Wednesday, September 21, 2011

As Easy As Falling In Love

A lot of times people ask me when I know that a work is ready, complete and to the point where I need to submit it for publication. Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry answer to this, but I can tell you what it tends to be like for me:

Dread and Hate: There is a moment--usually brief--before I start writing that I am filled with dread and hate for the project. I have this vague, wispy idea of what it should be, and I know I'll never achieve the ideal, and so it sort of makes me sick to my stomach to think about writing it. 

Falling in Love: Somewhere along the way, usually within the first fifty pages of the manuscript, I start falling in love with it. The words sing, the characters are vivid, and the story's zinging along. 

Blind Love: ...and then I start having this sort of blind love for the project. I think every words perfect. I get very self satisfied. This feeling typically lasts all the way to when I write THE END...and as I stare at the whole manuscript, I have this sort of "this-is-the-best-book-ever-written-and-I-am-a-genius" sort of attitude. 

I've learned, after years of trial and error and a ton of rejections, that this is NOT the time to submit a manuscript for publication. This is the time to submit a manuscript to peers for critique. 

So, then I submit the manuscript for crits. And my feelings when I get back the critiques--which have NEVER said that the manuscript is perfect and I am a genius and deserve a cupcake--my feelings are this:

Anger and Denial: My initial reaction, no matter how much I love and respect my critique readers, is that they are WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And MEAN. And they're out to get me. So I usually read a crit, then give it a day before I feel...

Determination: I think this comes from my Southrn upbringing--I get this bull-headed attitude where I want to prove the critiquers wrong, and I'll write the best frexing book there ever was no matter how hard it is, so I pull up my boot straps and get to work. 


Falling in Love...Again: When I get to the point where I've started to fall back in love with the manuscript--that's when I know it's ready. I no longer have blind love for it, I can see the flaws, and I can see the bandages I used to patch it up after I broke it down, but for the most part, I love it again. 

And that's when I send it out.


E.R. King said...

Beautiful post! I agree with each description of the progressing emotions. Thank for sharing!

Alison said...

That sounds similar to how I feel, except the hate comes after I've been re-writing and all I can think about is how awful my manuscript is.

But I get to the love part eventually because it's hard to hate something you've put so much effort into.

Awesome post!

Bethany said...

You are my favorite author blog to read - you sound so authentic, you don't seem afraid to put yourself out there and I really like that. I don't know anything about writing (I'm more of the mathish type) but I think Across the Universe was "the-best-book-ever-written-and-(you)-(are)-a-genius" :)

Ava Jae said...

Wonderful post! I love the way you described each stage--that feels so dead on to the journey. Main difference for me is that I often agree with the critique I get back, which then brings on some feelings of embarrassment (wow, I thought that was ready? heh). Nonetheless, the rest of the feelings are stages of the same. :)

Slamdunk said...

I like your approach here Beth.

And I agree, critics are always wrong about my work; until I am forced to consider their perspectives at least.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think you deserve a cupcake for writing Across the Universe!! And for sharing your writing advice with us!

dellgirl said...

Hi, Beth. this is a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing it. Just popping back in to see what's new and to say hi.

Have a wonderful Weekend.

Christina Farley said...

This is so true! I totally am with you on this.

I think I might be the MEAN one- ha! But I ADORE everything you write. And I really think I'm the pickiest reader on the planet.

Miriam Forster said...

Absolutely true. And repeat for every subsequent edit. :)

Pk Hrezo said...

That pretty much sums it up, Beth. I always take a day or two as well to let crits sink in and not take offense. And wow, after a few months I can read my story and think, "What was I thinking? This is far from ready."

Christine Danek said...

This is great and true. Although, I have to get to the falling in love stage to indicate it's ready. Love this. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

replica louis vuitton bags for sale.
replica Mahina Leather handbags for sale.
replica louis vuitton antheia for sale.
replica Monogram Canvas for sale.
replica Monogram denim for sale.
Cheap Monogram Macassar Canvas for sale.
Replica louis vuitton monogram multicolore for sale.
replica Monogram Purses for sale.
replica Monogram Purses for sale.
replica Monogram Vernis bags for sale.

imitation louis vuitton bags for sale.
cheap louis vuitton antheia for sale.
replica Mahina Leather for sale.
replica Monogram Canvas handbags for sale.
replica Monogram denim handbags for sale.
Replica Monogram Macassar Canvas for sale.
Replica Monogram Multicolore for sale.
replica louis vuitton Monogram Vernis for sale.
replica louis vuitton Monogram Purses for sale.