a novel is HARD. You have to slog your way through. Yes, there are high points like picking the appliances or the colors, but most of it is banging your finger with a hammer, spilling paint on the floor or fighting with your husband. Writing a novel mostly consists of pulling words out of your brain with pliers, murdering that lovely scene that’s not working and arguing with your characters.

I have to return to writing and career on Monday even though we’re still at the beginning stages of the remodel. Someone has to pay for it. (Who knew that curtains were so expensive?)

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