Making it Shine

Hard at work on a manuscript, I was suddenly reminded of those Pledge commercials that used to air during the soap operas back when I was a kid. You know the ones where a fine mist covers an already spotless piano and is wiped up quickly without a smudge or a streak. Pure magic right before our eyes! And don’t forget when lemon Pledge came on the scene. Not only did it clean like a charm, but it had that great lemony smell. Ah lemon–what more could any good housewife want?  I’m not sure how many of us owned pianos back then but seeing that wood shine is a memory that sits pretty in my mind. If we’d have owned one of the darn things I’d have surely spent my days polishing away.

I’ve been working on a manuscript that requires a little more buffing, just a little more shine, thus the trip down memory lane with the lemon Pledge. (Our minds have a great way of connecting unrelated things, don’t you think?)

So I’m at the place where I need to make this story as shiny as that piano on the lemon pledge commercial. The truth is I like this part of writing, maybe even more than setting the story down. I like reading what’s already there, moving those sentences around if need be, even adding scenes that previously weren’t there because a sudden burst of writing genius has made me see something that I was previously unable to see. This is the part of the writing process where I get to shine, and it’s a good feeling. It’s the place where we can take a good story and make it even better. Others might not see it, certainly not the readers who sees only the finished product, but a writer knows. Oh yes, we certainly do. Sometimes all it takes is the smallest bit of change.

Once I have a clear idea of what idea of just how I’m going to make a story shine, I like to jump right in and get to work. A phone call from my editor a week ago gave me just what I needed to start me off. I now have all the supplies I need to give this next story a shiny new coat. I don’t expect the process to take all that long, but I do expect to enjoy every glorious moment. I’ll let you now how I make out.

And who knows maybe if I pick up a can of furniture polish I’ll become that “good housewife” after all. Now back to work I go.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?

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