Putting all the Pieces Together to Write a Novel

I love puzzles – especially jigsaw puzzles.  I just finished this beautiful, 1000-piece puzzle of Yosemite (shown above) with the help of my husband.  I find it relaxing and fun, and it takes my mind off of the current novel I’m working on even for a short period of time.  I really find it helpful to recharge my brain before I dive back into my storyline.  

I approach writing a novel like preparing to put together a jigsaw puzzle. How? You must have some type of plan on how you’re going to finish the project, but some people might just dive right in and begin to fit pieces together.  Whatever approach works for you, fine tune it, and make it your plan of attack for every novel you write. 

  • Make an overall plan of attack
  • Sort all of your tasks in smaller categories of easy, obtainable goals
  • Work through your tasks every day until an overall picture is revealed

Since I love to research, I found some interesting things about jigsaw puzzles.  Did you know that one of the definitions of “jigsaw” means to arrange or place in an intricate or interlocking way? 

Puzzles and mysteries seem to go hand in hand.  It is the act of pondering over a problem in order to solve or understand it.

Many times I’ve heard “real life” police detectives say that they really enjoy a puzzle.  That’s why detectives have been referred to as “jigsaws”, since they definitely put the pieces of a mystery together in order to solve the crime. 

I found some really interesting facts about jigsaw puzzles that I never knew before and now they intrigue me even more. 

  • John Spilsbury, a teacher in England, created the first jigsaw puzzle in the year 1767 as a way of teaching geography.
  • Research shows that there are many healthy and uplifting benefits to working puzzles.
  • These mind-flexing activities of puzzle solving can actually lead to a longer life and a better quality of life.
  • It can reduce chances of developing certain types of mental illnesses: such as memory loss and dementia.
  • Working jigsaw puzzles actually simultaneously uses both sides of the brain.  The left brain hemisphere (analytical side) sees all of the separate pieces and attempts to sort them out logically.  The right brain hemisphere (creative side) sees the “big picture” and works intuitively.  Both types of thinking helps to successfully piece together the puzzle.
  • Completing a jigsaw puzzle helps to encourage the production of dopamine (the brain chemical that increases learning and memory).
  • It has been suggested that children improve their writing and reading skills when working different types of puzzles.  

From my studies of criminal psychology and serial crime, it makes me wonder if psychopaths are good a working jigsaw puzzles? 

Do they possess the balance of both brain hemispheres to solve a problem or commit certain types of crimes?

 * * *

Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
This entry was posted in Criminology, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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