12 Days of a Writer’s Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my editor said to me, “Your book is due in 11 more days.”

On the second day of Christmas my editor said to me, “Change two character names, and your book is due in 10 more days.”

On the third day of Christmas my editor said to me, “Dump the prologue, change two character names, and your book is due in 9 more days.”

On the fourth day of Christmas my editor said to me, “Too much back story, dump the prologue, change two character names, and your book is due in 8 more days.”

On the fifth day of Christmas my editor said to me, “Five… weak… scenes. Too much back story, dump the prologue, change two character names, and your book is due in 7 more days.”

On the sixth day of Christmas my editor said to me, “Stay chronological, five… weak… scenes. Too much back story, dump the prologue, change two character names, and your book is due in 6 more days.”

On the seventh day of Christmas my editor said to me, “Major turning point page 65, stay chronological, five… weak… scenes. Too much back story, dump the prologue, change two character names, and your book is due in 5 more days.”

On the eighth day of Christmas my editor said to me, “Great antagonist! Major turning point page 65, stay chronological, five… weak… scenes. Too much back story, dump the prologue, change two character names, and your book is due in 4 more days.”

On the ninth day of Christmas my editor said to me, “Tension on every page, great antagonist! Major turning point page 65, stay chronological, five… weak… scenes. Too much back story, dump the prologue, change two character names, and your book is due in 3 more days.”

On the tenth day of Christmas my editor said to me, “Good ‘negation of the negation,’ tension on every page, great antagonist! Turning point page 65, stay chronological, five… weak… scenes. Too much back story, dump the prologue, change two character names, and your book is due in 2 more days.”

On the eleventh day of Christmas my editor said to me, “Weak ending, good ‘negation of the negation,’ tension on every page, great antagonist! Major turning point page 65, stay chronological, five… weak… scenes. Too much back story, dump the prologue, change two character names, and your book is due in 1 more day.”

On the twelfth day of Christmas my editor said to me, “Hope your Christmas was restful ‘cause your book is due this very day!”

“If writers were good businessmen, they’d have too much sense to be writers.”

Irvin S. Cobb

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