Wednesday, February 6, 2013

10 Reasons to Love Your Manuscript

’Tis the month of love (or heart disease); take your pick. We writers tend to have a similarly tempestuous relationship with our manuscripts, so I’ve written this list:

O, Manuscript, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…(just ten, don’t panic)

10. You’re new. You’re shiny. You’re brimming with bright, complex characters.

9. Those empty pages aren’t terrifying. They’re error-free.

8. You are my excuse for a computer browser history which can include undetectable poisons, eighteenth century table manners, last year’s Kentucky Derby winner and five different red velvet cake recipes. 

7. I’m never alone. I have characters talking inside my head. (that’s normal, right?) Yes, they can wake me up in the middle of the night, but I'll take that over them not talking at all.

6. I now have the ability to type and eat simultaneously.

5. I can take all the lessons I learned from previous work and apply them to you.

4. I’m writing a new manuscript. I deserve chocolate.

3. And coffee. Lovely dark French roast coffee. In a big mug. With a cookie.

2. Those days of being in The Zone. Why, oh why can’t they be every day?

1. My manuscript takes place in England - which is where I am when you’re reading this. Yes, I love being a writer.

Elspeth Antonelli is an author and playwright. Her murder mystery games "A Fatal Fairy Tale" and "Deadly Ever After" are among the top-selling mystery games on the web. All thirteen of her murder mystery games and two audience-interactive plays are published by She has also contributed articles to the European writers' magazine Elias. Connect with her on Twitter at @elspethwrites.


  1. Great list, Elspeth (especially the parts that include chocolate and coffee). #8 did give me pause, thinking of what my browser history looks like at times. yikes!

  2. I love being taken to new worlds with reading and my writing.

  3. I love being in the zone of which you speak. That's why I write.

  4. Good list. My browser history is the reason I am wasting the time of so many internet advertisers. And from now on I will reframe my thinking about blank pages to error-free, thank you for freeing me from writer's guilt.

  5. I like these. Except my #3 would be a mug of tea. With the cookie, of course.

    My story takes place in New England (the home of my heart), but I'm stuck writing it in Ohio. Local grandkids trumps location-love.

  6. I'm a guy ... I just can't commit to my manuscript.

  7. I do love it when I get in the zone and the words just flow from my brain to my fingers to the computer. And, of course, everything I write is brilliant. Well, okay, most of it is after I re-write and re-write and edit.

  8. Thanks for sharing why you love writing! I spent the day in the British Library - heaven.

  9. Very fun list! And I ditto the chocolate and coffee ones.

  10. Great post, Elspeth. I like #6, maybe because I'm hungry. Time to fix supper. :-)

  11. Always enjoy your lists, Elspeth. I've recently just started putting chocolate directly into my coffee. That way if the coffee gets too cold, I can pretend I have an iced mocha. LOL

  12. These are all great reasons, but who needs such a list? Because once you've opened the door on your protagonist, and your heart bonds with her dire circumstances, that love is all you need to see you through.

    Of course, if that doesn't happen right away, it helps to have these other ways to create a bridge. ;)

  13. Yes, there's nothing like the feeling of being inside your own book!

    Morgan Mandel


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice.