Learning from puzzles

0415131039I love analogies. Looking at a situation or idea another way helps to understand it better. Sometimes that helps to explain it better too. However, I’m not always crack shot at coming up with a good analogy, so I’ll practice here a bit. And because I’ve learned volumes just by watching my kids…

Last Christmas, my mom got my boys an awesome puzzle game made of blocks. Each side of the blocks makes a new puzzle, so there are six puzzles all together. William, who is four, can put them together himself, but Charlie, who is three needs help.

Charlie and I can sit for 30 minutes together going through each puzzle image. But he likes to take it a step further. After we put it together, I take the puzzle row by row and turn the blocks into a train wall, or firetruck wall, or whatever vehicle we’ve put together. Then, of course, he loves to knock it down.

This is kind of the same way I’ve been learning how to approach my WIP. When I got stuck in 1715 Kells, Ireland, I had to figure out a way to describe what happened there. It’s one thing to know the puzzle pieces of the history (which I struggled to find), and describe what it looked like in that time period. But I needed to take it a step further and show what it could have been like. So, I threw in a couple of violent English soldiers and…well, you’ll have to wait till I’m done.

It’s fun for Charlie to see the motorcycle in the puzzle, but to make it really engaging, he takes that extra step with knocking down the wall. I find history to be fun, but I hope I’ve built a proper “wall” to make my scene in Kells really engaging for my reader.

I know where I want my characters to end up. It’s getting them there and making the journey exciting, that’s the puzzle. But, I love puzzles too. 😀

Do you love puzzles and analogies? What are some of your favorites?


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