Some Write It Hot

November 8, 2010

The Rewriting Merry-Go-Round by Lillian Grant

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
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I have been on the same ride for weeks. There are no pretty ponies or scary tigers, no flashing lights or cheerful music. My writing world is full of silence, darkness and pain.

Stories you have written are more than just words on a page. They’re friends, good friends. Some days your characters won’t behave and you hate them, some days the words all but type themselves and you love them, but no matter what kind of day it is they’re yours. Kind of like children really.

Remember your child’s first day at school? How proud you felt. How you had this fear in your gut they would come home at the end of the day crying or they would cling to you so hard they would never even make it through the school gate? Submitting your manuscript to a publisher feels a lot like that.

You follow their guidelines, press send and then you wait, and wait, and wait. – You get the picture – Eventually you get a response. Of late, mine have all been the same. We like it …but. They want changes. A full explanation follows of what it is about your story that doesn’t work for them. Not enough sex, the sex isn’t hot enough, too many coincidences to make the plot work, etc etc. After you take it all in you need to decide to either move on and submit somewhere else or make the changes they want. The decision in some cases is easier than others. If it’s just a tweak that you know will make your story better then you leap at it. If it’s more severe and threatens the whole structure of your plot you may dither and go either way.

I decided to go with making the changes on two different manuscripts. That is when my carousel ride began. I wrote and rewrote and resubmitted…now I am back to waiting.

After three weeks I am getting dizzy. In the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Raoul Duke and his Samoan Lawyer visit a circus themed casino when they are high on more than just life. They ride the merry-go-round drinking at the bar in the middle but when they want to get off the Lawyer, played by Benicio Del Toro, can’t do it. It takes a boot up the backside from Johnny Depp to get him off the ride. I know how the lawyer was feeling and just hope my Raoul Duke wanders along to boot me off the rewriting merry-go-round sometime soon before I start asking people if they were the ones fucking polar bears.

Read more from Lillian Grant at her website

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