Friday, October 07, 2005

And The Words Go On

Between all the natural disasters and political upheavals, this writer has kept her nose to the keyboard. Impossible position, by the way. I'm "on deadline" as we writer types like to say, to finish the latest tome. This being the 7th or 8th book I've written (3 in print) I can see the pattern now. I know I've reached a certain stage by my emotional state and my degree of confidence in my writing. For those out there who are writers or are considering joining the craft, here's my timeline:

1) Initial flush of an idea.
2) More fleshing out of original idea.
3) Begin book with worry this isn't going anywhere.
4) Book takes off. The euphoria/rush is unlike anything else except for really excellent chocolate or sex. (Yes, I've run tests on this).
5) Middle of book -- Is this going some place?
6) This so SUCKS! The heroine is lame, the hero is a wimp and where is the bad guy?
7) Okay, maybe this isn't so bad.
8) First draft completed. Sigh, print out manuscript. Geez this thing is long!
9) First edit. Boy does this thing have gaps. Lots of gaps.
9) Nerves set in -- honest concern this thing might stink.
10) More nerves -- really worried this thing might stink.
11) End of first edit. Okay, this is better. Still got some plot holes -- okay, LOTS of plot holes, but parts of this thing are freakin' brilliant.
12) Repeat from #9 through #11 for the next two edits.
13) Send out to critique partners and gnaw fingernails to the knuckles.
13) Manuscript returns. Fix the bad stuff, beam over the good stuff.

Another book done.

However this time there is another step in the mix -- send book to editor. Yes, this time I'm being traditionally published and hence there is an editor (Gwen) in the mix. I'm hoping we can find common ground and make this work fabulous.

Writers live with their own personal demons. We veer from pole to pole in a matter of minutes -- this is the worst thing I've written, this is the best I've ever written. Or as Steven King's wife once put it, "Stop being so *#$@#$ needy!"

We're needy because our characters are. THEY, at least in my world, run the show. They take the story in the direction they want and heaven help you if you fight them. It is their story after all. I'm just the scribe.

And now back to the first edit and the indecision. I like to think that I'm always striving for perfection. No doubt others think all we writers need is really effective prescription medication.