Karmic writing

vinhorneoak“I had been up for four frickin’ days and couldn’t sleep. I was really scared…people were following me…I was just really, really fried, but I couldn’t sleep.” My best stab at sounding articulate fails miserably. “I was so tired.”

He jots a note down on his paper. I think I may have spilled too much.

“You said people were after you?”

“I didn’t say that.” Did I?

This is my 17-year-old protagonist speaking to her ER doc in First Break. I mentioned last week where I am in the process with this New Adult manuscript (going through my agent’s edits on track changes in Word). I’m embracing this–mostly. But here’s a really annoying thing that happened and how something really enlightening came out of it (besides the fact I’m still not entirely sure how to spell frickin’ or why I want to use it so badly.)

Do you see how I use the ellipses (…) up there? Well, apparently I REALLY like the ellipses…a lot! Why is this so apparent? Because in the transfer of formats between she and I my three dots became six and a space. Now to fix that, I’ve got to go back through every ellipses, accept the change, delete a space, accept the change and so forth. Monotonous, at best. Here’s the enlightening part: I clearly need to invite other devices into play. Not leave the hyphen out–or at least let him join in more.

I’ve spent much of my morning fixing ellipsis. (I now know that’s how you pluralize that.)  I’m thinking of it like karmic yoga. Do you know that practice? You just do something for a period of time and then stop without getting married to the results. Like raking leaves. You just rake for an hour without having to pick up the leaves and throw them away. It’s like that.

Except for one thing. I’m totally married to the results: three point elipses and no space…unless it’s at the end, and then four.

I’m typing this under a large oak (thanks, Vin, for the sweet Oak shot), the wind playing with the wisps of hair around my face, the speckled sun making my computer screen almost impossible to see, my dog begging me with her eyes to go out for a morning walk, Karunesh playing the haunting music that so well accompanies my story in this manuscript, and my tomato plants nearby dancing to Karunesh.

With all this, who cares how long it takes to fix the ellipsis? Karmic yoga or no, I’m in my happy place.

6 thoughts on “Karmic writing

  1. Oh, QS, I think there’s an easier way. Do a doc search for (type out space, period, space, period, space, period) and then replace all with (space space space). Have you tried that? Of course, there’s something very zen to be said for going through and painstakingly fixing the ellipses….

    • Ommmm. Yes, I thought of that around page 30. But then I got concerned about picking up other issues (which I hadn’t really clearly defined) along the way with a global search, and, being the not-so-recovering perfectionist I am, I wanted to read through for the 80 jillionth time and see what else I could find that needed fixin’. Appreciate your kind tip in any case!

  2. I must say by reading your blog I have developed a new respect for writers. I never realized the process!

    • It’s a very up and down, inside out, stand on your head and dance kinda thing, Janet:) You only do it if you have to.

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