Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Songs of Writing a Novel

"We've Only Just Begun"
It's the beginning of a new manuscript. Your head is bursting with ideas and you simply can't type fast enough. Anything is possible. You're filled with energy and purpose. And're smiling.

"I Will Always Love You"
You've discovered your characters and you love them all. They're all clean and shiny and even the bad ones have a special place in your heart.

"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me"
What happened to those cherished characters that but a few days ago had won your heart? Now they're quarreling and refusing to do what you're wanting them to do.

"Stuck in the Middle with You"
You're in the middle of your plot. Time isn't really standing still, it just feels like it. You're convinced your characters are dull and flat and your plot is tired. This is not a smiley time.

"The Long and Winding Road"
Yes, you're still in the middle. Middles are long. Keep plodding (or plotting) along. The road may wind, but every step (or word) gets you closer to the end. Just pray you're not walking (or writing) in a circle. It happens.

"Oh, What a Beautiful Morning"
You've finished your first draft. You swear you can hear birdsong and see a rainbow dipping down into your yard. It's a good time. Take a well-earned breath and break.

"Please Release Me"
You thought once you'd reached the end it was over? HA! Now you've got to edit. Don't try to guess how many times you'll go through that first draft - it's not a happy number.

"It's the End of the World as We Know It"
Yes, you're still editing. You're convinced this project will never be finished.

"Bridge Over Troubled Water"
You've put your manuscript in front of another pair of eyes - or several pairs. The ensuing comments will help cement your story. Yes, it means more revisions, but the end is in sight.

"It's Over"
It's done. Really, really done. Dance a jig. You've climbed Mount Everest. Demand a parade. And're smiling again.

"Here We Go Again"
You know what this is, don't you?


  1. I'm currently singing "Please Release Me" and just the other day I heard "Here We Go Again." I've sung it a time or two while jotting down notes.

  2. Bridge Over Troubled Water was my 'theme' for Finding Sarah. And, as always, another creative post.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  3. Carol; Singing helps. So does wine.

    Terry; Isn't it interesting when a song becomes a theme for a novel? How clever of you to use it. And thanks so much for the compliment!

  4. So creative! Makes you ready for a sing-a-long or at least a write-a-long.
    Themes do show themselves in strange places.

  5. What fun. I'm sure "Here We Go Again" is for the rewrite and edit. My least favorite part of the process. The best past is "I Will Always Love You."

  6. Mary; Thanks for the kind words! Songs are great, aren't they? But then...there are the earworms...

    Maryann; It would work for that stage of writing too, wouldn't it? My favourites are the first two stages...and of course, the last.

  7. I'm singing "Do you really want to hurt me" right now and blenching as I look at the length of your list still to go.
    Spot on as always, Elspeth! Earworms are marching towards me...

  8. Elspeth - This is fantastic!!!!! I love it. I'm tweeting it. You just really made me smile :-) :-)

  9. Those are great song that describe our writing road.



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