We build our stories of bricks, our characters from the masonry of our lives. We plan them with the care of experience; we connect them with the mortar of our emotions, our judgment, our better sense.

And sometimes the wall comes out cockeyed.

If you’re like me, you write tight. When the wall is built, it is strong and straight, with barely a space to fit a sheet of paper in the cracks. One does not deconstruct a wall once it is built. One does not pull a cemented brick from the bottom and throw it somewhere near the top. Sometimes, one has to.

This moving wall of plot, character, pace and reason is not a solid thing. It is strangely fluid, its bricks made of mist and air. Which gives us endless chances to reconfigure, to tighten, to make stronger and more graceful. The blessing and the curse of the wall.

I am nearly at the finish of this particular wall; the place atop which I should be able to stand and look back at the accomplishment that brought me this far, and look ahead to the next. Not so fast, Good Mason Me.

A new plot point. A small lightning bolt. A brick with veins of gold running through it. A better wall with it than without it. But not necessarily with the brick where it is.

So. Where does the brick go—at the bottom of the wall or near the top? How does one pry out the brick it will replace? What other bricks will need to be moved to accommodate it?

So far so good. I am asked to add, to richen, not to take apart. The wall will not fall with the changing…although I’ve been concerned that it might crumble under its own weight. The gold-gifted brick will fit quick well at the bottom of the wall or at the top. Now all that’s needed is the perspective and self-trust to stand back and decide which of those places is the better one.

 

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