Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Virtual Pockets


When I was a younger mom, I ruined several loads of laundry by forgetting to check my pockets before tossing my stuff in the washing machine.

Now I’ve gotten used to the drill of checking those pockets out.

There’s always stuff in them because when I vacuum I pick up marbles, Barbie shoes, crayons, Nerf bullets, and small metal objects off the floor and shove them in my pockets so I can continue vacuuming and won’t totally destroy the appliance (which has also happened before.)

At the end of the day, all kinds of craziness is in my pockets.

When I’m working on a first draft I just keep on going, too. The computer equivalent of my pockets is Word’s highlighting function. I just select the problem area.

Then I just keep on going.

What are the Barbie shoes and Nerf bullets in my manuscript?

Facts that I'm not sure of and need to research. Character last names that I haven’t made up yet (I do *** for those)

Something that seems out of character

A setting that needs more of an in-depth description

Something I’ve realized isn’t in sequential place in the story

A continuity error I’ve noticed

When I’ve somehow lapsed into passive voice

Too many/too few dialogue tags

Bad transitions


Boring. Lack of conflict.

The nice thing about the highlighting function, is that you can choose a different color for different things you need to correct. Or you can use Word’s Track Changes function to make comments to yourself in the margins.

What things do you put in your pocket for later as you write? Or do you jump in and make corrections while it’s on your mind?