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Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Spotlight: Ruth J. Hartman

Rocks, Pebbles and Sand

Some of you may have heard of this, but there’s an illustration that was used recently at our church for a children’s moment. The woman talking to the kids held up a large, plastic, empty jar. She asked the kids what would happen if she tried to put a container of rocks, another of pebbles, and a third of sand, in the jar.

She put all the sand in first, covering the bottom. Next she poured in the pebbles, making a second layer. Third, she started layering the rocks on top of that. Know what happened? It wouldn’t all fit. She took out the rocks, scooped out the pebbles, and poured out the sand, all back into their original containers.

But when she put the large rocks in first, then poured in the pebbles, the pebbles filtered down in between the spaces of the larger rocks. The sand was then poured in. It filled in around the rock and the pebbles.

Sometimes we have all the tools for writing books, yet we feel unorganized and at loose ends. Maybe it’s just a matter of looking at things from a different perspective. There are times when I’m writing a scene and it’s not flowing the way I’d like. But I’m right in the middle of my story, so what do I do? I can’t just stop writing that scene and go to something else, can I? Well, why not? I’ve found my creativity sometimes gets a jumpstart if I back away from something that’s not working at the moment. I can start on a different scene in a new blank document. I format the page with the same font, paragraph spacing, etc., so that when I cut and paste, I can set it right in the original document.

Something not working with your story? Rearrange your rocks, pebbles and sand.

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