Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Every Writer Writes a Love Story

English literature is scattered with timeless tales of love: Heathcliff and Cathy, Scarlett and Rhett, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, and of course, Romeo and Juliet. But what of that other love story - hidden in the background of each of these tales, and present in every book ever written?

I speak, gentle reader, of that epic love between a writer and her manuscript. It is a great love, but, like all great loves, not without pain. 

Day 1

My most dearly beloved Manuscript;

Where have you been all my life? I love you. I love your characters, your plot, your humour. I love me for having the imagination to create you! Working on you will be a joy. I look forward to every minute we're going to spend together.

Welcome to my life.

Day 15

Dear Manuscript;

Thanks so much for showing me the way out of that corner I wrote myself into, although if you hadn't insisted on that monkey showing up I wouldn't have been in the corner to begin with.

Let's just let bygones be bygones.

Day 30

To Whom it May Concern;

I thought we had a deal; I was the boss. What on earth are you doing? The plot is going in an entirely new direction and I don't even recognize some of these characters. And where on earth are you going with this whole 'monkey gets a pet fish' subplot? I feel as if I'm writing in circles. I'll keep going simply because of the memories of the good old days. Golden times. You might want to try throwing me a little gold right now.

It couldn't hurt.

Day 45

Dear Mr. M;

It's over. I know I said I loved you and I know we've spent a lot of time together; but I'm done. The things about you that used to enchant me now make me nauseous. Your dialogue is forced and your characters are flat. And don't get me started about that stupid monkey and his dancing fish.

 It's a sign of inner growth to know when you're trapped in a bad relationship and to be able to extricate yourself from it.

Good bye.

Some time later....

Dearest Manuscript;

How could I ever have doubted we were meant to be together? I know we've had our rough patches, but no relationship enjoys constant smooth seas. It's been a great ride; a wonderful adventure.

I mean it.

Really.

Oh, look at the date; Deadline Day!

Bye bye. Don't forget to write.
Crap. Wait! It was a joke...

Lots of love,
Elspeth

P.S. You were right about the monkey.

Then another idea emerges and before you know it...

Day 1

My most dearly beloved Manuscript;

Here's to every writer and whatever they're writing. Long may they love. And here's to you, gentle reader - the third party in the love story. Kinky, isn't it?



Elspeth Antonelli is an author and playwright. Her murder mystery games A Fatal Fairy Tale and Curiouser and Curiouser are among the top-selling mystery games on the internet. All thirteen of her murder mystery games and two audience-interactive plays are published by host-party.com. Her 'writing sheep' are being featured this year in a series of columns in the European writers' magazine Elias. Connect with her on Twitter at @elspethwrites or on Facebook at Elspeth Antonelli, Author.

23 comments :

  1. I was hysterical laughing when I read your article about a manuscript being like an intimate relationship. You are 100% correct, sometimes it's smooth sailing and other times it's a hurricane. Thanks for the insight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny 'cause it's true! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      Delete
  2. Talk about a love-hate relationship! Might it also be a bit co-dependent? Hmmm...

    Love this post, Elspeth. Truer words were never spoken. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Day 120 a.m.: Dear ms: Ha, ha, haaaaa!!!!!! I finally finished you despite your taking the story where you wanted it to go.
      Night 120 p.m.: Something doesn't feel right. Why can't I sleep.
      Days 121 to 444: There is a place between the pit of writers' fears and the pinnacle of their achievement: That's your signpost up ahead, welcome to the Rewrite Zone, home to many dead writers and even more abandoned manuscripts.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the smiles. I always considered my manuscripts my gestating offspring. Maybe the lover approach would be better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know about better. Just different.

      Delete
  4. What we authors won't do for our true love!

    ReplyDelete
  5. As per usual, a case of unrequited love for moi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had my share too! Thanks once again for being such a faithful commenter, Christopher. I appreciate it.

      Delete
  6. So, so true! I think a lot of writers quit when they get to the first "I hate you" phase. My writing is a chaotic love story:love-hate/like-loathe/tolerate-give-up/wait, don't go yet. Then sending him out of the door with one last straightening of his tie and pat of his hair,one last hug, and a whispered, "Don't care what other people think of you. I love you. That's all that matters."

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can so relate to this - Today, I'm back to Day 1. Hooray! I'm in love again. And Elspeth, just so you know - I don't find you a bit nauseous. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure what to do with that information!

      Delete
    2. Nauseous is when you make US feel sick; nauseated is when YOU feel sick. I suppose that meaning probably has changed through misuse though.

      Delete
    3. Nauseating is when you make US feel sick. Nauseated is how we feel (or don't, as the case may be). Nauseous is that foul smell that nauseates everyone.

      Delete
  8. Love this, Elspeth! So true (and funny!)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Loved this angle on our February sex theme. Very creative!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dani. Praise from the boss is always welcome.

      Delete
  10. What's that about a monkey? I had a disappearing monkey in Black Sheep's Daughter (Regency). In fact my heroine, born and raised in Costa Rica had a pet monkey AND a pet parrot. My editor wanted them both out because, she said, it made it seem like a children's story (never mind that she also made me take out a very adult rescue of slaves from a slaver). I bargained for keeping the parrot and rewrote, but I still thought the original was better. So when it came--years later--to going into ebook, I tried to restore to the first version. Alas, it was on two floppy floppies--the 5 1/4" kind--and one was defunct. So I tried to restore the monkey at least, but decided it didn't work and took her out again. Or so I thought. Some years later, I heard from a reader who wanted to know what the monkey was doing on the stairs of the London mansion......

    ReplyDelete

The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...