Untangling the mess

Spent hours in the much neglected garden today. Would like to boast that the neglect is due to writing. Alas and alack that is not so, there is no excuse. Discovered that many plants needed staking and propping. They had grown lanky and unruly. Not to mention the amount of opportunistic weeds that had squatters rights on every available space.
And while I was sorting, and propping and tying up and pulling up, it occurred to me the very same thing has happened to my much neglected novel. Some of the characters have grown lanky and unruly and badly in need of cutting back. Or as John Banville might say, amputation.
Others need a little bit of encouragement, a prop here or a stake there. Some support each other without any help from me. And others have become so untidy and entangled that much patience is needed to see where the different strands are going or where they’ve come from.
All this is to say that neither gardening or novel writing can be neglected for long. But also nothing goes to waste, anything I pruned or uprooted this morning went in the compost bin to decompose and enrich the spring planting next year.
All that’s left now is to apply the same principles to the novel: get in there, sort out the various strands, interlopers, unwelcome guests and pull it all into shape. Any material removed can all go into the ‘pre-loved characters bin’ to enrich the next seasons offerings.
How easy it sounds when blogging!
Plod on,
Happy writing.



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2 responses to “Untangling the mess

  1. Like the novel idea combining gardening and writing – both will flourish once there is care and attention.
    The witching hour is past and gone, so it’s sharpen pencil time and scribble a bit nothing as demanding as a novel I hasten to add, I would not even know where to start.


  2. Ah yes Chris, gardening and writing both flourish with care and attention. But displacing one with the other ends with both being neglected.
    Happy writing.


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