Some Write It Hot

October 6, 2010

Letting Go by Lauren Fraser

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , ,

With Autumn upon us, the leaves are falling from the trees and it has me thinking about letting go of the things that are cluttering my life. I tend to be a bit of a pack rat, we’re not talking TLC’s hoarders, but my storage room is a bit of a nightmare. I know my husband just cringes when he walks in. But somehow I have it in my head that you never know when you might need it. As a result we had several old computers in our basement collecting dust that I finally reformatted and donated this weekend. Yeah.

I hate doing it, but when the process of cleaning out the storage room is done, I always feel so much better. Somehow getting rid of the clutter in my house transfers to other aspects as well and my brain works better too. Go figure. Not quite sure how the connection works but it does. Knowing this, you’d think I’d toss out those old pants that haven’t fit me since high school but for whatever reason those suckers are still hanging in my closet. Baby steps I guess. LOL

When I write, I tend to be a bit of a pack rat there as well. So when I’ve written the rough draft of a book and go back in to deepen the point of view or edit out the garbage, it’s a bit like cleaning up my storage room. I look at some of what I have down on the page and I think what the heck was I thinking? So I go back to cleaning out the clutter to find what’s necessary in the story to make it flow and somehow four adjectives to describe his chest just aren’t needed. Oops. Sometimes cutting a scene that doesn’t work is a little like throwing out my favourite pants that don’t fit, it’s hard but necessary and hopefully in the end my writing, like my house, is a little better for it.

It’s the same for the plot bunnies running around in my head, sometimes I just have to put those guys aside to focus on the task at hand and sometimes I look at my list of ideas and as painful as it is I have to let some of those ideas go because they just don’t fit anymore.

Since I find this whole letting go process a little difficult, I’m really curious how other people handle it. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there with a storage room that should have a hazard sign stamped on the door or books that are slightly wordy to say the least. So what do you find makes this process easier?

Read more from Lauren at her website


  1. Running it by crit partners helps clean up a lot of those issues! 🙂
    Other than that, time. I typically have to let the story sit, get a bit of distance from the new wonderfulness of a unique turn of phrase, or some witty repartee. Often it’s just getting to the end of the story and then going back to the beginning, but for longer pieces it may even be working on something else then coming back to it. Then, when it’s not so shiny and new, I can read through it with a more jaundiced eye. It’s clearer what is too much, what isn’t clear which I thought was obvious, and what made me like the story to start.

    Comment by Ellie Writes Too — October 6, 2010 @ 04:32 | Reply

    • Definitely getting a second set of eyes on it helps with seeing the error of my ways. LOL That’s why I’m so greatful to all of you. You get to dig into my mess and help declutter it. Mwahaha

      Comment by Lauren Fraser — October 6, 2010 @ 10:04 | Reply

  2. Oh, I so agree with you, Lauren. I like to let the WIP sit for a while. I call it my own fermenting process. Most of the time when I go back to it, I can see where I need to fix things. Thanks for sharing. And the holding on to things, well, I do the same thing.

    Comment by Jadette Paige — October 6, 2010 @ 07:58 | Reply

    • Phew glad I’m not alone in the pack-rat thing. LOL I’m curious about your fermenting process how long do you like to let things sit? A week? A month? What feels right for you?

      Comment by Lauren Fraser — October 6, 2010 @ 10:05 | Reply

      • That depends. I can start a book and get like 5 to 6 chapters in then stop for months. When I go back I can see what has stopped me and can fix it. It’s like an internal alarm going off so that when I reach a certain point, if the story isn’t going right, my heart is telling me to wait. Sounds weird I know but it works.

        Comment by Jadette Paige — October 6, 2010 @ 11:13

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lauren Fraser, Ellie Writes 2. Ellie Writes 2 said: A wonderful post on the process of writing. Letting Go by Lauren Fraser : […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Letting Go by Lauren Fraser « Some Write It Hot -- — October 6, 2010 @ 10:32 | Reply

  4. It seems each time I go back over what I’ve written I find something that needs to be changed. Some clutter needing to be tossed. Someone said your own work is never perfect and the more you grow as a writer the less perfect you first pieces will appear. It’s certainly that way for me. I rely heavily on all of you to tell me what needs to go and needs to stay. You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    Comment by Debbie Vaughan — October 6, 2010 @ 10:55 | Reply

    • I know exactly what you mean. With certain excerpts the more I read it the worse it starts to sound. I’m not always sure I’m making it better. Oops

      Comment by Lauren Fraser — October 6, 2010 @ 17:54 | Reply

  5. I thunk you and my husband might be related. He loves to hoard. Me on the other hand, I love to throw the worthless stuff out. With writing, it’s a bit of the same. I love slashing stuff that doesn’t work. It’s the adding in part of editing that I find difficult. That part is a bit like bleeding on the page. Each word is so painful. That’s why I need people like you to hold my hand and help me find the areas that need bits added.

    Comment by Gillian Archer — October 6, 2010 @ 12:16 | Reply

    • Err that should be think lol. That’s the last time I reply on my phone!

      Comment by Gillian Archer — October 6, 2010 @ 15:53 | Reply

      • Gillian. I knew I liked you husband. LOL I might overwrite but I definitely still need someone to say what I need more of. You’d think it would all be there the first time but sadly it’s not.

        Comment by Lauren Fraser — October 6, 2010 @ 17:50

  6. Clutter you say..I don’t want to think about it. To say I have too much would be an understatement. Best of luck with the storage closet. I’ll tackle my utility room.

    Comment by jerridrennen — October 6, 2010 @ 13:00 | Reply

    • Phew glad I’m not alone in this clutter problem. Yikes it’s grim. LOL

      Comment by Lauren Fraser — October 6, 2010 @ 17:51 | Reply

  7. I find that working on more than one project at a time helps me to get the distance I need to be objective when I come back to a piece. At first, I don’t want to let go of anything, but then, after I step away, it becomes easier to cut things that don’t seem to move the story forward.

    The only think that really bugs me is when I have to cut something I REALLY like because of head-hopping. Sometimes I feel like the blissful ignorance of not sticking to one POV was easier…but certainly not better, writing.

    Comment by DH Starr — October 7, 2010 @ 11:44 | Reply

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