Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm often asked which of my books is my favorite.  Naturally, that's like asking me which of my sons I love the best (I prefer not to say, to keep them on their toes).

I love each of my books for different reasons, but I always have mixed feelings about a book as I'm finishing writing it.  Is it good enough?  Pretty enough? Will the editors love it?  I once heard a writer say that sending off your manuscript is like shoving your baby in the mailbox.

If you're going to be a serious writer, you have to be able to listen to people say, "I'm sorry, but this baby's so ugly you'd have to tie a pork chop 'round his neck to get a hound to play with him."  Then if they're the helpful people you need to listen to--your beta readers, critique partners and your agent and editor--they'll help you pretty up your baby so you can hear other people "Ooooh!" and "Aaaah!" over him too.

It's a business, I keep telling myself, not a lovefest.  And so, I return to a manuscript that's been sitting on my hard drive for a year while I wrote Castaway Dreams.   I'm going to give it a good, hard look and see if I can pretty it up some before I shove this baby in the mailbox.

More on this as it develops.


Deborah said...

It's hard, isn't it? You're in love, which of course means you're blind to faults (mostly), which is good when it comes to loving children and spouses (mostly); not so good with manuscripts. But, a year's hiatus could very well give you the objectivity you need to pretty that bad boy up. All the best!


Darlene Marshall said...

Deborah--I'm finding enough areas of improvement that I'm almost glad it didn't sell right away. Of course the advance and royalties would have been delightful, but now I can make it even better.