This is a post I’ve been wanting to write for a few weeks now. Normally, if I have an idea for a post that I don’t manage to write immediately, I never write it, because my thoughts go elsewhere. Not this time.
I think it’s because cleaning is something that’s a never-ending process.
Pick something up, a minute later another toy is on the floor. Or a crumb.
The kids went through their rooms. They got rid of a whole lot of toys, papers, knickknacks, and all kinds of nonsense. We put them in storage, this way it’s easier on them. They’re not permanently gone.
The Result: they’re playing with their toys. They’re more relaxed, their imaginations are more alive. Why? Because they can see what they have. And because they have space to breathe.
I’m editing. I’m cleaning my wip. I’m looking for the floor. I want to see if its wood or carpet, the colour, the texture.
I overwrite. Then I get rid of everything that’s not story. If there’s too much clutter the story gets lost, hidden in the mess. I put everything I’m taking out in a separate file, marked: read through and see if anything’s worth keeping.
The Result: I’m immersed in my story. I see details, and movement. And then I can decide what I want you, the reader, to see. Sometimes I won’t include a certain detail, because I know you’ll want to see it in your own way. And it’s ok, because it won’t change the story. Other times, I need everything to be solid, and you’ll only add your own nuances.
And then, oops, there’s a crumb, and I have to clean up again. It’s a very gratifying process, because the result is so smooth and rich.
How about you: Do you overwrite or underwrite?