Earring Tales: Hawkfeather

There are a lot of ways writing and beading are oddly alike.


I picked up the Dorado crystals in the drops because, well, shiny. And then I couldn’t figure out what to do with them. Considered a lot of combinations, but none of them quite seemed to click.

In writing? I tend to read voraciously, in a bunch of different subjects, just because “Oh, there’s a newly synthesized brilliant blue? And a species of ants that swims in pitcher plants to eat the insects caught there? Huh, interesting.” I almost never quite know what I’m going to do with the shiny facts at the time I pick them up. They’re just poked away in odd corners of my memory banks. Until and unless one of two things happens. 1) Enough particularly shiny facts swirl together into a mix of “what happens if all of these are in the same place?”

Or, 2) someone I trade comments/emails/ficbits with says, “Huh. Did you think about X?”

In the case of this set of earrings, that’s what I finally did – send a pic to Kryal of the crystals and asked for suggestions. Suggestions were browns and russets. Which worked beautifully.

Which brings me to the second way earrings are like writing. Irregularities.

If you look at the paler brown beads in the earring, you may note they look a bit more bumpy and uneven than some of the others. That’s because they really, really are. I picked up a hank of this pale translucent brown in a flea market many years ago. I find them oddly pretty, especially in combination with other colors, but their uneven shape and slightly smaller holes means I need to pay attention to what part of the earring I put them in. Some places in the earring need multiple thread passes, meaning I have to either design the whole earring so irregular beads don’t wind up there, or I have to carefully pick out the most regular bead of that color I can find for that specific location.

Main characters are like irregular beads.

Seriously. They wouldn’t be main characters if they didn’t stand out, would they? Which means they don’t quite fit as neatly into regular society. Their tolerances for Things Which Are Wrong are narrower than average; after all, that’s what makes them heroes. There are things they simply will not put up with.

Or as Sam Spade put it, “Mess with a man’s partner, he’s s’posed to do something about it.”

So when I’m writing a main character, I know they’re different. That they stand out. But society doesn’t like people who stand out; they want someone to fit very defined places. Meaning it’s likely whatever an MC does, whoever they are… it’s best to pick their “location” (heritage, profession, family) very, very carefully.

And get ready to work with some tricky sewing. 😉

6 thoughts on “Earring Tales: Hawkfeather

  1. I like that analogy. I may have to borrow it to explain to folks that, no, really, *novel writing is hard work.* Also, this explains why my only attempt at writing my own book got sidetracked into the world building. Lovely world, have a basic idea that amounts to “wouldn’t that be cool,” and certain characters that need to happen to get plot moving, and a basic structure of two. After that…

    I love those earrings by the way, they are just gorgeous


    1. Thank you! And definitely, borrow it to explain.

      I find NaNoWriMo is a great idea specifically because it doesn’t give you time to think. You need to crank out those 1,667 words/day, every day, get them down onto paper/computer screen/dragon-hide parchment any way you can. Then at the end of the month you have 50+K words of… well, something. And you can go back with the worldbuilding them to fix things, after you’ve got your (very) rough plot already written.

      I recommend “No Plot No Problem”. It’s a fun book… and just a little over 50K words itself.

      I also recc “Wired for Story”. That book digs into all the “why does the brain like X and not Y in a story?” And is also an engaging read. 🙂


      1. Wired for Story is great. I really have to get around to finishing it one of these days….



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