A finished novel is like a full-grown tree in your back yard. As readers walk past, they see—and hopefully appreciate—the solid trunk, a kaleidoscope of branches, and the succulent green leaves shimmering in the sunlight and glowing in the moonlight. But what a casual reader doesn’t see is the complexity of what’s below it, the tangle of roots they never know is there. Some Australian eucalyptus tree roots reach down 180 feet—almost as far as the height of the tree—and your novel/tree is no different.
So, what are those roots beneath a finished novel? What are those extensions down there in the darkness that curl around rocks, anchoring the tree as they search for water and nutrients? Continue reading