Every writer edits. Some edit as they go, some save it for later, some do it for a living. Whenever I head down that ol' editing highway, my writing sheep come along for the ride.
Sheep #1: This is cheating.
Sheep #2: It is, you know.
Writer: Why is this cheating? I'm writing.
Sheep #3: But this is dialogue. You like writing dialogue. It comes easily for you. FOUL!!!
Sheep #1: You should be working on her prose.
Sheep #2: It does need work.
Sheep #3: And we're being kind.
Writer: I'm aware work is needed. I've been searching and destroying her repetitive words.
Sheep #1: We know. We've named one of us 'Just' and another one 'That'. (lifts front hoof and points to the left) See that sheep over there? The one with the bland expression?
Writer: Aren't most sheep's expressions bland?
Sheep #2: That was uncalled for.
Sheep #3: We're a myriad of emotions. We're deep.
Sheep #1: You have no idea.
Sheep #1: (shaking head) Of course. That sheep over there is "Smiled". He was everywhere. Now he's shunned. Don't go near him. He's bitter.
Sheep #2: He bites.
Sheep #3: But it's not just the repetitive words. We want more description. A clearer picture, if you will. We want all our senses engaged.
Writer: I know. I'm doing my best.
Sheep #1: And tell her we want more conflict! Conflict makes us happy.
Writer: Conflict makes you happy?
Sheep #2: We told you we're complex.
Sheep #1: Now, don't get us wrong. There is a great deal of the story which has our approval.
Sheep #2: We like the food.
Sheep #3: And the horse.
Sheep #1: We want to drive the red car. Can that be arranged?
Writer: That might prove difficult.
Sheep #2: Fine. Disappoint us. We're only sheep.
Sheep #1: Just tell her to finish. We're ready to move on.
Writer: So am I.
Sheep #3: Good. We want new pastures. New views. New characters.
Writer: But two of the characters will be in the next manuscript.
Sheep #1: We know. We're fine with that.
Sheep #3: They're the ones who drive the red car.
Elspeth Antonelli is an author and playwright. Her murder mystery games "A Fatal Fairy Tale" and "Deadly Ever After" are among the top-selling mystery games on the web. All fourteen of her murder mystery games and two audience-interactive plays are published by host-party.com. She has also contributed articles to the European writers' magazine Elias. Connect with her on Twitter at @elspethwrites.