Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stomp Them Grapes

Raise your hand if you have seen the movie A Walk in the Clouds.

I don't know anything about growing grapes but I do know about gardens. They take time, effort, sweat, and when you get right down to it, part of ourselves.

To get the type grapes usable for wine making, there's a lot of effort put into it. And they took care while harvesting the grapes not to injure them.

Remember somewhere about the middle of the movie when they harvest the grapes and Keanu dropped a bunch? The father picked them up, cleaned off the dirt and gently placed them in the box.

Once harvested though, they dumped them in this huge vat and people started jumping on them and squishing all the juice out of about a change in attitude!

What's this got to do with writing you ask? Well...

Our words are like the grapes. During the growing process we put them on paper, nurture them. Their care consumes us. We save, back up and resave them. (or at least we should) When our story is finished, it's just like the harvest. Our words/grapes have been gathered.

Then comes the change in attitude. We take our words and change them. We cut out weak verbs, add stronger ones. We change the abstract into the concrete, telling is gotten rid of and changed into show. This process is hard on the words just as all the stomping is on the grapes. Ahhh...but once finished, we have a product ready to be packaged and sold.

Again, the comparison continues. Not everyone is going to like the wine, just as not everyone will like our stories. But for those of who continue sending our stories out, we will find someone who loves them.

So...what is my point from all this? Just that as it takes a lot of work to get wine from grapes, it takes a lot of work to get a story from a bunch of words. Don't be afraid to take your words and work with them to get the best from them.

Today, harvest some words...make them into a story:-) Stomp 'em if ya' have to.

And...if you haven't seen the movie, go rent it. You'll love it!


V.R. Leavitt said...

I've seen it! In fact, I think I saw it in the theater. Keanu isn't one of my favs but I did enjoy the movie. I also like how you related it to writing! Good stuff. :-)

Jaleta Clegg said...

Interesting analogy. Having grapes and a huge garden in my backyard growing up; gardening, harvesting, canning, and cooking in general relate to writing. Maybe that's why I love cooking.

Now to go stomp some words, squish them between my toes, and make them sing!

Cheryl said...

Can't say I've ever seen that movie, but this is a very neat article. Great advice here. Thanks for the motivation.


Jean said...


It's a great chick flick:-)