Wednesday, September 19

Writing and Whacking


Nope, I'm not talking about whacking that first draft of a WIP apart...I'm talking about writing that first draft by weed whacking. Seriously.

I hate yard work. Immensly. Let me plant flowers and I'm happy. Make me mow or weed whack and I'm a pistol. Just don't like it at all. Sweaty, sticky and lots of wasted time. Seriously, wasted because usually my brain function while wackin' the weeds goes something like this: "The sky is blue. It's frikkin' hot. The grass is green. I can't feel my arms." And on and on.

Not so last weekend. The DH and I tagged-teamed the yard - he mowed, I whacked - and I actually didn't zone off into nothingness. I got some work done! I've been struggling with the opening scene of my next book. I knew how I wanted it to begin but that wasn't working. As I was whackin' da weeds, I realized I was starting too late. I needed a scene before the "opener"... I whacked a little more and thought What If... and whacked a little more and realized What If was what I was missing. I kept on whacking and working out the new scene which pretty much jumped fully formed from my subconscious and into my consciousness as I finished up the edging. But it still wasn't fully...right, you know? So I was percolating with it and voila! more hard labor - this time of the packing variety. My MIL is moving, so we've been helping her pack. I was packing up the dining room - wrapping plates, packing boxes, finding safe places for all the chachkies to live while boxes...and my brain just started going. The scene from weed whacking? Kind of wrote itself, a better twist on where the heroine is coming from - because she's been kind of...flat to this point - was made clear and the driving force in keeping the hero and heroine apart crystallized.

Serious plus side: once we got home I managed to remember everything and it leaped from my head and onto the page. The notes page - I haven't gotten it all in chapter form just yet.

And a few days later, I still love it! That scene sets off the feel so well. And I'm crossing my finger that the rest will develop just as easily.

Who knew hard labor could be so helpful? Do you find hard labor helpful to your writing process?

17 comments:

  1. Cool post and good for you. I've done that, too--matter of fact, when the DH complains about my mowing rows not being straight (and he does complain about that!) I may have gotten a whole scene done. I like mowing, BTW, but don't even want to talk to the Weedeater.

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  2. the weed whacker is evil, I'm positive of that! DH doesn't let me near the actual mower - he's afraid I'll drive through the fence, I think! But the physical activity does help clear my mind so I won't complain (too loudly) about my tired arms!

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  3. Congrats on getting your opening worked out.

    I hate weed whacking too...it's the main reason I had 2 sons! lmbo...who I'm sure enjoy it.

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    1. lol, Christine! Only the one daughter for us...so I see a lot of weed whacking in my future...

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  4. Kristi,
    I do love to write. Don't judge me (lol) but I love to do anything that has to do with my yard, weeds included. :) Great post!
    -R.T. Wolfe
    Black Creek Burning (Crimson Romance,September 2012)

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  5. I love mowing! Weedwhacking? NOt so much! Good for you, getting the scene down!

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  6. I'm no good with the mowing or weedwhacking, but with some serious housecleaning, it does inspire me! All I can think about then are the characters and my longing to write. Thanks for sharing! Great post!

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    1. Oh, cleaning...love to dust, vacuum..bathrooms, no. But the rest of it leaves my brain free to wonder. Great point, Arsoleen!

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  7. I am a slacker where yard work is concerned. I got really spoiled because for years we had a robo mower. You set it out in the yard, push "go" and that was it. Beautiful yards. I'd sit and watch it, with an iced tea in my hand.

    So, not so much inspiration for me in hard labor. Driving the car is where I get my headwork done. :)

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  8. I love working in the garden, which includes weed whacking, to help sort ideas out.

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  9. Robo-mower? I need to check into that, Jenna!

    I'm glad weed whacking works for you, Sara...and who knows? This could be a change for me. Nah...I'm an avoider when it comes to yard work.

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  10. I don't even know how to start the lawn mower or weed whacker. But good for you on your what if questions. I just had that happen to me too. Boy is it a great feeling!

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  11. Absolutely -- mowing the lawn works well for me when it comes to mulling over my writing.

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  12. I love mowing the lawn--always have. It was one of the only times, growing up, that my sisters didn't pester me. And I still like to get lost in the roar of the machine.

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  13. There are so few flat places here and so many rocks, weed wackers are our lawn mowers.

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