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.

2 comments:

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!

Deb

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.