30 August 2014

Why Writers Drink

“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.
This is the third book in the Derringer and Arthur Ellis Award-winning comedy series about a reluctant mob Goddaughter who can’t seem to leave the family business.

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.

1.  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 the Glenlivet.

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.

4.  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. 

5.  CRIPPLING 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.

6.  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).  


Dixon Hill said...

This was absolutely delightful! And I LOVE that title: The Artful Goddaughter. That's brilliant! If I were there, I'd buy you a round.


Eve Fisher said...


Melodie Campbell said...

Thank you, Dixon and Eve! Dixon, to be clear on the title, The Artful Goddaughter is about a art heist. Of course, this being Gina Gallo's inept mob family, the art heist goes ape-poop.

Leigh Lundin said...

Glenlivet! Damn, you truly are successful! I think I've discovered my problem: My $9.99 bottle of cabernet (on sale, $3 off) is definitely not in the same class.

Anonymous said...

Rumour has it the fires distilling Glenlivet are stoked with the initial drafts-- and draughts-- of all those early copies.

Melodie Campbell said...

Okay, Leigh - coming clean here. I'm actually a Dalwhinnie girl. Balvenie, in a pinch.

Melodie Campbell said...

Anonymous, that is hilarious! Be careful - people will be stealing that one :)

Deborah Elliott-Upton said...

This would be a delightfully fun piece if it weren't so cleverly spot-on. Now I am off to sample some sangria. Just a taste of course...

Melodie Campbell said...

Thank you Deborah ;)