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Because of our freakishly warm Illinois weather this spring, I’ve already had to get out and yank a few pernicious weeds from around my faithful perennials.
The spring activities of clearing out the winter debris, planting, and weeding (not to mention nursing my aching gardening muscles that haven’t been used in six-or-so months) never fail to remind me of the processes of writing.
Early in the season (writing process) we gardeners (authors) are full of excitement! As soon as the weather is warm enough (we get inspired) we go to work with gusto—digging and planting (writing and more writing!) After all, the sooner we get the plants in the ground (the book written), the sooner we will have our little miniature of the Biltmore Gardens (bestseller!).
But it isn’t that simple, is it? For one thing, we’ve planted the flowers too close together—not believing that they would grow to fill the space promised in the gardening manual. And we’ve done this in our novels, too. We’ve added character after character until our poor readers’ heads would be spinning trying to keep all the names straight. So, we’re forced to move plants and cut characters (saving them for another story, perhaps).
Yes, we didn’t really do a thorough job of planning (plotting). The gosh-darned towering butterfly bush has blocked the sunlight from the poor, struggling roses. Not to mention that our halfway-finished, next-great-literary-idea novel has been stricken by plot-rot. Wait a minute….plotting a novel…garden plot…I’m getting confused!
I could go on with my “flowery” ramblings, but the warm wind outside is calling to me, and if I go on writing this post, my metaphors may over-mix and…well, let’s just conclude with some friendly advice.
“Avoid plot-rot.”