Tag Archives: letter writing

Dear Misbehaving Manuscript,

It’s not you it’s me. Okay, so maybe it is you. We’ve been together for two months now and honestly there were points when I loved you. Oh we used to be so good together! Remember that time we added 3,300 words to our word count in one afternoon? Remember that time we laughed over that little joke in chapter three? Or the times I thought we were going so strong that nothing could break us apart?

What happened to us? There are some days when I don’t even want to work on you. Days when you cause my characters to say boring things and do stupid stuff. Times when there are so many typos you could have been written by a sleepy second grader.

Le-sigh…Even though right now you are causing me to want to pull my hair out, I still believe in you. In us. And I won’t give up on you. At least not today. So please stop misbehaving or I might be forced to punish you by… inserting so much purple prose even Stephanie Meyer would be jealous? ( His eyes were like the clearest of diamonds, sharp enough to cut through her tender heart and bruise her sweetly innocent soul.)  Or  I could end every sentence with an exclamation point? You wouldn’t like that, would you?!!!! Maybe I should let my grandmother read you? “He put his what, where?! Really, Jamie!” (How does one punish a manuscript anyway?) Regardless of what I do, what I won’t do is give up on you, no matter how badly you tick me off. So shape up. Pretty please.

Love always,

 Your crazy writer Jamie.

Am I crazy? Absolutely. But all writers go through a time when they are just not getting along with their WIPs. So how do you renew the magic? I do what many writer’s are loathed to do. I stop wherever I am and go back. Sometimes all the way to the beginning(AH!) and read it all over to see what I liked about it, what I think can be improved and to check to see if things are going the way I planned. This way I can fix it before I do major damage.  But most of the time it’s not the big stinking mess I think it is. Having an honest critique partner you trust or a good mentor is also helpful. Sometimes just to cheer you on or the steer you in the right direction.

Sharing time! I want to know what you do when your manuscript is misbehaving. Do you write it a letter? Do you take a break? Move on? Cry a little? Drink? Play Angry Birds? Tell your friends. Any and all comments are welcome.