The Repair Shop for Writers

the repair shop show logo

Are you watching The Repair Shop? It’s a soothing, satisfying show on Netflix that features repairs of cherished family heirlooms. I love this show. It’s not without its problems, specifically that almost every single family bringing a valuable item is white. There are too many families that had their connections to their family history torn away and destroyed by slavery and colonialism.

But the show is not without it’s useful lessons. One important one came from repairing a lamp. Steve had to rewire a lamp that had a convoluted, complicated ¬†shape. How did he pull the wire from the lady’s foot to the torch she held aloft?

He went down to go up.

(Just like Lightning McQueen had to go left to go right.)

Steve dropped a weighed string DOWN the lamp first so he could tie it to the wire and pull the wire UP second.

He went backwards to go forward.

How can that help you as a writer? Where do you need to go backwards in order to move the story forward? Do you need to know more about your character’s backstory? More about the history of the town? Do you need to do better world-building outside the story so you know about politics or economy?