Broken

Courtesy Google Images

Courtesy Google Images

I am a collector of broken things. Usually I’m the one who did the breaking – butterfingers is a kind term for what happens when breakable objects come within reach of my hands. And broken things linger; I have a spot for them – a home – to wait until I get around to applying the glue that will make them whole again. It can take years before that happens, however. Once broken, it takes me a long time to find edges that match and patterns that connect. The piece waits to tell its story.

This is the story of a book I broke.

I didn’t know I was doing it at the time. In fact, I thought I was fixing it. I thought that the character that had been handed to me would make the book. I thought he would save it.

I wasn’t fond of him, that Druid interloper, but as his story spun itself out in my head, I knew he belonged. It was his story, just as much as it was mine – just as much as it was the story of the characters that populated it long before he made his appearance.

So I broke it – even as I kept writing the second and then the third book in the series, I was working with a mutilated thing, a limping shadow. It had so much potential, but I couldn’t find it. He felt out of place, as though he hadn’t had time to come to love the other characters as I did. And they – well, they resented him almost as much as I did. His edges and patterns did not match. I was afraid they never would.

I relegated it to a dusty corner of my mind, to wait with all the other broken things, until I could see it fully. It took a decade.

When the Druid stepped out of that corner, fully himself, I realized the book could be whole again. I sat down right away and started typing. I called it a revision at first, but it became obvious, as I wrote in my 500-word-a-day chunks, that it was more than that. I was putting the story back together, the way it was supposed to be told.

The edges – where the Druid started and the story he adopted ended – were mended. The patterns – the weave of his life as it affected the clan who made him – burned brightly. Instead of a jumble of pieces, it became a tapestry. Each thread was lovely but the tale they told left me breathless. Good or not – quality fiction or not – that it gave itself to me, and waited for me to fix it, means a great deal to me.

The story that was broken is now whole – and I love it. I even admire, just a little, the Druid who trusted me enough to wait until I was ready. Thanks, D.

This was for Prompts for the Promptless at Queen Creative: Kintsukuroi is a Japanese noun meaning “to repair with gold”; the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.

Check out these other “Broken” prompts:

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12 thoughts on “Broken

  1. This is very moving and speaks to the value of trusting your instincts, even if it takes a long time to see the value of them. I’m so glad you reached this point with your writing 🙂

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  2. Glad you had the patience to wait and then weave that golden thread. Love how you used the prompt and it speaks out to all us writers out there that hope, dignity and patience are worth it when something is broken. Nice write.

    Like

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