Friday, August 21, 2015

G is for Gardening

Margaret talks about comparing writing to gardening


You might ask what gardening has to do with writing, but there are many similarities. For instance in your garden you sow seeds (the germ of an idea), shoots begin to show (you begin to develop your idea), the plant grows a little larger (you develop your idea further) and with patience and care you have beautiful flowers or vegetables (a whole book).


It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Perhaps if we broke down the writing process like this it wouldn’t feel such a daunting task when we first look at that blank page.


We’ve typed, Chapter One, but where do we start? The seeds have been sown in your mind and hopefully you’ve written them down. The first step is to grab your reader. So you start with a bang. It has to be something that makes them want to read on, and if you can do that then they’ll hopefully buy the book.


Some people actually take a peek at the end but I could never do that. I want to be led slowly to that point. I want surprises along the way, and I don’t want to read the happy ever after until I really have to.


Below are a few of my opening sentences:


“Theo Tsardikos? You expect me to go and beg him for money?” Dione stared at her father in disbelief. “I can’t do that.”  (Bought for Marriage)


From the first moment Penny looked into Santo De Luca’s eyes she knew she was in trouble. (The Italian’s Ruthless Baby Bargain)


Peta’s chin had a determined thrust as she knocked on the door. Many tales had travelled around the company about the dynamic new owner. He was the literal clean-sweeping new broom. (The Mediterranean Tycoon)


Vane Oliver was every bit as intimidating as Debra had been warned. He sat on the other side of the desk, a giant of a man, wide-shouldered, thick dark hair, eyes that seemed to be permanently half closed making it difficult to read what was going through his mind. (Divided Loyalties)


Smoky blue eyes looked with shocked disbelief into delicate green ones. Seconds ticked away. Zane was the first to speak. “You!” he exclaimed. (The Rich Man’s Reluctant Mistress)


  1. I love this comparison! Whenever I'm weeding I think about all of the things I do when I edit a story.

  2. Oh, I want to read them all! Great comparison.

  3. That's a great analogy - and I also think the weeding is important i.e. the editing and general tidying up of your manuscript.

  4. It's good we all agree about the gardening analogy. It proves all writers are on the same wavelength.

  5. I try to think about story lines when I'm gardening, but I tend to get caught up in the plants themselves, listening to what they say, tending to their needs, admiring the symbiosis between earth and sky. Bees, butterflies, the damn deer that keeps sneaking in and stealing sweet corn.
    Great post!