Walmart’s “Writer’s First-aid Kit.” Get it while it lasts!

I’ve finished my next manuscript, the Stone Man. I would like to say it was grueling and an emotional roller coaster for me.

It wasn’t.

I would like to say it will need major work to fix plot errors and leaps in logic.

I don’t think it will during the revision stage. I’ve got the main story along with the plot arcs to how I wanted them during the first write-through. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can find all the minor discrepancies and they will be easy fixes.

My major problems involve wordiness and fixing up transitional scenes to make the overall writing flow smoother. And I need to work on my voice to make the story interesting enough for people to want to read it. Those are the sticklers irritating my sides: wordiness and voice. I don’t know why I have these problems, or maybe my “mind’s eye” simply doesn’t catch the problem while I’m typing. I would never make the claim that a first draft should be free of all typos and grammar errors. You won’t ever hear me utter the words that it is a masterpiece ready to be sent out without revisions and editing.

If that were true, I would already be a published author.

I suppose every would-be author wishes these tasks were as simple as stopping by the local Walmart and picking up the “Writer’s First-aid Kit” in the stationery aisle. We could pop open the box, and tiny elves whom the jolly Christmas fat man laid off due to downsizing would sprinkle their dust over the pages and the sentences would rearrange themselves into a saleable book.

Oh, how the imagination can sometimes twist the dagger into the heart!

Yet since this will never become true (Gawk!), I’m hoping the limited knowledge I have will be enough to fix and tweak this story to a readable quality. I have finished the manuscript, but I still have a long solitary road ahead. It’s time for me to lace up my shoes and head out.

Maybe Sam’s Club sells those writers’ kits, in bulk. Or I can find one of those elves to work for me in exchange for gingerbread cookies.

Becoming your character - or our characters becoming us

I’ve begun to notice a strange trend happening while I write. Whenever I have my character sighing, I sigh to imitate their current emotion.

Is this normal?

I can understand why this may happen. We spend so much time perfecting our characters, bringing out their personalities for months or even years. It’s no wonder that we will sometimes take on their characteristics, if only to focus our own thoughts on the particular scene we are writing.

An itch scratched on the character’s leg becomes the writer’s scratch on the head wondering where the plot goes next. A wince of eyes for them at the terrible accident becomes a wince for us wondering if we should tone things down. A tear shed from their eyes signifies the sorrow in our hearts for a tragedy that may have personally affected us and seemed best to add to the story.

Am I imitating my character, or am I writing to make the character imitate me?

Has it come down to having his life as really mine that I wished to live, an alternate reality that can soothe me when I missed out on such comfort?

Have I carbon copied my life with the emotions I should have had for the situation yet can redeem myself in my character’s eyes?

Fiction in reality, or reality turned into fiction? Either way, I plan to make the best of the story.