Wax On, Wax Off

Maybe this would be the time to admit I love movies of all kinds. I fell in love with the 2010 version of The Karate Kid. I didn’t expect to because I thought it was going to turn out to be just an updated remake of a pretty good classic. And while the similarities of the story are such to dictate the title of the movie remain the same, there is enough difference to make it interesting. The acting involved in the telling of this story drew me in immediately, and the cinematography was beautiful enough to bring tears to my eyes.

Instead of “wax on, wax off,” Mr. Han tells his pupil, Dre Parker, “pick up your jacket, hang it up, take it down, put it on, take it off, throw it down, pick it up…” as the way to teach the repetitive motions required for learning Kung Fu.

What does this have to do with writing? Aside from the repetitive motions involved with keyboarding, it can serve as a reminder that there are certain elements necessary to the writing process that can only make the writer better at his or her craft. “Throw it down, pick it up, hang it up, take it down, put it on, take it off…”

Throw it down: Get the story from your head to the computer. Pick it up: Add in the details of plot, setting, character, dialogue and so on that begin the process of breathing life into the story. Hang it up: Fine tune the grammar, tighten the prose, make the dialogue realistic, add action to dialogue and introspective scenes. Take it down: Read it over and look for weak places, overused words, passive voice, and other things you can improve. Put it on: Pass it to your critique partners. Take it off:  Act (or decide why not to act) on the feedback of your crit partners. Throw it down…

Writing fiction is training for the competition, building endurance for the marathon. And if you’re dedicated enough, give it the right amount of discipline and attention to training, and above all maintain the proper respect for the craft, you can end up with something people not only pick up to read, but finish reading and recommend to others.

Heartsight is getting some great reviews. I want to thank those who picked it up to read the work of a debut author. As well, I want to thank my supportive family, friends, crit partners, editors, beta readers, proof readers…this really was a Village Effort and I appreciate all the work everyone put into helping me reach this goal.

Each copy of Heartsight purchased from Astraea Press between March 1 and June first will generate $2 for the USO Wounded Warrior Program, thanks to the wonderful matching gesture of the publisher.


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