Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yard Work

Warning: yet another writing/gardening metaphor kinda thing ahead. Spring is here at last in Wisconsin (I'm ignoring the weekend forecast which includes snow) and I've been cleaning up my flower beds. And I started thinking about one of the bits of advice that gets passed along (guilty!): Plow ahead on that first draft! Don't double back to revise! I confess that most of the time I don't practice what I preach. I revise along the way. Yes, there are times when pushing through to get the story down is the goal. On the other hand, cleaning up can also make it easier for the new stuff to bloom. (Warned ya.) Of course, the stuff would bloom anyway, but who knows? I'm not talking wholesale revision--just tidying up, fixing typing errors,consistency issues, weeding out the dreadful metaphors that present themselves early on. But the first draft revising has to be done with a light hand, otherwise you might just toss the hidden little green things out with the moldy leaves, and then they have to try again. And I'll stop with that now. Metaphor was never my strong suit. Still, I wanted to come clean. I'm MarshaQ, and I'm a first draft reviser.


  1. Me too! But I've learned (a certain adviser I had at Hamline pushed me to get the end) to keep the forward momentum.

  2. Crocuses blooming in Wisconsin, and pasque flowers blooming in the Minnesota prairie. It might really be spring!

    Sometimes I push ahead, sometimes I revise as I go. I say, whatever works.

  3. Sometime I write a lousy scene where the main character doesn't have a nickle's worth of motivation, so I'll revise the scene until I find it. Or, technically, until the main character finds it. And then it's onward and upward ... at least until I run into the next brick wall!