Posted by: Trudie Trewin | December 9, 2009

I didn’t know that I didn’t know…

Wibbly Wobbly Street goes to the printers this week – yay! And while I have to wait until about April to see a copy, at least I have a print-out of the final proofs to show people. (The illustrator, Cheryl Orsini – rocks! Love what she’s done to my words.)

Some friends were admiring the proofs yesterday (well they wouldn’t dare not admire them in my presence, would they?) and asked some questions about ideas, and development of plots etc. For some ‘unknown’ reason, a famous speech popped into my mind, and it seemed to explain the process of starting a story rather well….

Firstly, there are known knowns. These are the things I know I know. (For Wibbly Wobbly Street, the only known known was the title.)

There are also known unknowns. That is to say I know there are some things I know I don’t know. (For Wibbly Wobbly Street,  the known unknowns were the characters and the plot. I knew I had to have them, just didn’t know who and what at that stage.)

And then there are the unknown unknowns. These are the things that I don’t know I don’t know. The best way I can describe them is to say they are the suprises. Something totally unconceived at the beginning stages that somehow writes itself into the story. (For Wibbly Wobbly Street, the unknown unknowns were wibble-ectomy and wobble-otomy. Especially wobble-otomy… I just love how that wobbles around the tongue)

And I’ve just thought of one more, one that didn’t make it into Mr Rumsfeld’s speech… the unknown knowns. This would be the instinctive stuff, the stuff that make a writer’s voice unique.

So there you go, that’s all I know about knowns. Simple really.


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