Last week started my cavalcade of editing content and structure of my second manuscript. Yea. Can you feel the enthusiasm? No? Yeah well neither can I. This is the part of the process where I hate my characters, hate my story, and I’ve considered using the 206 page piece of crap as kindling in my fireplace. And yeah, it is July in Arizona. So you know it has to be pretty bad.
Well, maybe not bad per se, just boring. So very boring I would actually rather work out, vacuum, or format this post to have a different font every other word, than sit down to edit anything having to do with Donna or her pathetic life.
Basically, fuck this manuscript. The title is awful and doesn’t fit the content. My characters are thin and no one is going to give a crap about their stupid little problems. Geographically I’m being a fraud because I set it in Boston (of course) but I’m not set in Boston anymore. Plot, scene, structure, character development – all crap. Crap, crap, CRAP!
Then I remember to breathe.
Because I’ve been through this once before.
The problem isn’t necessarily with the writing; the problem is with my head.
I know I can write it to be a more fully developed story. I also know it isn’t winning a Pulitzer but that the writing is better than Fifty Shades of Grey. Or so I’ve been told. I’m not intending on reading it to find out just how good or bad the grammar and spelling really are; I trust the horrified posts from my fellow writers and plan to stay clear. But some rumors about it are likely to be true. For example, the content.
Which means that single book is like a time bomb for writers like me.
Writers who celebrate the joys in subtle cuteness.
If you read Ripple the Twine you know I’m not one for sex scenes. I mean I have Sara and Ben flirting mercilessly with each other, bantering, kissing, making out in public places, but the part where they jump in the sack? Well let’s just say I appreciate the art of the ‘fade-into-the-flickering-candle-light’ device that most daytime soap operas use to cut away at that point.
I’m not all Victorian about it or anything but the chance you’ll see the following words in my books (when referring to something other than construction of course) is pretty slim:
- Nipple (Yes I’m serious, this is a plumbing term)
Wow, I could seriously write the sexual innuendo book if I felt like it. Thing is though, I don’t feel like it. I’ve been relying on my imagination to fill in blanks like that my whole life. I really don’t get when fiction lost the ‘show not tell’ concept. I don’t want to hear exactly how they did it. Book porn (ahem, sorry, I mean the genre of Erotica) has never been my thing. To write or read. To me it’s so much hotter to imagine what the two of them might be doing. So that’s how I write.
If I can show the tension sparking between them then your mind is going to do a better job of knowing what happens next. Me telling you is kind of a letdown. At least that’s how it works for me. Because everyone’s idea of what happens after the kiss is so vastly different that I don’t want to read the version of it that someone else decides, these characters are living in my head (every time I open a book).
But now, with the emergence of the already mentioned Fifty, mark my words, sex is going to take a front seat in television, movies, books and any other media deemed appropriate to share a nipple or a caulk.
And here I am writing cuteness.
But, and this is a huge but, I refuse to change what I embrace writing. Because, even though being a sellout is something I can wrap my head around, I still have my limits as to just how far I’m willing to sell out. Which means in the eyes of the larger public these days I’m bor-ing. Go ahead, ask me if I care? You’re right, I don’t.
So when I sit down to do rewrites on my cute little girlie story the only thing I’m reading for is if the writing is boring – did Donna seriously just try to tell us what she ate for breakfast? Because, no. Well, at least not in that much detail please. That kind of stuff is fine for Facebook but not for a real book. Because on Facebook it really holds no bearing if people ignore it. In a real book situation being ignored is about as career-ending as it gets.
And I’m just in the infancy of mine, looking for an Agent and working on only my second MS, so ending it isn’t in the plans. I’ll clean up and clear out all references of bacon and eggs that aren’t truly integral to showing what Donna is about.
I only hope I can connect with an Agent who understands that, when reading and writing, sometimes a girl likes her hammer to be nothing more than a hammer.