Thursday, August 12

Deadheading


I have a favorite flower that grows in my garden. I don't know the name, but the attached picture is from my backyard. I first bought this plant two years ago at our local farmer's market and bought a companion one this year. It reminds me of antique wedding dresses or table cloths. I don't know why, but every time I look at it, I get a wave of nostalgia. Probably a former life thing.


It grows kind of haphazardly, twisting and twining through my daisies and bluebells. It bloomed in mid-june and for the first time, I deadheaded it. Guess what? It's blooming again, now in mid-August.


I'm starting to think of editing as deadheading. Sometimes you have to cut something, but what grows in its place is richer for the trim.


I edit as I write and I write linear. I can't go onto chapter 21 when chapter 18 isn't working. But when I get done, I have a reasonably clean book to start subbing. This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the Willamette Writer's Conference. One of the workshops I dropped in on was Halle Ephron's revision one. I only stayed long enough to know we are in no way compatable in our writing styles.


For me, the editing as I go works. I had to deadhead chapter 18 and 19 because I tried to change my character instead of just letting him be Bix. Once I sat down and rewrote them, the twenties fell into line--starting chapter 27 afterI finish writing this blog. Had I not fixed the problem then, I'd either be stuck or rewriting the twenties as well.


Love to hear your thoughts about deadheading, editing, or just about anything.


Conference update: I got two requests for fulls from agents. So, now I am madly writing to actually finish said book. I discovered Robert Dugoni, legal thriller author. If you ever have a chance to hear him speak, run don't walk. He's an inspiration and not bad on the eyes, either. Bix count:41,250 words. I figure another 100 pages and I'll be close to mailing him off.

6 comments:

  1. I could not agree more about editing as you write. You know I'm a hard core plotter, but despite that, a lot of unplanned for things occur as each chapter unfolds. I can't imagine skipping ahead to another chapter - how would you know how to connect it, or what just happened? Frightening thought! To go with your analogy, when you notice something needs to be deadheaded in the garden, you just do it - you don't wait a week and then go back out to tackle it!

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  2. I agree about editing when you see it....but for me, I also have to set it aside and then go back to it several chapters later...and then it' almost like reading a book you've never seen before and you go AHA! and it starts to pull together...
    but that's just me. =)

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  3. I'm linear, too, and once I change a big thing, I have to go back and do the fixes--I'm so afraid I'll forget!

    Good post, Margie!

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  4. Pretty flowers!
    Is that Foxglove?
    Love it.
    BIG, BIG congrats on the two agents requesting! Woohoo!
    Anyway, I like to edit as I write. I do that when I open the ms, go back over it before I start the new chapters.

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  5. Looks like we're all on the same editing page. Those people who say writing is rewriting totally mystify me. When Halle Ephron said she puts her book aside for weeks I was outta there.I knew our styles were incompatable.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    And D'Ann, no, it's not a foxglove. It doesn't get that big. But I love it.

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  6. I'd never finish if I started editing as I go. I will edit and re-write until the manuscript is totally unrecognizable.Not saying that's not the way to go. A friend says she writes 10,000 words a day; I write 1250 if that. At the slow pace I go, I'd just never finish.
    Ruby Johnson
    http://kfwwriters.blogspot.com

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