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Saturday, June 1, 2013

How Gardening is like Writing by Kitty Griffin

Bee Balm and Butterflies

I'm a day late posting.
It's because of the weeds.
We had some rain and the weeds decided they'd take over. I hate weeds.
But it's love/hate. 
Because often while I'm gardening I'm writing. I'm thinking about my stories and my characters and their problems. So now I'll use my writing time to think about gardening.

First of all, to deal with a weed you have to get the root. Just like in a story, until you understand the root of the problem you will never be done weeding. 

What does your character want and what is she willing to do to get it?

Where does this weed start and how deep does this root go?

Sometimes you think you have the character's problem only it turns out you've been distracted.

Sometimes you think you have the root of the weed, but, nope, this root goes to THAT weed. Oh dear.

A garden needs to have a certain balance. Tall plants in the back, then medium, then the short ones. So the little guys get a chance to shine.

A story needs to have balance. If you pay too much attention to a secondary character, hmmm, maybe your main character won't be as interesting.

A snake in my zucchini

See what I mean?

Focus on your character!

It's easy to get distracted while gardening. Let's face it, weeding can be boring. Just like revising. Is there anything more boring than searching through your story to see if you used "was" too many times? Or searching to see how many times you forgot to use contractions in your dialogue? I set a story in 1313 and in my head they spoke in full sentences-- "I will do as you say and we will be happy." 
Oh dear.
My editor made me go through and change them all.
"I'll do as you say, dear editor, and we'll be happy."

Planting and writing, writing and planting. When we're done with each we want them to be attractive, to draw people in.

And that reminds me...I have to go turn off the sprinkler. I'm watering a new flower bed...

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