I straighten the framed certificate of completion for my writing certificate on the wall of my writing office behind my desk. It looks good, if a bit lonely all by itself. Maybe I should frame a picture of my first royalty check to balance it.
“Looks good, love. Congratulations.”
I don’t bother to turn. “Thanks. The book still needs work, though.”
“You knew that before you turned it in.” My Muse is standing on the other side of my desk, arms crossed on his broad chest. His smile reaches his blue eyes. He’s wearing his burgundy henley, sleeves pushed to his elbows, and his worn-well jeans.
“I also thought my writing teacher would only read the first 200 pages. She read the whole thing.”
“And that’s a bad thing why?”
I groan. “The part after page 200 is the part that needs more work than the rest because it’s where I made the most changes over the past two revisions.”
“At least you recognize that, love. It comes with practice.”
“And learning,” I add. “It’s kind of annoying, really.”
His brow arches. “How so?”
“Do you know I’m starting to analyze television shows for storytelling? Just last night Hubs and I were discussing how a new plot thread was introduced into a show, and how it felt like someone just decided that the main storyline wasn’t enough, so they shoehorned a new angle to it. It seemed to me like they just found out the show would be renewed, so they had to add something else to carry it through another season. They didn’t do it very well.”
His smile changed somehow from proud to knowing. “How could they have done it better?”
“A lot of ways. Especially seeding more hints along the way.” I get that they wouldn’t take the effort unless they knew it would pay off or they would need it later, but still, it could have been little things and pretty easy. “At the very least, they could have given a better explanation of something major that happened in the very first episode. That would have been smoother than a character dropping a bombshell reveal out of nowhere.”
His knowing smile broadened.
His chuckle rose from deep in his chest. “You are growing as a writer, love. And a storyteller.”
That was kinda the point of going for the writing certificate. “Writer, sure. Storyteller? I can name a dozen people off the top of my head …”
He cuts me off. “You recognize the elements of good storytelling, and you are aware of them in others’ writing as well as your own.”
“Oh gawd. Now you sound like a writing craft book.”
“You are learning. And you are putting what you learn into practice, which is why it took you six …”
“Seven,” I correct.
He sighs. “Seven tries to get your plot right in this manuscript. It’s better than finishing the manuscript with a flawed plot and starting over after three rounds of revision.”
True. “All that writing stuff I’m trying to learn is sinking in.” I look at my writing certificate of completion. It took me over a year, but I’m glad I did it. I just wish they hadn’t cancelled the program. Stupid pandemic.
“To celebrate,” my Muse says as he heads to the mini-fridge, “Beer and chocolate.”
“Wine,” I say, because beer doesn’t go with chocolate as well as wine does, “and better hold off on the chocolate for now. I have another revision to finish. You’re sticking around, right? No celebratory pub crawls with E?”
“Of course, love. I’ll be here.”
I’ll hold off on the next round of revision until after I get the garden in. This weekend is garden weekend, so I should have some pictures for you next week. In the US, enjoy your holiday weekend, and remember those who served our country and fallen.
Happy Memorial Day! Keep on writing!