Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Clean Up

It was a glorious day here in the Midwest yesterday. Sun shining, birds chirping, perfect temperatures.

I spent most of the day outside cleaning up the yard. It's one of my favoite times of year, when we clear away the last traces of Winter's debris to find new growth ready to burst forth. It's always a pleasure to see the possibility of beauty beneath the layers of yuck from the previous year.

Editing a manuscript is a lot like that, too. Words get layered on as I write, and later I need to go back and dig down through all of that to expose the beauty of the story underneath. It's a time to clear away passive voice, intruders, and all those pesky "ly" words.

Trouble is, I've been doing a little too much clearing away and not enough layering these days. Instead of moving forward with my WIP, I keep going back and editing the part I've already written.

Don't get me wrong, the weeding part needs to be done. But unlike my yard, I don't think my story's quite ready for it yet. There's still so much more to tell, but I'm having some trouble getting it told. I guess doing the polishing is keeping me in touch with the characters and plot, but I'd really like to be getting more words down on the page instead of changing what I already have. There will be a time for that later.

After all, as Ecclesiastes tells us: To everything there is a season and time to every purpose under heaven. I just need to take one season at a time.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!




Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I like to write the whole book first, then do the cleanup and sometimes additions.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I do both - edit as I go and write it all first and then edit. Either works for me.
And my husband cleaned the garage yesterday - a sure sign of spring!

Debra St. John said...

Marilyn - That's what I usually try for, but this time around it doesn't seem to be working!

Diane - How fabulous to have the garage cleaned out!

Morgan Mandel said...

I wish my husband would clean out our garage!

I'm doing too much book weeding also. I've got to move along.

Morgan Mandel

Terry Odell said...

I prefer to leave the weeding to the end, although when you're stuck, working on the WIP for any reason is better than not working at all.