By Melodie Campbell
“Recent studies show that
approximately 40% of writers are manic depressive. The rest of us just
drink.” (I sold this to a comedian during my comedy writing years.)
THE ARTFUL GODDAUGHTER launches this Monday on Amazon, Kobo and in bookstores.
As it happens, I also finished writing the
4th book of the trilogy <sic> this week. I am now in that stage
of euphoria mixed with abject fear. Here’s why:
Below are the 8 stages of birthing a novel, and why fiction writers drink.
THE STAGE OF:
JOY – You are finished your manuscript. Damn, it’s good! The best
thing you’ve written, and it’s ALL DONE and on deadline! Time to open
2. ANGST - You submit manuscript to your
publisher. Yes, even though they’ve already published 5 of your novels,
you still don’t know if they will publish this one. Will they like
it? Is it as funny as you think it is? Is it garbage? Glenlivet is
required to get through the next few days/weeks.
3. RELIEF -
They send you a contract – YAY! You are not a has-been! Your baby,
which was a year in the making (not merely 9 months) will have a life!
Glenlivet is required to celebrate.
ASTONISHMENT – The first round of edits come back. What do they mean
you have substantive changes to make? That story was PERFECT, dammit!
They got the 15th draft, not the 1st. Commiserate with other writers
over Glenlivet in the bar at The Drake.
SELF-DOUBT – The changes they require are impossible. You’ll never be
able to keep it funny/full of high tension, by taking out or changing
that scene. What about the integrity? Motivation? And what’s so darn
bad about being ‘too slapstick,’ anyway? This is comedy!
Can’t sleep. Look for Glenlivet.
ACCEPTANCE – Okay, you’re rewriting, and somehow it’s working. Figured
out how to write around their concerns. New scene is not bad. Not as
good as the original, of course (why couldn’t they see that) but still a
good scene. Phew. You’re still a professional.
Professionals drink Glenlivet, right?
7. JOY – They accept all your changes! YAY! All systems go. This baby will have a life.
Celebrate the pending birth with a wee dram of Glenlivet.
8. ANGST - Are they kidding? THAT’S the cover?
Melodie Campbell drinks Glenlivet just south of Toronto, and lurks at www.melodiecampbell.com. To be clear, she loves the cover of The Artful Goddaughter (Orca Books).