Sunday, May 2, 2010

Garden Metaphors

Yesterday we spent a good amount of the day working outside and cleaning things up outdoors: weeding the garden, opening the pond, "summer-fying" the front porch, etc. While my hands were busy with these chores, my mind was busy as well. Each of these tasks brought to mind a counter part, if you will, in a manuscript.

Weeding: Well, that one is probably obvious. Spring shoots are popping up all over the place, getting taller and fuller by the minute. However, those pesky weeds tend to pop up as well, ruining the asthetic quality of the "good" plants. They detract from the planned beauty. In a manuscipt it's important to weed out as well. For me weeds include things such as cliches, 'ly' words, passive voice, and the word 'then' to name a few. Once these are weeded out, the story can shine through.

The pond: This year my hubby found a dead rat in there. Definitely gross. (How glad was I that I was tackling the weeding?!) Manuscripts sometimes can have dead rats in them as well. In a mystery, perhaps it's an actual dead body. The writer and the hero/heroine need to decide what to do about that particular situation. Or perhaps it's simply a sub-plot that's not going anywhere anymore and needs to be fished out and discarded. Once this lifeless intruder is dealt with, the story flows much better.

The front porch: With the warmer weather it was finally time to move some plants outdoors. (These had wintered inside safe from the cold.) I also purchased some hanging pots and flats of impatiens as a finishing touch. A manuscript needs finishing touches as well. Even when it's all said and done, there's always the opportunity to go back and make it even better. Check those descriptions. Add those sensory details. Make it real. Make your manuscript come alive and make it a place people want to hang out.

So, what do you think? Do you find a connection to writing in everything you do?

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



Terry Odell said...

I think writers always see those connections. That's the way our minds work.

Debra St. John said...

Hi Terry, Very true...hope everything is going well with the new house!

Morgan Mandel said...

No dead bat in the toilet this year at our first trip to the summer cottage, although it has happened before. I wonder what that signifies!

Morgan Mandel