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  • Writer's pictureRussell F. Hirsch

Magic Magnets

Writing a book is like building a puzzle made out of magnets.

My last post, about how a character’s wishes can kick-start a story, made me think about similar moments in the actual process of writing. Occasionally, there are those ‘flashes of inspiration,’ those ideas that ‘just fit.’ It often takes a lot of experimentation, rearranging, and reworking to find them though!

Any writer who has jotted the main events of their plot down on index cards or post-its and started reordering them probably knows how much writing can feel like a jigsaw!


Index cards invade my carpet for plot purposes.

But why do I say it’s like doing a puzzle made from magnets? Well, I find you can try and force story elements together—whether they are characters, scenes, goals, etc.— but sometimes they just won’t do it. They repel! Then every so often, you make one change and everything else in the story seems to click into place all at once, like you’ve moved some magic magnet right to the sweet spot where story needs it to be.

These are the great moments where a story starts to write itself, or as Christopher Vogler would say in the last post, it is where the story comes alive—even while it is still being produced!

Thanks to for the super high-res pic of Magneto!


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