Editing in the garden

December 28, 2010

Categories: editing, edward scissorhands, gardening

Santa gave me a pair of long-handled tree loppers for Christmas and yesterday I tested them out.
It began with just a little snip here. The blades slid through the small branches of the rhododendron tree outside my bedroom window.
I moved on to another tree there. Same deal.
Then I moved to the front of the garden where an untidy bushy tree had inserted itself some years ago and had never been dealt with.
I lopped and chopped.
Edward Scissorhands had nothing on me.
I found the tree had sent out suckers and started another tree nearby, so more chopping – all to the tune of Bleak House courtesy of Radio National.
At some point I stood back to view my handiwork.
What was revealed was the beautiful trunk of a nearby tree that had been suffocating under the clinging arms of the intruder.
Editing stories are similar. Sometimes the beauty and simplicity of a story can be lost under the weight of padding, cliches, dialogue that does not further the story or repetitive prose when a single sentence will do.
It can be the most satisfying stage in writing a story.

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