Sunday, May 6, 2007

In the Mood

I know you're supposed to let a manuscript "simmer" for a while...but does it count as simmering if you haven't even looked at your first chapters in the past month or so? Even though you've been revising steadily?

I can't simmer. I have this compulsion to work. I consider the day wasted if I don't write (even though blogging "counts") and my immediate instinct is to start some serious editing. My writing isn't determined by my "mood" anymore; if I don't view this as a J-O-B, something to be approached on a daily basis, then I know I can kiss any serious career goodbye. The truth is, I started much too late. I fired my muse months ago. Now when I find myself in a real mood to write, it's icing on the cake.

I'm in the mood now.


How often does a book make you laugh? Make you cry? I laugh over books all the time, but very few bring me to tears. My guess is that it's a lot easier to make a reader laugh than cry (unlike movies where I can bawl the whole way through). I reread the Harriet sequel The Long Secret a few months back and LMAO through the entire thing. I'm not eleven years old anymore and it's still funny as hell!

So, if your own books are funny, do you laugh when you're writing them? And then laugh again later when you read them over?

If your books are more serious, or have scenes specifically written to break the reader's heart, do you cry over those scenes as easily as you laugh over the funny ones?

If you can answer yes to these questions, you're doing something right.

One of the last scenes I finished yesterday was one of those "heartbreakers" and I had to stop writing every 10-15 minutes to walk outside for a breath of air. It sucked everything out of me, and all I could think is: will my readers feel the same way? God, I hope so.

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