Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Falling In and Out of Love

News flash: Writing a novel is hard!

I've reviewed hundreds of books, some of them stinkers that made me proclaim, "I could write better than that." Now I have embarked on writing The Great American Potboiler (The Great American Novel is too much pressure) and it's taking a lot of time and effort. And that's just for the research. Oh, and much of what I've written is crap. But at least it's my crap, and as author MJ Rose observed in a Readerville forum several years ago, "It's easier to edit crap than air."

Via Editorial Ass, I found a terrific, funny post by Libba Bray, Writing a novel, a love story. Under deadline to finish the draft of a novel, she has:
become convinced that I could advertise on Craig's List for gangs of homeless gerbils to run across my keyboard in an agitated, looking-for-the-water-tube state, and they would do a better job. This is how it goes. Every. Single. Friggin'. Time.

In fact, writing a novel is very close to falling in love. How so? I'm glad you asked.
Bray then details the stages of love/novel writing, from The Beginning through First Draft, several Revisions ("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."), Third Draft, Final Drafts, Copy Edits and The Finished Book.


Anonymous said...

Is that how you feel about me?

What draft am I on?


Sustenance Scout said...

This post was funny enough, Bella, but your DH's comment did me in!

Love MJ's quote. K.

Christine Fletcher said...

One of the few authors' blogs I routinely check is Libba Bray's. She and Dennis Cass are of the same ilk--too damn funny and brilliant and they come up with this stuff that's spot-on true and then they make it hilarious to boot and I hate them. A little. OK, not really.

Hang in there with the novel, Bella. I just scrapped my opening chapters and have started over from scratch. Either it's absolutely the right decision, or I'm still numb from shock and denial. Ain't it grand?