Strip It Down

I’m a hooj fan of it.  It’s not for everyone, though.  In fact, several of my writer friends have admitted that it strikes terror into their hearts at the very thought of it.

Over the past several months, I’ve been going through a “phase” wherein I’ve decided there was too much crap in my life, bogging me down, overwhelming me with lethargy. I’m not a hoarder like you might see on one of those television programs.  When I bought my home several years ago, my neighbors looked at me askance, one of them bold enough to ask, “Where’s all your stuff?”  We stood in front of my open garage door, where my car fit nicely.  “What do you mean?” I asked.  He turned and pointed at the streetful of cars parked at the curb and in driveways.  “You’re the only person on the block who’s not using his garage for storage,” he said.  And he was right.

It’s not that I’m miserly with stuff…it’s just that I don’t see the point of extra “stuff” cluttering up my life.  If I don’t use it in six months, it gets donated or otherwise recycled.  That’s just me.

So when I began doing this whole internal/external clearing out thing back in April, it was an effort to minimize the things that surrounded me that I just. don’t. need.

I never planned on that line of thinking to carry over to my writing.  But I’m glad it did.

Last week, I hit a sticking point in one WIP, and decided to implement some excellent ideas that had made themselves known on another novel.  But when I began working on that one, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to simply go through and plug those new ideas in where they fit.  Instead, I scrapped the entire draft and began again.

And all I can say is: Ho. Lee. Crap.

There’s something to be said about stripping something down to its base foundation and rebuilding.  It’s giving me a new insight into the story and the characters.  I feel like I know so much more about the entire thing, so that when I sit down to work on it, words flow like melted butter onto the page.

Again, I know that method is not for everyone.  It’s time consuming and sometimes daunting.  But the feel of words coursing through me is like having multiple writing orgasms.


7 thoughts on “Strip It Down

  1. It sounds like you’ve made a more solid foundation upon which to build your novel. That’s so much better than trying to dig the foundation after the house (story) is built! That is why I am a big fan of outlines.

  2. I hate stuff. I keep talling everyone who’ll listen that I’m going to be a minimalist when I grow up. At forty five there’s little chance of that happening, growing up that is. What I want is someone (invited, I don’t want to be robbed) to come through my house and do it for me. I can’t do it myself. Same with writing. It would be great to have a writer pal, who is an expert on purging, go though my book and remove all the “stuff”.

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