|Raspberries from my in-law's garden.|
Today I picked raspberries for a chocolate trifle I'm bringing to a family reunion tomorrow.
I had quite a large container to fill, and as I went along, burrowing through the prickly branches for the ripe berries, I couldn't help but think how much raspberry picking is like editing a story or a novel.
I picked off one section of bushes until I was sure I'd picked all the ripe berries there were to be had and then I moved on ... only to come back a little later to the same bush to find many more plump raspberries, sometimes whole handfuls of them, under a leaf I hadn't lifted before.
Editing is like that, too. We think we're being so thorough, but when we come back even a day later, there are a whole new host of details to tinker with.
Which makes me think that good stories are like living things, just like raspberry bushes: they become complex all by themselves. We plant them and nurture them, we pick them as clean as we can, but there's always more to find in them. As readers, we want stories that leave our hands stained, that are sweet on our tongues. We want the experience. As writers we need to be thorough, but also forgive ourselves for our errors and oversights. We need to realize that, just like raspberry bushes, there's no way to completely tame a good story.
I'll stop mixing metaphors now. Additional thoughts/ramblings? Any raspberries in your future?