It all starts with desire … thoughts in your head. Thoughts turn to scenes and scenes to plots. Suddenly, you’re caught up in a passionate embrace with your storyline. The suspense builds, the action picks up pace … faster … harder <pant> <groan> <moan> … until …
The climax … followed closely by the release of so much tension!
Was it good for you?
A little time passes and then the realization hits you like a ton of bricks! You’ve conceived a story!
Elation followed by fear. The questions and the self-doubt … what kind of writer will I be? What kind of story will I give birth to?
You carry the story in your mind and heart and belly for months. The story grows within you. Family and friends notice the changes that take place – you’re irritable … mood swings … elation … despair. You’re eating more, then not at all. All the time the story is swelling within you.
Your Word document becomes your womb. The process of typing out your story is like a long, laborious labor – so much anticipation, so much anxiousness. What will my baby look (read) like?! The closer you get to your due date (set by your publisher) the more agitated and antsy you get.
I want this thing OUT of me!
The actual delivery can be quite messy and excruciatingly painful … yes, you know what I’m talking about … EDITING!
I wish I was from my parents’ generation where I could just relax in the waiting room with a bottle of single malt and a box of cigars all wrapped with the label, “It’s a Novel!” in cellophane, ready for me to hand out to everyone. But no, I’m part of the Lamaze generation (read: Self-Published Author) where I have to stand next to my editors (wife and son) and hear them telling me over and over … BREATHE … as they slowly, unbearably coax the manuscript – MY manuscript out of its embryonic state-of-being and into the bright daylight of an unforgiving world.
Finally, they give it a smack on its end matter and declare, “You have a full-length novel!”
The joy … oh, the joy!
I want so badly to wrap my baby in warm, swaddling formatting and publish.
Blogger’s Note: As you may have noticed, I’m going slightly mad (thank you, Freddie, for describing my state in song). My new novel, SIGNS OF WAR is in the throes of her final stage of editing. I suffer … I tap my foot … I look at my clock … I ask, “Are we there yet?” To which my editor looks up in frustration with me and shakes her head with the stoicism of Zeno.