Thursday, July 2, 2009

How Writing a Novel is Like a Love Story

Okay, y’all, this is an oldie but goodie from author Libba Bray about how similar your typical love story is to writing your WIP.


The whole post is clever, but here’s some excerpts:

THE EARLY STAGES OMG, y'all. My book and I went out again yesterday, and you know what? My book is so, so clever! Seriously. It was only our third date and it brought me fresh metaphor.

THE FIRST DRAFT I love this book. And it loves me. I never want to be without this book. Never, ever.

THE REVISION, MONTH TWO My book? No, things are okay. I guess. I mean, I totally love my book and everything,'s not quite as clever as I thought.

THE REVISION, MONTH THREE OMG. Eight hours of writing for this crap? If it starts one more sentence with "I" things will get bloody. Boring. Derivative. Repetitive--I know! We totally covered that in chapter four AND in chapter twenty. You remember, right? So why doesn't my book?

THE REVISION, ON DEADLINE F*@*#&ing book. I hate you. I wish I'd never met you. YOU MAKE MY LIFE HELL! HELL! I wish there were another word for hell but my thesaurus says there's not. My mother was right. I should never have gotten involved with you.

THE THIRD DRAFT (singing) It's a stupid novel, and I don't's a stupid novel, and I don't care...It's a stupid novel, and I don't's a stupid novel and I don't care...

THE FINAL DRAFT Thanks for meeting me here. Look, I'm just gonna come out with it. This--you, me--it's not working. I'm sorry. It's not you, it's...actually it's you. You're stupid. And I sort of hate you. But, you know, thanks for the great line on p. 400. I'm gonna go ahead and keep it because, really, you did give it to me and it doesn't fit you anymore. Oh, and while you're here, you might as well try the pie. It's good. Yeah. I've had 500 pieces of it over the past few months. So I know.

THE COPY EDITS Wow. Fancy running into you. It's been ages. No, you look good. You lost weight? Wow. About 10,000 words. That IS something. Ha! I'd forgotten how funny you are.

THE FINISHED BOOK That one? Yeah, we totally had a thing. But, you know, it's over now. So, tell me what you were saying about the succubus and the backpackers? OMG, that is the best thing ever! You know, you have such beautiful eyes...

It’s true, though, isn’t it? (I’m in the early revision stage of my love affair.) You fall in and out of love with it. You think at one point that it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen---but that morning you wake up and realize it looks more like Frankenstein’s monster (i.e., the picture above. Which is my current WIP. It should look much better by my September 1 deadline. With luck.)

But you keep slogging and put your doubts out of your head and finish the thing up.

Turn it in, praise God, and then realize you do actually have a thing for the WIP still.

Then you move on to the next project. And you start the whole process again.