A Writing Lesson from Spring

I took a walk yesterday while I was wrestling with a revised ending for the script I’m writing. I took the walk more for inspiration than for exercise, and like I am every year, I was stunned by the beauty God brings forth every spring.

The trees are especially beautiful for me at this point–they are already beautiful with their buds and lime-ish new green, bursting with potential for greater beauty, and yet the structure of their branches still shows through. I think I am one of those people who appreciate the beauty not just of color and shape, but also underlying architecture, or structure. (This photo doesn’t fully capture the beauty, but it gives an idea.)

And it brought home to me once again how important is the structure of the narrative I’m working on. When I write a narrative form, I tend to focus on the characters. Yet, the structure of a story is important–not just to the overall story, but specifically to the characters’ development. When I rush rewriting an ending (as I’ve been trying to do–but the “rush” part has definitely failed), I need to go back and look at the overall structure. Because I can keep rewriting and rewriting, but if it’s not carefully thought out, I won’t be resolving the problems of my earlier draft, and I could even be creating new ones.

I’m good at creating leaf cover in my stories–developing extra plot lines and character moments–so that the underlying structural weaknesses won’t be noticed. My spring walk yesterday (and hopefully today, if the showers hold off) can be a good reminder of the importance of going deep into the “trunk” of my story.

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