“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow…?”
We’ve had a lot of rain of late. To give you an idea of how much, my county gets an average of 43 inches of rain a year. How much rain has my county gotten just in the month of June? 23 inches. Twenty-three! Holy cow, no wonder I can’t keep up with the weeds in my garden!
I do have a very nice and lush group of weeds though. Very pretty, and some even flower—except they are destroying the theme I’ve designed for each garden.
I got to thinking, while I was weeding, that it reminds me of editing. I know, I’ll admit I’m strange and my mind even stranger in it’s leaps and bounds.
There are times the writing mood, zone, or whatever you want to call it, hits me like rain on dry ground. There’s thunder and lightning in my head and the ideas and story comes in like a downpour. At those times I can produce several thousand words in one sitting and a few hours.
The words are good. Just like many *weeds* are good. But some of them hinder rather than enhance the theme of the story. When that happens, you have to weed out the unnecessary words. The difference between weeding my garden and my manuscript is most of the weeds I throw away. Not so with my word weeds. Those are stored in a file because you never know when they might need to be *replanted* or used in another area.
I have good tools to help me with weeding the garden. I also have tools to help me with weeding my manuscript. Dictionaries, because the computer doesn’t always recognize certain words, much less if they’re spelled correctly. I also have a manuscript analyzer, which helps with things like repetitive words and phrases. I also have one which I need to locate on my database again that will tell me if my manuscript is too *feminine* in the use of words. In other words it can suggest whether a man or a woman wrote it based on word usage.
I have two signs hanging in my office. One says, “Write What You Feel” speaking of emotion, the other says, “Keep the details to the Now of the story” to remind me about backstory.
- So how does your *garden* grow?
- What tools do you use in weeding your manuscript?