Who Has the Permit?


You know that moment. And that feeling.

It happens the instant a new idea gels in your mind. All of a sudden, you're dancing around the room, pumping your fist, shouting, "Yes!" to the world. Or to the cat, who thinks you've finally flipped the big switch.

You ignore the cat and keep dancing.

Then - you know what's coming - the BUTS.

I hate those suckers.

This is good, but. . . .

I like this part, but. . . .

If I let her do this, he'll do that; but. . . .

And on they march.

It's your job to take control.

Sit each but down, have a conversation. Let him tell you his problem. Once you know his concerns, then you can work out a solution and move forward. If you don't, the buts will organize and parade through your manuscript as if they own it.

Not a pretty sight. Don't issue them a parade permit.

Remember our slogan - No Buts Allowed!


Jan Morrison said…
Yes, I tell my 'buts' they'll have their say in revision but they aren't allowed on the set during shooting.Jan Morrison
Lydia Kang said…
Ah, you wrote this perfectly! That feeling and all the buts that come with it.
Eventually the buts end up getting heard in my world, annoying as they may be.
Carol Kilgore said…
Jan - I'm smiling a big smile. Love it!

Lydia - They are nasty little critters who don't like to shut up.
Mason Canyon said…
Best advice I've heard for buts.

Thoughts in Progress
KarenG said…
So true! We are our own worst enemies.
Jennifer Shirk said…
That's the one thing I remind my kidlet when I tell her not to do something. I always say and I don't want to hear "but". LOL
VR Barkowski said…
Well said! Buts are the bane of my existence and not just when it comes to writing. *Sigh*
Carol Kilgore said…
Mason - Thanks!

Karen - I agree. It's a shame.

Jennifer - "But Mo-om..."

VR - I know that feeling, too.
Helen Ginger said…
Great advice. Turn all buts into what-ifs. They're possibilities.
There are the self-doubt buts which I try to ignore; not always succesfully. Then there are the buts which have a valid point. Not every idea is good - some are just dumb. Those buts I listen to.
Talli Roland said…
Parade permit! I love it!

I try to keep them all in line and marching to MY tune. It doesn't always work but... I try!
Carol Kilgore said…
Helen - Great advice!

Elspeth - Yes, important to see what each one is about.

Talli - Smiling. I try, too. Mine are awfully pesky.
but they keep slipping past my defenses!
Terry Odell said…
Look on the bright side. Dealing with those 'buts' proves you know more than they do. And the writing is stronger for letting them appear.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery
Carol Kilgore said…
Holly - They're sneaky.

Terry - But... :)
Ann Best said…
I try to listen to the good buts, too.

What a lively post! I really enjoyed this.
Patti Lacy said…
You are SOOO amazing.
Where do you get that voice?
Humor plus edge plus action????

And don't say, "But i..."
I feel like someone was bugging my writing space, because I’ve had that very same conversation on many occasions! I think I have to make a sign adopting your slogan, “No Buts allowed.”
Claudia said…
Hi Carol,
I love how you personify the "but" in your MS. ;)
I use this "permit" in my every day life. LOL! It works like a charm.
P.S. I love that you added the animal rescue button. I click every day. I've bought stuff from them. How can I add that button to my blog?
Hope to see you in my neck of the woods.

Carol Kilgore said…
Ann - Good for you. I'm glad you enjoyed this post.

Patti - I don't know where the voice comes from. It's inside; it's me.

Jane - My spies are everywhere :)
Make that sign!

Claudia - When I click on your link here, I go to a page with no information, so thank you for including your blog address.

I had to ask, too, and another blogger helped me with directions for the Animal Rescue Site button. Here's how I 'think' you do it.

Go to the Animal Rescue Site page, find the 'Link to Us' notice, and click on it. Choose the button you want and copy the code for it. Make sure you get all of it because only the first line is shown.

On your blog, go to the layout/design page - the one that shows all the boxes for the things that are on your blog. Click on Add a Gadget in the space where you want the button to appear, and choose the one that says 'HTML/JavaScript'. Paste the code you copied into the box and save. It should appear on the layout page as 'The Animal Rescue Site'.

Hope this works for you!
Anonymous said…
Oh, so very true. My manuscript and all it entails are subject to my tyrannical rule. There are no parades except for when I finish something. ;-)
Carol Kilgore said…
Hmmmm. Perhaps I should become a tyrant. Should I extend tyrannical behavior to the doggies and my live-in handyman? Would they notice?
Claudia said…
Hi Carol,
Thanks for dropping by and for joining my community. I joined yours as well, I'm your lucky 91 ;)
Thank you for the tips on how to add the Animal Rescue Site button to your blog. I'll give it a try. As you can see, I'm all for animals. My hubby volunteers at our local SPCA. He's been doing it for almost two years and counting.
I'll be dropping by often. ;)
I can't remember ever meeting a "but" I liked.

PS I love your photo!!! No buts.

Great post.
Carol Kilgore said…
Claudia - Looking forward to seeing your smiling face here. Hope the tips work for you.

Teresa - Every once in a while a but will open an interesting door for me. Glad you like the photo :)
Okay, but...

Sorry, couldn't resist. My suspense novel first draft is full of "buts" if we are to believe my super-competent critique group. I'm working on the solutions while my manuscript takes a rest.

Aubrie said…
Oh I get too many of those buts sometimes! It's hard to get rid of them. Sometimes it takes me days to work around them!
Carol Kilgore said…
Patricia - Critique groups are like that :)

Aubrie - Takes me days, too, sometimes.
Glynis said…
Great self-confidence post. Although I have my share of buts, I just know that there has got to be a solution to every one of them. I just have to figure it out.
Carol Kilgore said…
Some buts require deep thinking on my part.