This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
by Anna Bell
When you write a manuscript you invest not only your heart and soul, but also a ridiculous amount of time into it, and I can’t help thinking that it’s as if you’re dating your novel. I’m sure I’m probably not the only author that spends more time with my book than my husband when a deadline is looming. So this week I’m asking, do you romance your novel?
I’m currently starting a new novel and I feel like I’m in the wooing stage. I’ve written two series of books simultaneously and, having come to the end of both of them, I need to start writing a new book. I’ve had some good ideas for new novels, and I’ve started writing them to see how they go. It’s just like when you date someone new. I write a couple of chapters, test out the characters, get to know them and see what happens. Then, if those early ‘dates’ go okay, I write the synopsis and that’s when I really get to know if the book and I are compatible or not. The synopsis for me is where I plan the book in detail and I see if the idea is actually viable.
I’ve played around with about half a dozen book ideas this time. For each one, I came up with the concept first and then plotted after. With a few of them I felt the concept was really strong, and I really liked the characters, but when I started writing them I couldn’t quite get it to work. I wrote the chapters but they’d need lots of tinkering and rewrites. It was a bit like going on a date with a guy that seems perfect on paper but in reality you realise that there’s not enough chemistry. It should work, but for whatever reason it doesn’t.I didn’t realise the novels I was experimenting with were a little forced until I worked on my fifth idea. I’d left that one until last as I thought conceptually it was the weakest, yet something really strange happened when I started writing: it just clicked. It was like going on a date with “the one” – you just get a feeling that it works. Have you ever experienced that when writing? It’s like the more you write, the more you fall in love with it? It was the same feeling that I got when I wrote Don’t Tell the Groom.
Just like in your love life, it’s so important to get that click and to fall head over heels for your book, as you’re going to be in it for the long haul. You’ll have to visit your novel when you’re not in the mood, when you’d rather be doing anything but tapping away at your keys. It will exhaust you emotionally. It will push you to the edge. At times you’ll be so sick of your novel that you never want to see it again, but alas you’ll probably be at the editing stage and you’ll have to see it over and over again. Then when the novel is all finished and it’s neatly packaged in a paperback, it’s time to break-up with it and start all over again with a new novel.
But I’m not thinking about that part just yet. I’m still in the honeymoon stage with my new beau. Am I the only one that feels like I’m dating my novel?