Monday, May 4, 2015

The Link Between Refurbishing and Editing

Recently, I tackled this project.

 
And as I washed, stained, painted, distressed, and searched for baskets, etc. I began to identify strong similarities between my two creative loves.

How so?

Seeing the Potential

I don’t pick up a piece of furniture or invest in a concept unless I have a good feel for what the project could become. Assessing potential is an absolute must when it comes to refinishing furniture or writing novels.

Cleaning off the Dirt

Whether weeding through a rough draft or scrubbing down old piece of furniture for the first time I know going in my hands are going to get dirty. Anything muddying up the manuscript has got to go.

Adjusting the Color, Stain, and Distressing Techniques

With furniture, and with novels, I make changes based upon what I feel will work best for the overall piece. This includes considering color schemes, cutting characters, reworking scenes, and applying a darker stain. I’m constantly stepping back and asking myself what would add value to the finished project.

Taking Time to Let Things Adequately Dry

If you apply multiple layers of stain too quickly it causes the furniture to get sticky and clumpy. This could easily translate with editing a novel, too. It’s essential to take some time away from a manuscript during edits to think through changes and to allow for new ideas to leave an impression. This is where meticulous work pays off.

Hunting for the Perfect Accessories

I found the knobs for this piece on sale at Pier 1 for $2.00 each. But I spent a good deal of time evaluating my options. I held at least five unique kinds of knobs next to the picture I’d taken on my phone of the drawers.

I give careful thought to word selection during the editing stage. I work hard not to settle. It’s worth it to hunt for the most powerful, impactful words that complement the sentences, and overall work.

Filling in the Missing Spaces

It’s clear to see there were just a few things missing with this piece of furniture. I measured. Then I went shopping. While looking for baskets, I thought a lot about what would work best. I’m thrilled with what I found and how the baskets blend nicely with the rich stain of the drawers.

During the editing phase, there are times I encounter notable gaps—places in the novel where more tension is needed or more explanation for character motivation. I don’t just stuff any old thing in those holes. I measure, then do my best to fill the spaces with useful scenes or information. I’m constantly taking the entire novel into consideration. 

Have you ever stepped back to realize two areas you invest your time in are more closely connected than you once thought?

 

2 comments:

  1. Wow, this is such a good analogy. It seems like everybody is in the midst of edits lately! Must be a sort of spring cleaning thing ;) Best of luck to you, great post!

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    1. Spring cleaning, yep. Feels like that, when I begin to realize just how dirty--how much of a mess I've allowed things to get. ;-) Thanks!

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