by Amy Karian
1. When I have three characters in a scene and one just kind of disappears into the sidelines
They might be smoking a cigarette or off drinking a Coke. Maybe they’re having a bathroom break. Maybe they’re lurking in the corner, reading ahead in the script to see what happens next or if their character is going to die. No one knows. That character is just missing in action and I can solemnly swear that I did not send them out of the room.
2. When my characters have out of character moments
They might say something that just doesn’t mesh with who they are and their normal way of talking/acting. My Internal Editor usually puts an end to that nonsense. I’ll have another character actually say, “What’s gotten into you? You’re not acting like yourself.” And I’m like “Heck yeah. He isn’t acting like himself. I’m gonna Block and Delete your unauthorized behavior. Huh! Take that!”
3. When everything that my character is saying can be boiled down to “blah blah blah blah”
I’ve written whole parts that I’ve really liked. They’re sparkling. They’re funny. And they’re painfully pointless. I could rewrite them as “blah blah blah” and it wouldn’t change the story one bit. There’s just no hope for those scenes. They must be Block and Deleted out of existence, no matter how much I want to save their sparkly, witty lives.
4. When my Autocorrect insists on the wrong word
I have a character named Maelin. Her boyfriend calls her Mae for short. My Autocorrect believes her name should be Mar, for some reason. Maybe it thinks her name is Marlin? Who knows?
5. When my fingers keep hitting the wrong keys on my small computer
I have two computers. One is a big boss laptop and the other is a small I-Pad sized thing.
Well. Tragedy struck my small computer. I was at a hotel with my sister and we had the air conditioning set for wonderfully cold. The kind of cold where you just want to bundle up under your blankets. It was lovely. Unfortunately, I had my small computer sitting on the desk next to the air conditioning unit. All night. When I tried to raise the top the next morning, the hinges cracked beyond repair.
Fortunately, I’m able to access the touchscreen keyboard. So, I can still use it, which makes me happy.
Unfortunately, the onscreen keyboard is more compact than a physical keyboard. So, when I go to type a word like ‘but’, I’ll accidentally hit the ‘v’ instead of ‘b’. Let me tell you: I have had to delete a whole lot of ‘vut’s.
6. When the wrong version of a chapter gets posted
Despite my above complaint, I do most of my typing on my small computer. It’s compact and easy to carry around. I can type on it when I’m waiting at the doctor’s office. It’s really convenient.
Unfortunately, there are times I’ll have an open draft of a chapter on my small computer and I’ll set that computer aside and finish the chapter on Big Boss. I look over the chapter, glow at how perfect and lovely it all is, and post it.
Then, later on, I’ll go on my small computer. The unfinished, unpolished draft is still there. Still open. And it autosaves as the posted copy.
Instant mortification has occurred.
I automatically think, “Ohhh, shoot. I hope no one saw that.” Then, I go and rewrite it as best as I can remember. And post it as fast as I can.
Wrapping Up… there are other things that make my Internal Editor tense up and smack me over the head with his giant bag of Reeses’ peanut butter cups. (My Internal Editor is usually quiet and laid back, but if he’s provoked, watch out!) But I think I’ll just stick with six. It seems like a good number to stop at.
Amy Karian is a happy blogger in Michigan. She lives with her two Goldens and one cat. You might occasionally see her in the café area of the local bookstore, muttering to herself as she’s typing mayhem into her characters’ lives. You can find Amy over at her blogs, ambroseandelsie and cosistories.