I was struck by the similarity between my two spare time interests of gardening and writing when I was working in my garden at the weekend. This year, as you can see in the photo, the poppies in several parts of the garden are spectacular, and there may have been something subliminal going on when I named one of the characters in my new novel, Poppy. But I’m really thinking of more general parallels.
Both are, of course, creative pursuits and both require effort and a certain amount of expertise to knock the plot into shape.
Weeding and pruning are both terms that writers use when referring to redrafting and editing. And it’s not unusual to transplant whole chunks of text or storyline. Sometimes a much-loved character just doesn’t fit in to the story and must be sacrificed – in much the same way that a beloved plant can get too big for, or no longer suits, its situation. And sometimes both types of plot yield surprises – things self-seed, or don’t turn out as expected.
When I get a bit stuck with the writing, I find that a bout in the garden gives me thinking space and, as I hack through the literal weeds, the metaphorical ones fall away too.
Do you see what I did there? Came over all writerly 🙂 I could go further and refer to ‘seeds of ideas growing and blossoming’ or to strands ‘branching out and intertwining’. Next I’ll be using flowery language but that would be blooming awful…
Okay, I’m going now.