Finishing a novel—or a sweater

I’ve written a couple of times before about the parallels between writing a novel and knitting a sweater. Sleeves, like scenes, sometimes need to be undone and redone before they turn out correctly. Plotlines, like yarn ends, need to be untangled and woven together.

The sweater, at last, is finished. The book, not so much.

Photo by Kristen Stieffel

Photo by Kristen Stieffel

But I’m getting close. Those last few pieces have started to fit into place. Characters I thought would go one way went another, for the good. I mean for the good of the story, not necessarily the good of the characters. 😉

At one point, as I was going through the “what bad things could happen to the heroine” exercise, one of the things that came up on my list was for her hero to be called back home, leaving her to face the travails of the plot without him.

I ran the idea past Will, and he said, “Oh, that would be bad. You should do it.”

Which is kind of like ripping out that sleeve again. A large number of scenes need to be edited because he is no longer around to be in them. But it really is for the best. He really didn’t have a crucial role in this story.

So now I just have a few more connecting pieces to finish, and then I can start editing. That’s like when you turn the sweater inside out and weave in all the loose ends of yarn so the joins don’t show. Smoothing things out so it looks as if it always looked that way.


About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

2 comments on “Finishing a novel—or a sweater

  1. Great comparison! Hopefully, my novel has turned out better than the one sweater I knitted did. 🙂

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