Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dating a Novel

While perusing fellow bloggers' posts and links, I got directed back to good old Nathan Bransford's awesome site. (Oh Nathan, I am happy you have decided to write now, but man I was excited to someday send you that query... onward and upward!)

This is a post he did back in October of last year, and after reading it, I realized oh how true every inch of it was, instantly forcing my husband to listen to me read it outloud to him as I laughed and side-commented. 
So, I just have to share it here with you, of course!

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The Nine Stages of Dating a Novel


LUST

there you are, just staring at your computer or eating your carnival corndog or spacing out in the middle of a conversation when it hits you. A SHINY NEW IDEA. it’s beautiful and original and nothing like the rest of them and for a perfect moment you can already see your future together. you know you have to have it before someone else does and your next move is going to be critical. luckily, enough people commented on your blog today that you’re feeling confident. extra-attractive. you decide to make it yours.

SQUEEEEEEEEEEE

everything is surreal. you can’t stop thinking about it no matter how hard you try and let’s be honest – you don’t really want to. you’re convinced that this time everything is going to be different. this is The One. the one that’s going to make agents cry over you, editors throw money at you, bestseller lists around the world make room for you at the top. maybe you have a title already? maybe you’ve even written a really excellent first paragraph? you don’t care. none of that matters. the only thing that really matters is Oprah is going off the air. she has no idea how much you were looking forward to that interview.

ANTICIPATION

things are still pretty good. you’ve told Facebook and Twitter and the only five friends you know in the real world that you’re writing a new book and people seem moderately interested which is already better than last time. you haven’t really started writing yet, but you will. in fact, you’ve already got the first chapter written! and the more you read it, the more you’re convinced you’ve never written anything quite as incredible. you can’t wait to dive into the story! SERIOUSLY. you can just feeeeeel how amazing this is going to be. maybe you should buy a new outfit to celebrate.

PROCRASTINATION

well! you've written a few chapters! but GOSH you are just so BUSY these days and the kids are so CRAZY and work is just HECTIC and you've discovered all these really awesome websites recently and it's now become a "thing" of yours to refresh your email and update your Twitter and "Like" at least five things on Facebook before you open up that Word Document. but it's not like you're avoiding it or anything! it's just -- you're having a bit of a rough patch! but you'll work through it! you'll figure out this plot twist! well, first you'll figure out a plot but then! then things will work out! you just need to find a way to communicate your needs! relationships are ALL ABOUT DIALOGUE!

EXPLETIVE

WELL MAYBE IF YOU WEREN’T SO DAMN NEEDY I WOULD PAY MORE ATTENTION TO YOU! DID YOU EVER THINK OF THAT? DID YOU EVER THINK THAT MAYBE I HAVE TO PAY THE BILLS AROUND HERE AND MAYBE I CAN’T SPEND EVERY FREE MOMENT OF MY LIFE STROKING YOUR FREAKING EGO AND MAYBE YOU SHOULD JUST WRITE YOURSELF ALREADY I’M SO SICK AND TIRED OF THIS CRAP I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE ANYMORE WITH YOUR UGLY ADVERBS AND THOSE STUPID DANGLING PARTICIPLES YOU THINK MAKE YOU SOUND LIKE SHAKESPEARE GOD YOU'VE CHANGED INTO SOMETHING I CAN'T EVEN RECOGNIZE MAYBE WE SHOULD REALLY STOP FOOLING OURSELVES ABOUT THIS WHEN CLEARLY I'M THE ONLY ONE TRYING TO MAKE THIS WORK I HATE YOU SOOOO MUCHHHHHHHHH

INFIDELITY

you didn't even see it coming! I MEAN GOSH THINGS WERE GOING SO WELL! but there it was. sitting on the outskirts of your imagination the whole time, teasing you with promises of what could be. ANOTHER SHINY IDEA! it was wearing a flippy skirt and red lipstick and it sounded so intelligent you couldn't help but fall for its false proclamations. but you were too dazzled to realize that this new SNI was only a distraction. it was fleeting. unfulfilling. a concept with no tangible form. a cheap thrill with no literary value. you feel cheated. you feel dirty. YOU'RE SO ASHAMED.

GROVELING

you messed up. you never meant to leave but things were getting tough and maybe you have a problem with commitment and really, it was a mindless fling that meant nothing! you realize now what a mistake it was and how wrong you were to leave. it wasn’t like anything even happened! it was just a moment of weakness and NO YOU'RE NOT THINKING OF THE OTHER ONE RIGHT NOW you already said you're sorry SO SORRY YOU SWEAR IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN YOU ARE NOW FULLY COMMITTED TO SEEING THIS PROJECT THROUGH NO MATTER WHAT.

LOVE

blood. sweat. tears. so many expletives. a million points of compromise, hopefully lots of kissing. really excellent dialogue. stupid digressions you'll edit out later. adventures you weren't expecting, secrets you didn't know you had, new things you never thought you'd learn. BUT YOU DID IT. you stuck it out. you wrote a freaking book.

CONGRATULATIONS!

i hear you're expecting a sequel?

(Original post on Nathan's site here)

10 comments:

Keary Taylor said...

LOL, I remember when he did that post! I've been following him for probably two years now but I didn't realize he wasn't being an agent anymore :( I wish him good luck though!

Brad Jaeger said...

Didn't he take a job over at CNET or something? If so he's probably living very comfortably these days.

What a great guy :)

Julia Broadbooks said...

That's hilarious and oh so true. I am trying so hard not to be unfaithful right now.

Kay Elam said...

Jenni,
I missed this on Nathan's blog so I'm glad you did this. Great timing for your revision buddies.

D. U. Okonkwo said...

Yep, I saw this on NB's site, too - I was under the impression that tH Mafi wrote it, though and he pasted it to his site - it seems more up her alley!! :o)

Jenni Merritt said...

TH Mafi did write it originally. I should have noted that in my post... I stole it from Nathan's page, and if you click the link to see his original post he does note her on it. :)

J.L. Campbell said...

I'm leaving the procrastination stage and gliding into expletive.

Jenni Merritt said...

I believe I have been, in my mind, very much so in the expletive phase for a bit now.

And oh man, is that infidelity tempting me...

Michael Offutt said...

I love the picture. Where did you get it from (the text of words coming alive and hugging the lady)?

Best of luck on your work in progress :)

Jenni Merritt said...

Michael - I believe I found this one by typing "book love" into Google and searching images... I love it too!

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