Sherry Kyle here, writing to you from my laptop in central California.
Can you believe it’s almost December? Now that Thanksgiving is over for 2011, it’s time to decorate our homes for Christmas. I don’t know what it’s like at your house, but my kids can’t wait for the tree to go up and the decorating to begin.
Like embellishing our homes for the holidays, our manuscripts need that something special in order to capture a reader’s attention.
Music. There’s nothing like good Christmas music to get us in the spirit of the holiday. What is your favorite Christmas song? CD? Makes sure your manuscript has the tone you want to convey. Is it light/happy? Somber/serious? Rich/dramatic? God has gifted each of us differently and we need to embrace the song inside of us.
Lights. The tradition of using small candles to light Christmas trees dates back to the middle of the XVII century. It wasn’t until 1882, when the first Christmas tree was lit by the use of electricity. What makes your manuscript glow? Have you spend enough time on it that it’s polished to a shine? Rewriting is part of the process, so take your time.
Ornaments. If you’re like me, you have ornaments that date back to when you were a child. I have some homemade ornaments from high school friends the year we did an exchange. Each one is lovingly crafted and I love to put them on the tree every year. With writing it’s important to hone our craft even if we’ve been writing for years. We need to keep reading, taking classes, and going to conferences so that our readers will treasure our books like we cherish our Christmas ornaments.
Candles. There’s nothing like the scent of Christmas. I have a big red candle that I place in the center of my kitchen table every year. I love to inhale the spicy aroma because it enhances the Christmas atmosphere. Adding the right amount of detail (sights, smells, sounds, etc.) to your manuscript is also vital. We want our readers to be captivated by our words.
Garland/Wreath. Besides the tree, my family likes to decorate our staircase with garland and our front door with a big wreath. It completes the overall Christmas look. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, what is that extra special something in your manuscript that readers will take away with them for a very long time?
As you decorate your homes and your manuscripts this holiday season, remember the reason we celebrate Christmas—the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!