Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Plant a scene

I finished the first draft of my still untitled WIP yesterday!  Even though I know it's just a step towards the finished product it still made me happy and I've been 'celebrating' today by taking the day off.  I've put in 40K in the last three months, which is a lot for me.  Now that the first draft it done I find my mind already turning to thoughts of editing.



I have hear a picture of a snapdragon growing in between the bricks on my front stairs.





I haven't planted snapdragons in years but somehow I keep finding them in odd spots like this. Back when I first started blogging I used a picture very similar to this to show the determination of the plant and vow that I had that much determination and that I would keep working until I was published. Which is true. But now that I’ve got a little more experience under my belt I see this differently. 

 I love snapdragons.  Thus the reason I planted them in the first place many years ago.  They’re pretty, and I love how they strive to survive.  But, no matter how much I love the plant. It doesn’t belong here.  Not only is the plant not able to grow to its full potential, it destroys the mortar and weakens the stairs.   

There are scenes like that in my first draft.  Scenes I may love but that are just in the wrong place.  Maybe they can’t deepen and reach their full potential where they are.  Maybe they weaken the story and detract from the plot arc.  Either way I need to take them out.  No matter how hard it is.


40 comments:

  1. Yep, Sara, that snap dragon has to go...even if it's a lovely surprise. I'm with you on the need to weed a WIP.

    Congratulations of completion! I haven't managed it yet with a novel.

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  2. Congrats on finishing your draft! I'll be looking for it to appear in my inbox! *wink* :)

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  3. Wonderful words of wisdom, Sara! Sounds like you are approaching your editing with the right frame of mind. Congratulations on finishing the first draft. That is an awesome accomplishment.

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    1. I don't mind editing. I edited my last WIP for so long I had to either learn to enjoy it or give up. I chose to learn to enjoy it.

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  4. Congratulations on finishing the first draft! That is a major accomplishment.

    Well done also on this post. The clarity of your comparison to the snapdragon, although lovely, being in wrong place is very timely for me as I work through this revision process. Thank you for helping me see that sometimes even beautiful things must be weeded out.

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    1. Thanks, and good luck on your weeding! The good scenes you pull out can sometimes be used in other places, or they may be the start to a whole new story.

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  5. Congrats on finishing the first draft. You've accomplished a lot in the last few months.

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  6. Congratulations! That's a real accomplishment. :D

    Love the snapdragon. Great analogy. ;)

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  7. Congrats on getting that first draft done! Right now I'm in a similar place where I'm going through my wip and taking out scenes (even the ones I love) if they don't belong or contribute to the plot. It's a difficult exercise but invaluable for a writer to learn.

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  8. Congrats on finishing the first draft! It's the first big step :)

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  9. Or you could water them. See what else blooms? :)

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    1. Yes, cut scenes often lead to whole new stories. I have a folder where I keep them all.

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  10. Congratulations on finishing your draft! That's a huge success, and I'm glad you took some time to celebrate. You definitely have a good attitude about editing :)

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    1. Thanks, Lara. It's nice to step back and get fresh eyes but I have a deadline so it's back to work quickly.

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  11. It gets easier over time... to delete stuff. :) Just keep in mind to do what's best for the story. You can always replant or keep as an idea to develop later.

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  12. Creative and sound reasoning. Growing successfully takes more than tenacity.

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    1. Thanks Jan. Hey, do you have a blog or website? I can't get to it through the link on your name.

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  13. Just keep going! You got this girl!

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    1. Thanks, Tammy. I feel good about this story.

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  14. Birds eat the seeds and deposit them everywhere. Congrats on first draft.

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  15. I have a Junkyard where I place sections like this. I can always plug and play them later if I find a spot in a MS they will fit.

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  16. CONGRATULATIONS! Feels awesome, doesn't it?

    Terrific analogy about the snapdragon growing in the wrong place. But like the parts you may have to remove from your story, they're still beautiful, so maybe you can transplant instead of ripping out by the root and tossing into the recycle bin?

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  17. Congratulations! There's nothing like finishing that first draft.

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  18. Congratulations on finishing the draft. Now you can go to work on scupting it into the book you want it to be. I love the comparison of scenes to the snapdragon, lovely in the right place, capable of ruining things in the wrong place. But I agree with Susan, parts you snip out should be saved in a separate file, as you may be able to use them elsewhere.

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  19. Eep, I missed this, that is such awesome news!!! What's next? Are you going to let it percolate, or start editing right away?
    Congratulations!

    I knew the name snapdragons, and I've seen those plants, but hadn't realised those plants were snapdragons! They're very pretty :-)

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  20. Congratulations on completing! Well done!

    Nas

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  21. Congrats on the wip! And my wedding bouquet was made of snapdragons. Love 'em.

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  22. Congratulations on finishing your WIP! Isn't that a great feeling.

    There was a scene in my first book I loved loved loved. The thing is it didn't push the plot forward. I had to get rid of it. Some scenes just need to be let go, unfortunately. You can do it.

    Good luck with edits!

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  23. Yay of your WIP! I agree about those unnecessary scenes. Sometimes when I'm revising, I feel like I'm assembling a jigsaw puzzle, moving scenes around after cutting while drafting.

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  24. Woot woot on the finish! That's such a big deal. But yes, sometimes words and whole scenes (some even that we love) need to come out.

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  25. Finally, I've arrived. Sorry for the delay. Good on you and your WIP. Now that I know what a "WIP" is :)

    Like your snapdragons, your words will flourish in the place you feel the most comfortable with.

    Gary

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  26. What an excellent analogy!

    I used to have a whole bunch of snap dragons. I think my mums choked them out. That's kind of sad...I should plant more!

    Congrats on the WIP!! One hurdle down.

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  27. Congrats on finishing the first draft, Sara! And Yay for realizing you need to do some trimming. The realizing is really the hardest part. I trimmed some fun scenes yesterday and it was pretty painless because I knew it was for the story's own good ;)

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  28. I wish I had something pretty growing from the cracks of my place. Sadly I have to settle for those flat, vine-like weeds. :)

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  29. Bravo, Sara. That's jolly good news. Hmm, I'm working on a WIP that also takes place in UK. Can you tell? Nevertheless, I'm thrilled for you. Your front step looks lovely with the snaps peeking up. Good omen. Means anything's possible.

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  30. Congratulations on completing your first draft, Sara! That is awesome!
    Writer In Transit

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  31. Oh, I do so hate to cut scenes. All those lovely words and word count. But it has to be done! Congrats on finishing <3

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  32. Congratulations on finishing your draft, Sara. Hope you're having a great summer!

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