Sunday, July 17, 2011

In the Weeds

Today I started editing the second half of my novel.  I love my ending and the first several chapters, but the chapters in the middle are slow.  The thought of attacking them with a red pen has been enough to make me work on anything else.  Until today.  Today I was ready.

I read the first few paragraphs and immediately saw a flaw that my writing partner pointed out in a couple of paragraphs of a different story she critiqued for me last week.  I tend to gloss over some parts of the story to get to the parts I really want to tell.  That is the problem with my novel.  It may well be the reason why my page count is a little puny.

I read just one chapter and jotted down what I needed to do. 

Then I went outside and sat in the weeds in my yard.   I decided to attack the crabgrass first since it's large and offensive and messes up everything around it.

I pulled up the crabgrass by the root.  Apparently it's too late in the year to destroy them with chemicals.  My garden store guru insists these weeds must be handled before tax day, a magical day for weeds.  Apparently the chemicals I applied before April 15 were not strong enough.  I must destroy it before I can reseed my lawn. 

While I strategized the destruction of my weeds, I pondered what I had omitted from my characters' story in my haste to get to the part that was funny, the part I wanted to write. 

I know I likely have minor things in my story that need fixing - like using the word 'things.'  Dialogue can be polished.  I'm sure I have some word repetition.  Perhaps some adverbs could be removed.  But this larger flaw in my story is like my crabgrass.  It is in the way and needs to be dealt with now.  There's no sense polishing sentences when I have some major revisions to do.

The cool thing is I know what I need to do to fix my story, and I'm excited that I will have the opportunity to make it better.  I'm not at all frustrated that I have changes, which is kind of out of character for me.  The changes are just to the middle, the transition chapters - very doable.

I may continue the attack on my weeds tomorrow, but my work on my novel will come first.  I may work on it some more tonight.  When I get done, I will make cookies for my writing partner for helping me see what I didn't see until today.  I feel very lucky that we were able to meet last week.


  1. Well, welcome to the weeds. Smiles and hugs to you!

  2. Yay that you figured out how to fix your story. Love the analogy to crab grass.

  3. @shelly - I thought I was all alone. It's good there's company.

    @M Pax - I am happy about it. But it may take less effort to destroy the weeds. :/