Sunday, September 9, 2012


OK, I just can't resist the gardening metaphors, particularly at this time of year.

We're drying raisins at the moment. Last week it was tomatoes, and before that peaches. The plums are long gone. Garlic is a spring plant, of course, and an annual, but elephant garlic (which is actually a leek) is biannual. Supposedly. Mine seems to grow just fine as a fall to spring plant.

Some books are annuals. You write them, they're done, they go in the query pile and you never see them again.

Some are biannuals. They may go in the query pile, but maybe you get comments from an editor or a friend that makes you question and you go back over it, returning it to the editing pile until it once again reaches query stage.

And some are perrenials. These are the stories you revise, and query, and send out to beta readers, and revise again. That's not to suggest that you don't get anything from them--they give back every season, in the shape of writing ability and increased skills.

But still they come back every year.

A few years ago I ripped out my herb beds. Took everything out, replanted it all (meaning I thinned everything down to the bare minimum) and this year there they were, alive and kicking.

Except for the lemon balm and the catnip. For some reason they died.

I'm not even going to touch that metaphor. I don't believe there's any such thing as a dead novel. Just novels we don't care enough to revise back to life.

No comments:

Post a Comment