Monday, June 30, 2008

Rollercoaster of Love



Just like any normal relationship, writers have periods of ups and downs with their books. Yes, I realize that stories are inanimate objects, but trust me, we spend as much or more time thinking about them as we do our significant others. Think back to that first blush stage of infatuation. Well, we experience that with our books too. We fall asleep wondering about it and wake up with it on our minds after dreaming of the characters and plot points. We spend the day distracted, turning over various scenarios. And can’t wait until everyone will just go away so we can spend time with it. ;)

But this relationship involves many ups and downs, albeit in a much shorter time period, as you can imagine after reading our comments about wanting to kill off our characters in a fiery crash. The blush of the beginning is intoxicating. I love that excitement of meeting new characters and discovering their story (as a plotter, I do this all at once). Then there’s the actual writing. That’s when I reach my most recent phase…

I recently received a request for a proposal, so I’ve been busting my hump trying to get it ready to mail. I started off with what was probably a pretty decent piece of work. Unfortunately, like any woman who looks at her thighs in the mirror, no matter what her size she thinks she’s fat. Well, no matter what is on the page, I always think it must suck. Because I wrote it. It can never be more than passably mediocre. So I spend my days in a dark cloud, wondering what the hell I was thinking becoming a writer. I spend most of my time during the rough draft stage with this attitude (yes, my husband will confirm that I live in varying degrees of emotional melodrama at all times).

Now the revision stage is a whole different matter! Finally, finally last night I was able to look at my proposal and think, “Well, I may not truly suck after all.” There may actually be something salvageable in this book. Hopefully someone out there will not completely hate it. Maybe that’s why this stage is my next favorite, besides the very first. I can actually begin to hope again.

Ah, the roller coaster of emotions a writer must live on (and the poor people who have to live with us). At least life is interesting, if nothing else…

All you writers out there, what are your favorite stages of work and why? Do you suffer these emotional ups and downs, or am I just a tiny bit psycho? My husband would say… Let’s just not go there.

Angel

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10 comments:

Jen said...

Hey, I'll let your husband give my husband a call.

Instigator said...

My favorite part is starting a new story. The worst is about chapter seven. Doesn't matter what's going on with the story or my process, come chapter seven I absolutely suck!

As Zilla has mentioned before, anyone who interrupts me while I'm writing is subject to lose an appendage...whatever's closest and will hurt most. I think being moody and melodramatic goes with being a writer :-) At least that's my excuse.

Instigator

MaryF said...

My favorite stage is: the initial creating, and the scenes created that reveal the characters --as you said; its like falling in love.

Otherwise, as you know I am currently in my own little angst ridden writing hole.

Mary

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I love beginnings and endings. Middles not so much. I'd say having recently finished a book that my favorite part is being finished. But it's not. I am, in fact, wandering around lost. I've started a new book. And as I try to make the beginning make sense, since I don't know these people very well at all, I'm not really liking the beginning stage at the moment. :(

Smarty Pants said...

I guess I'm hooked on the beginning - from the first blush of an idea to fleshing out the situation and reveling in those "a-ha" moments where everything clicks. That has to be my favorite, otherwise I wouldn't agonize myself by suffering through the middle. It's the addictive high of a new book that gets me writing and the drive for publication that keeps me writing beyond the first few chapters.

After that point, I suck. The story stucks. The characters are stupid. I need to keep my day job. Normal stuff. :)

Playground Monitor said...

I like the excitement of a new idea. But as I'm learning today in a completely unrelated discussion on another loop (or maybe it IS related), I think perhaps I'm plotting things to death and that's sucking the excitement away. By the time I've plotted out the story, I'm so wrapped up in the minutiae that the characters have no room for romance.

::sigh::

I see some heavy pondering in my future.

PM

Problem Child said...

I like the part where I visualize the scenes in my head--usually this is long before I write them. Then I just get frustrated when I can't quite get the written version to match the visual in my head.

birdzilla said...

Easy on the verbiage Instigator...

Do you really want me to talk about losing appendages???
Sore subject right now :)

Problem Child said...

I KNEW there was more to the story... Dog bite, riiiight.

Instigator said...

LOL

You didn't actually lose it...just the ability to use it for a little while. Thank God!

Instigator