Saturday, August 27, 2011

Prune Your Bush

No ... the title of this post is NOT a beloved euphemism. :-) It is an analogy.

... Lessons in Blackberry Picking #2 ...

You must take time to prune the unnecessary vines in the blackberry bush.

Yes, it can be very frustrating to spend more time pruning than picking ... especially when you can see all of those huge ripe berries just waiting to be picked (and popped into your mouth). However, it will be much easier to get to those berries if you trim the unnecessary leaders that are blocking your path first. Plus, by cutting out those thorny vines that are not producing berries themselves, you give the bush more energy to put toward the fruit.

How does this relate to writing?

Revising and editing are crucial to the writing process. Yes, as writers, we have a ton of great ideas bouncing around in our heads just waiting to be plucked out and plopped down onto paper ... but we just can't let them grow wild. We must cut out the unnecessary words, paragraphs, and scenes, in order to make it easier for the reader to enjoy the ripe parts of the story.


Are you currently pruning a Work-in-Progress?


  1. Wonderful metaphor for writing, Margo! Totally true, and simple enough to visualize/relate to.


  2. Aaaah blackberries are so not fun to prune. Those needles find every little gap in clothing that you forget exist! Which I suppose is just like editing, find a chapter you love BAM there's an error needing fixing.

  3. Hi Margo,
    I'm a fellow campaigner! I enjoyed your post about your son and yes, I have a couple of projects that I am cleaning up.

  4. Hi Margo. I think I'd rather struggle with words that those cursed blackberry bushes any day! ;) I've currently got a couple of novels and short stories that need a lot of pruning. My husband thinks I spend too long doing this, so I've got to learn to move a bit faster!

    I'm a fellow campaigner, stopping by to say hi. I'm now following you on twitter as well and look forward to seeing more of you during the campaign.

  5. No, but I'm about to! Great analogy!

  6. Found you through the Campaign. I've discovered that the real story happens in the edits. That pruning is critical.