Wouldn’t it be great to have a jolly, old elf pop in and edit your manuscript for you?
A little holiday cheer, for all you writers out there:
The Write Before Christmas
[Yes, Virginia, I wrote this myself.]
‘Twas the cusp of the holidays
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Not even her mouse
Her fingers hovered over the keyboard with care
Desperately seeking a masterpiece there
Her children all finally upstairs in bed,
The Writer tried to set free the dreams in her head
With her coffee grown cold
And a quilt on her lap,
She wrestled in vain
With a writer’s great trap
For from her stilled keyboard
Came no further clatter
Writer’s block, she knew,
Was the heart of the matter
Distraught, to the window she flew like a flash
Tossing another page into the trash
The glow from her monitor lit up the room
Imparting a sheen of frustration and gloom
When what to her wondering eyes should appear
But a miniature sleigh, all laden with gear
With a spry little driver, so lively and quick
Great Heavens, she thought, could this be St. Nick?
Swifter than rejection letters his reindeer they came
And the dapper little man called each one by name
“Now, Character Development! Now, Tone, Voice, and Diction!
On Dialogue, Plot, Word-Choice, and Flash Fiction!
To this stumped writer’s keyboard at the end of the hall!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”
As writing professors with their red pens do fly
When they tear through an essay offending the eye,
So straight to her manuscript the proofers they flew
With their sleigh full of gear and St. Nicholas, too
Nitpicky hooves clattering, Dialogue muttered “Oof,
If I’d written this tripe, I’d throw myself off the roof!”
Nick smiled at the Writer, joined his proofers at work.
“Don’t mind Dialogue,” he whispered, “Sometimes he’s a jerk.”
The Writer withdrew to a spot in the back
Watching the reindeers clackety-clack
Nick wore a tweed sportcoat, with natty, patched elbows
Enormous bifocals perched atop his snub nose
His fingers were tarnished with toner and ink
He turned with a smile, gave the Writer a wink
His eyes, how they raced through her work at top speed
His fingers so dexterous, doing their deed
His brow, how it furrowed at each pesky ‘graf
“I’m sorry, “ the Writer said. “It’s just my first draft.”
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave her to know she had nothing to dread
“All that this manuscript needs, my poor dear,
Is a bit more attention here, here, and here.”
He polished each page, worked the point of view over
While his cloven-hoofed proofers munched on some clover
Nick checked both thesaurus and worn dictionary
When at last he was done, his face looked quite merry
“There, now! Just read the feedback I’ve left.
You’ll find the suggestions I’ve made are quite deft.
You’ve got potential, tho’ I’d watch out for trope
Keep up the good work, and don’t ever lose hope.
Like really good stews, manuscripts need to simmer.
So dump that stale coffee, go heat up your dinner.
The more you stare at it, the harder it is:
Sometimes writer’s block is just part of our biz.”
And handing her the new Chicago Manual of Style,
He chortled and winked and turned with a smile.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle
And they left her small office with the speed of a missile.
But she heard Nick exclaim, ere they drove out of sight
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good write!”