"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe" ~ Neil Gaiman (A Game of You)


Lover's Quarrel

(aka How Far Can I Take This Analogy)

A story idea caught my attention. I flirted with it, not really taking it seriously at first. Then I noticed it began creeping into my mind more and more often. It was just so appealing. I realized there could be something special here. I finally made the commitment and put pen to paper.

The honeymoon was wonderful! Every word was magical. It was new, it was exciting, and I was so in love with this story! It seemed almost effortless, the words flowed so easily.

We settled into the hard work of writing a story. Things weren't so easy anymore. Sometimes I just wasn't in the mood. And I did have a headache that day, I swear! I began noticing flaws that were probably always there, but overshadowed by my enthusiasm.

Then the fighting started. I had no idea this story could be so stubborn! I wanted to take it in one direction, but it seemed to go in another completely on its own. I had to take back more than a few words. Do I even like this story anymore? Sometimes, I wonder what I ever saw in it in the first place.

I'm at a crossroads. Maybe we just weren't right for each other, and it's time to move on. I have to admit I've been flirting with other ideas lately -- not seriously, of course, because that would be wrong. But I know there are other fish in the sea.

Yet, how can I let go of everything we've been through, everything that I've put into this? Do I really think the next story is going to be any different? Or, when things get rough, am I going to give up on it like I did this one? I don't want to be the Elizabeth Taylor of the literary world.

Maybe I'm like a military wife. The kind that learns that it's OK to spend some time apart now and then because you'll appreciate it all the more when you're back together again. Or maybe I can convince my manuscript that a polygamous relationship is really OK, and I can juggle more than one commitment at a time. But do I really want more than one taskmaster nagging at me all the time?

I think it's time for a marriage counselor. I'm calling on all of you who have had successful relationships with your manuscripts and have actually finished ... and perhaps published ... your masterpiece. How did you get through the tough spots? What worked for you?

See, what I'd really like is a long, meaningful relationship with each one of my stories until it reaches its normal surmise, is published, and sent off into the great Hereafter. Yes, I'd like to be the Black Widow of the literary world.

(There. That's where the analogy falls apart.)


Valerie Ipson said...

Can totally relate. I keep writing notes on on other stories while I work on my current project. I have to make myself stop and focus. I guess it depends on what stage of your WIP you're at. If you're pretty far into it, you gotta see it to the end. That's my motto anyway.

Sorry, that's my only answer. Just say no.