I've been thinking a lot lately about editing. It all started with my yard. I have 50 flats (not pots or containers, but flats) of impatients planted in three zones in my front yard. I have no idea how many plants that adds up to. But it creates true blankets of deep red and hot pink that bring me pleasure.
Well, my puppy thinks they are pretty great too. She has proudly presented me in the kitchen with mouthfuls of flowers. She has decided that the flower beds are great for short naps and seems to choose to run through them far above using the walkway. I swear she smiles as she does it. My older dog knows the rules, but does seem more like Eeyore as she watches the baby play in my garden of color.
I've moved some of the plants to fill in the newly created empty spaces. And, I've accepted the long tunnels that will just have to be.
So, this is what got me thinking about editing. At first I was dismayed to see all the hard work and expense of putting that many flats in, to be destroyed. Then, I began to see the individual plants because they were now exposed. As the expanse grew, so did the lack of distinction. There was no separating one plant from another. Pretty, yes. But it was a carpet, not an opportunity to have any one stand out.
My chapters in my books are sometimes like that. Too dense. Too over done. And, it's the editing that brings out the chance to see how a character might stand out- speak to you, charm you, make you laugh. I like editing. Probably too much. But this brought a new meaning to me about paring down.
I've decided this is a good metaphor for how I need to look at all sorts of things. My writing, relationships with people I haven't spoken with in much too long, and my puppy who found delight.