THE FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST....

Recently I decided, in a fit of creative madness, to make a quilt for a special someone. Now I've never had proper instructions on how to make a quilt of any description. When my children were younger I made them each one for their beds...dark green and black for my son....my daughter had a pale one with pastel hearts...and I remember a fishy one at some stage.

Back then I was sewing a lot and really just interpreted what I wanted to make.

I don't sew very much any more...at all...so this time round it was a huge learning curve. More along the lines of what could go wrong, what does go wrong, and what I thought would only take a few days turned into almost a month's worth of battling threads and materials.


There was a result..thankfully. And if you don't look too closely, it's kinda okay.

What always intrigues me is that when you do pick some fabrics, cut them into pieces...any size, any shape...then stitch them back together again...is the variety.

In theory there should be a similarity...you are after all using the same fabrics, same colours and tones..but in a different pattern when you put them back again.

And most times the hardest step...(apart from all that stitching together) is that initial cut.

You have lovely fabric, whole, complete, and now you are cutting it into pieces ...with the hope that the final product is worth it.



It is more so with writing. That first cut is so hard to do. These after all are our darlings, our own flesh and blood. We have created these words in this order, in this paragraph or line or page or even chapter.  But cutting deep, removing all that is not wanted, not needed. All that fluff and padding.

Also moving things around. This chapter moved here, this paragraph further down the page. Is this really the beginning of your story? Really?

These are hard things to decide. So many writers I know have a file for all those pieces...those cut threads and scraps of material. Put aside in the computer, safe in a file, hoping to be used one day.

Perhaps they will.

Truthfully- most won't.


It's often interesting to take a piece of work and move things around. Cut and paste...delete....save....add....cut some more.

Play with the flow, with time lines, with dialogue and format.
Are all these characters needed?
Is every even necessary?
Can the story be told in a different order? Does it have to be sequential?

Sometimes the end result is a huge surprise. Besides, if it is a dog's breakfast, it can always go back the way it was.


But why not have a go. Cut something, pull it apart then put it together again to form a different pattern. Different creation.


Vicki

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