This weekend was the community garage sale in my town. I coordinate a sale for the Historical Society. We ask for donations and use the sale as a fundraiser. It's all in the name of 'one man's trash is another man's treasure' and all that. In the past, we've done pretty well. This year, the weather was a bit strange and we have a lot of leftover furniture to figure out what to do with.
At any rate, it made me think that cleaning out and organizing is a lot like editing. I think I've made this comparison before.
The Keeper Pile - This is the good stuff. Those perfect sentences. Realistic dialogue. Just the right phrasing. Enough description to convey the setting, but not too much to overshadow the story. Leave it right where it is.
The Recycling Pile - This is the stuff that's good, but doesn't work in that specific place in the story. Sometimes scenes need to be rearranged to help the story flow better. Cut and paste to a new location.
The Giveaway Pile - This stuff isn't necessarily bad, it just doesn't work for this particular story. Cut it, save it, and maybe come back to it for another book.
The Trash Pile - This is the stuff that doesn't need to be there. It doesn't stay on theme. It doesn't move the story along. It serves no purpose. Hit delete and don't look back.
It all comes down to organization.
Until next time,