A woodcarver looks at a piece of wood, sees an animal within it waiting to escape, and begins to cut away what doesn't belong. Same with a sculptor when he chisels a block of marble and frees an angel or a nymph or a David.
Me? I'm a word sculptor, a carver so to speak, except I feel like I'm using a water hose and washing away the muck from a swamp monster that is rising from the depths of Pilot Mountain. The swamp, though, is in my mind and in the thousands upon thousands of words I've collected from the interviews I've done these past few months. The monster is slowly fading and in its place I can see the beginnings of a form. Finally I have an outline and along with it, defined chapters where I can send information.
The problem is when I eliminate the muck and get to the core of one story, then this swamp monster emerges again as if it dipped itself deeper just to come back even stronger. With each new interview I find my self once again chiseling away to free a story. I've heard the term "organic" batted around at writers' conferences. I know organic now. I'm with it in the swamps of these interviews. And I love it.