“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” – A.A. Milne
This is one of my favorite quotes. My mom and I always debate the value of dandelions. To her, they are nothing more than weeds. I’ve never thought so. Weeds are just green scraggly things – not something with pretty colors! Obviously dandelions are flowers.
In the first few drafts of a novel, there are going to be a lot of “weeds.” I know I’ve had to cut probably half of my manuscript (and rewrite it, of course) at various stages. But those “weeds” are important for two reasons. The first reason is that they might not fit the story you’re working on now, but they might be right for a sequel, or a completely different story. Don’t just pull the weeds and throw them in the trash – compost them. Someday you can turn them into flowers.
Now, the second reason that those “weeds” are important is because they might be deceiving you. They might be flowers. Of course, you’ve got to help cultivate them. Let me explain with an example: There is a part in my story that I have never been entirely comfortable with. My main character is much too passive in the mid-section of the manuscript and it leads to a lot of trouble. And yet I couldn’t cut the middle out and just skip to the end (making the story shorter) because of the foundation it builds for the way she acts later, and for the foundation it builds for the sequel.
Over the course of my writing and rewriting, I have edited and rewritten the “passive section” more times than I can remember. Now (amazingly) I know how to fix it. The “weed” wasn’t a weed at all, I just had to figure out how it was a flower.
If you are feeling down, look for the flowers. Even if they look like weeds, the flowers are there.
Take care, fellow travelers.
What flowers have you found amongst your weeds?