So I know I write first drafts like a plague of vicious weeds--a blackberry tangle in the Pacific Northwest, perhaps.
My first pass of editing consists mainly of reading over paragraphs and thinking, "Why the hell is this even here?"
Slash and burn.
I used to go in there all tentative--poking at the soil a little, trimming back adverbs. Now I'm more of a clear-cutter. I raze entire acres of this jungle draft. Acrid smoke billows up in my wake.
I'm ruthlessly ripping apart this scene. But I can see something, trickling down through the foliage. Sunshine.
Tiny tendrils of new words uncurl, all the more vivid green against the blank backdrop of my earlier demolition.
Draft Two, in progress. Ten of forty-six scenes are now pruned.
And just in time. I hear a Monkey waking from his nap upstairs.