Cottontail: Are these carrots for me?
Me: Yes they’re for you. Now please stop eating my flowers.
Cottontail: (No response, just crunching noises.)
Me: Fine. Be that way.
Cottontail: What are you doing?
Me: Writing a blog post.
Cottontail: About carrots?
Me: About procrastination and overcoming it. You see, on June 4, I tweeted about finding a manuscript I set aside a few years ago. Since finding it, I have rewired a lamp, cleaned my desk (4 times), worked on a needless sheet music inventory project and read at least twenty books.
Cottontail: You also fed me. That’s very important. These are good carrots. (More crunching sounds.)
Me: About two weeks ago, I started reading the story. One of my former concerns was that it was too long. But I was so in love with it, I didn’t want to consider that. While reading it over, I discovered I was right. There was a logical break almost halfway through. It deserves to be two separate stories. Now I’m editing for repetition and clarity.
Cottontail: Is that hard? It sounds like work. I’d rather eat carrots.
Me: Not hard, it just takes time and thought. I’m also trying to keep in mind the advice that Donald Maass gives in Writing the Breakout Novel about having tension on every page.
Cottontail: Who’s he? Does he grow carrots?
Me: I don’t know if he gardens, but he is a literary agent and author. As part of my procrastination, I read Jeff Gerke‘s The First 50 Pages. From that I learned about information dumps, dialogue tags, and converting showing to telling. Laurie Alberts has written a whole book on that last topic. I also purchased Writing the Fiction Series by Karen Wiesner. I haven’t read it. It seemed like I was getting ahead of myself. I want to finish the work on the first story first.
Cottontail: My mind isn’t big enough to remember all those things at one time. Did I mention these carrots are tasty?
Me: Glad you like them. I have about 200 pages of editing to do. I should get back to work. The neighbors will talk if they see me sitting out here talking to a rabbit.
Cottontail: Don’t worry. They already talk about you, Carrot Lady. You’ll put more carrots out later? These coneflower leaves look awfully delicious!
Me: (Sigh.) Can you wait until I get back from the grocery store? We’re out of carrots.
Cottontail: You’d better hurry.