I have a Kindle Fire. I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you. It’s a lovely device. One of the many tech toys I’ve picked up (despite the fact that I am scared of the future and believe in the Terminator Concept: Skynet is going to become self-aware and kills us all). I mostly use it to read novels by all of my “real best friends” and listen to music from my Amazon cloud, but I also like to send myself whatever piece of writing I’m currently crafting via the Doc option. It’s pretty sweet to be able to email a short story draft directly to my device. Once I started doing this a funny realization presented itself: My Kindle doesn’t lie.
I can read from my laptop, I can read out loud, I can set up the action figures and act out the scenes, but I always miss something. And I know that’s just a hard truth for writers. We always miss something. Even our editors occasionally miss things. But when I send a story to my Kindle and I open it on that beautiful seven inch screen, all of my blemishes stand up and spew their nasty pus right back in my face. I don’t know what or why this is, but I absolutely love it. (Masochist!) Maybe it’s the intensity with which I gaze into the magical display screen, maybe it’s all that focus that Mr. Miyagi was talking about. Whatever it is, it works for a boss named Cold Hard Truth (not to be confused with Cool Hand Luke) and feeds it to me like my mother fed me my vegetables: “Glenn, this will help you grow.”
Not only can I clearly spot my errors (of which there are many), but I can highlight those mistake and make notes on how to fix it, how to re-word it, or to simply cut it. When I’ve reached where it says, “The End”, and I’m through discovering the lack of my story’s Feng Shui, I can go to the bar at the top of my screen and tap on Notes. And viola! all of the little uglies that need attention are lined up and waiting for my critical mind to repair them, or in the more drastic cases, to do what needs to be done. Banzai!
If you are a writer with a Kindle you must try this. I remember Ellen Datlow (editor extraordinaire) mentioned using her device for this purpose in New Orleans last summer at a panel during the World Horror Convention. She was talking about doing edits for any one of her many anthologies, so at the time, I didn’t think too much of it. Fast forward a few months and I finally understand! Genius.
I love my Kindle Fire (and all of the mean things it shows me) very much. My Kindle tell me the truth, and maybe yours will, too.