Monday, September 10, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, today's Top Ten

By Pamela

Top ten signs your novel is taking you too long to complete …

10. You contemplate killing off a once-beloved character because you’re just so darn sick of him.

9. Your friends and family have gone from asking “When’s your book going to be finished?” to “Are you ever going to finish that book?” to not caring enough to even ask anymore.

8. Your ass is three times wider and flatter today than it was when you wrote: Chapter One.

7. Your completion goal was once ‘before I turn 40’ and is now ‘before I die.’

6. You change the word “reached” to “grabbed” to “grasped” to “yanked” back to “reached” again before finally just deleting the sentence altogether.

5. You clean out an old handbag/coat pocket/desk drawer you haven’t carried/worn/opened in a couple years and discover a scrap of paper with a brilliant quote scribbled on it that one of your characters should say, only to find a) it’s not brilliant and b) you have no idea who should say it.

4. You’ve changed the date of your ‘present day’ section three times already.

3. You find a list of your top ten agents you should query when you’re finished and realize half of them have either changed agencies, changed industries or died.

2. Every time you save your document a message pops up asking you if you’d like to save this slow, antiquated document to a flashier, faster, way-cooler version of Word.

1. When you started, you dreamed of being the next JK Rowling. Then you dreamed of being the next Stephenie Meyers. Today you dream of being the next you because, after all this time trying to join the ranks of successful, published women writers, you’ve matured and grown and realize that emulating someone else is exhausting and self-depreciating and impractical. And so you keep writing as you.


  1. I love this:-) Especially #4... been there, done that, until I finally gave up and called 'present day' something like '2004'...

  2. You crack me up, Pamela! I so relate - though I didn't have to deal with #4 because it was a historical. #9 definitely happened to me and I think I shocked a lot of people when I actually finished the book.

  3. Thanks, guys. Sometimes, if you don't find a way to laugh at yourself, you leave that job to everyone else.

  4. Hilarious! All except #6. That one hits too close to the bone today. ;-)

  5. Thanks, Vaughn, and sorry if I hit a raw nerve. If it's any consolation, they all ring too true to me.

  6. Right now, I'm dealing with the "When are you going to START your next novel?" which can also be a little freaky. :)

    1. I'm sure you're right, Julie. It's just a different kind of pressure.

  7. Yes to all. I finally started calling my present day, "present day" so I didn't have to keep changing the date. :)
    Thanks for a great laugh!

    1. My characters keep changing birthdates. It's exhausting, really--this trying to keep it all straight. But we do, don't we?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...