Monday, March 7, 2011

Black Light Your Story

As some of you may know, I have a little Yorkie named Lizzi. She's over ten-years-old and rules our household.

Last week I noticed that a rash the groomer had told me about was worse, so I called the vet and took her in. He checked her over, gave her some antibiotics, and sent me on my way. End of story, right? Wrong!
Saturday when I took Lizzi to the groomer's, I told her what had happened. The groomer asked me if the vet used a "black light" on Lizzi. I had no idea what she was talking about. She took me and Lizzi into a small dark room and turned on this cool light. When she moved it over Liz, bright green spots appeared. The groomer told me that I needed to call the vet again because the rash needed to be checked out immediately.

Yikes!!! 

Needless to say, I was very upset with my vet and instead of calling him, Hubby and I drove to his office with poor little Lizzi quivering and quaking. She knew something wasn't right. Another vet was on duty. He did the black light thing also and found even more bright green spots under her chin and above her front legs. He did some tests. We won't know exactly what she has for several days, but he definitely thought it was a fungus of some type. He had his assistants dip Lizzi in a lyme bath. She's taking all sorts of meds and that lyme bath...that did not make her happy at all. Lizzi is a house pet and is never around other dogs or cats. And I keep a clean house, but the vet said this fungus could have been tracked in on our feet.


What does this doggy tale have to do with writing? Sometimes despite our best intentions our manuscripts can become infected with grammar errors, stereotypical characters, and a plot that fizzles. What we have to do is black light our books to help us find these flaws.

Okay, maybe we can't actually black light our pages and see wonderful little green images that point out the errors, but we can ask others to read our pages and tell us what they think. They may tell us we need to dip our masterpiece in a lyme bath, or they may tell us nothing is wrong and they love what we've done. Just make sure that you take your manuscript to someone you trust and who knows what they're doing. In fact, the more trusted people you have read your work the better it will be.

Have you used a black light on your story? How many green spots have you found?

8 comments:

  1. My WiP has led a haphazard life that's a story in itself. I just finished a fast draft where I looked for nothing but continuity problems and plot holes. Boy did I find a lot. And fixed them. Now I can get on with the rest of the editing process. That draft was my black light.

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  2. Oh no, poor Lizzi! I hope she gets better soon. She's a beautiful little dog!

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  3. Carol,
    I know what you mean. That first go through after your rough draft can find many holes. Good thing you took a black light to it. I hope you have no more green spots. ;)

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  4. Laura,
    She's been pretty upset. Finally last night she came and sat beside me on the couch. And the thing is, she has to be dipped once a week for at least three more weeks. Poor little thing. Thanks for caring.

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  5. I'm so sorry about Lizzi! Poor thing! I hope she's feeling better soon.

    I love the analogy, though. Black-light readers. I totally need some.

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  6. Kathi, sorry to hear Lizzi isn't well. Hopefully the meds will make her feel better and clear up the fungus. When our four-legged family members are sick, it's rough. Keeping both of you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  7. Laura,
    Lizzi is doing a little better, I think.

    Wouldn't it be cool if you could buy a black light that you could scan your pages with. Sign me up, because I want one. ;)

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  8. Mason,
    Thank you! I'm hoping the meds I pick up this morning will help Lizzi. You are right, it's tough having our four-legged friends ill.

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