Thought for the day

I have been emailing with a friend who’s been struggling with her work in progress. She was dismayed because, for the first time in her writing life, she’d had to chuck a solid beginning and start over. She worried about this change in her usual writing pattern, which reminded me of a quote I read somewhere that said

“Each book only teaches how to write that book.”

A year ago April, I turned in a manuscript to my editor, a book I’d been working on for two years (think Dreaded Second Novel). Mind you, at that point, I had eight published books under my belt, some award-winning. I should know what I’m doing, right?

Wrong. My editor wrote me back saying, let’s take it from the top. As in, you need to start over. From scratch.

Normally, that kind of thing would’ve sent me into a deep funk. But my editor, being the sharp cookie she is, got me on the phone (giving me time first to pick myself up off the floor after reading the editorial letter) and asked me to talk to her about the book. And I realized during our l-o-o-ong conversation that this book had more, much more, to teach me.

Not that I was all sunshine and lollipops about it (think Viola Swamp on steroids), but after a couple of intense weeks of pouting, I began to become a willing student, began to see what the book could be. And I am so grateful to my editor for keeping me honest.

That book, The Friendship Doll, comes out in May 2011.
One of the new book’s characters

It looks NOTHING like the manuscript I submitted in April 2009. Thank goodness.

Now, you would think I would be able to apply the lessons learned from that experience to the book I’m currently working on, but it doesn’t work like that. The WIP has something unique to teach me.

And I haven’t quite figured it out.


No Responses to “Thought for the day”

  1. Michèle Griskey

    Great post! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who wonders what the heck I’m doing when I’m in the middle of a project. 🙂