Posted by: Kathleen Mix | December 21, 2011

Lessons from an Uncommon Cold

Every fall, I catch a common cold that consists of a few sniffles and a cough. Within a week, I’m fine. Within two weeks, the discomfort is forgotten.
This year has proven very different. An uncommon cold has completely upset my life. Unable to talk and in pain whenever I swallowed, I found myself losing interest in my favorite activities, including writing and reading. Never before have I been uninterested in reading a book!
Looking back as I recover and attack edits on my work-in-progress, I found a lesson in my illness: the uncommon is memorable. Something or someone unique sticks in my mind. In the books I’ve read and loved, the plot or characters have been memorable because they were uncommon.
Hoping to gain something from my weeks of malaise, I studied the characters in my manuscript, wondering if they were memorable or common. The result? The hero is memorable. The heroine is not. So it appears I have a lot of work in front of me before my book can be one readers love.
A good lesson is the silver lining in any illness. When I remembered the agony of my sore throat, hopefully I’ll remember to make my plots and characters unique.


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