Tuesday, April 21, 2009
...with your manuscript, that is. Right now, I'm having a fight with my manuscript. I wish it had a face (so that I could punch it). But even though I sort of hate it right now, I totally love it, too. Which got me to thinking about how our relationships with our manuscripts is a little like being in love in high school.
- Love-hate relationship: You love it. SO much. Like forevers love. But even though you think this is the ONE, you also sometimes sort of hate it. Does it have to be so stubborn about change? Does it have to keep you awake at night? 'Course, we all know those violently passionate ones: the fights are bitter, but the make-up sweet. So even though you struggle with this manuscript, you know it'll be SO worth it. Unless, of course, you break up first.
- Sticky-sweet love: You love it like forever. You write it's name in your notebook, dotting the "i"s with hearts. You picture it in the bookstore, waiting for you. You adore it. ...but you love it so much, you'll never change it, not really. And that picture of it in the bookstore, waiting for you, is probably never going to happen in real life because you can't change it.
- The bad-boy relationship: You're always fighting. You want to go one way, it wants to go another. Your loved ones tell you he's not good for you, but you ignore them. You know you can make this one work, you can change him into the manuscript you want him to be...but sometimes you've just got to let go.
- The he's-just-not-that-into you relationship: You want to write mysteries. But YA is so hot right now! So you deny your true love and go for the pretty boy. But that sort of thing never works out...in the end, you're just going to hurt both of you.
- The baby-daddy relationship: You get so much from this one--I'm talking sequels. You started off with him, now you've got six more sequels running around the house. Problem is, you're only with him 'cause you got so much invested in him. Not only have you worked with him, but think of all the time you spent working on the little ones that came after him. You can't let go of him, can you? But remember: writing shouldn't be monogamous. Branch out, find new loves!
- True love relationship: You love it. It loves you. When you're together, you're both singing. Sure, there's hard times. But you work them out together, never in a frustrated, oh-just-fine sort of way, but in a compromising, give and take sort of way. You accept his weaknesses and work to fix them. You focus more on what will make him better.