Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stoning the Romance

Maven Lacey KayeSo yesterday was really quiet in the blogosphere. I hope you're all done doing whatever it is you were doing, because tomorrow's post is going to be FAB-U-TASTIC!

I mean, this post is awesome. You definitely want to comment on it. You know you do.

This week in MavenLand, we're talking about romance. Seeing as how I've already read tomorrow's post, AND I've read the three organized, on-topic, thoughtful, amazing posts that lead into this one, it may not surprise you to know I'm a little stumped for insightful...uh... insight.

But we've talked about first blush, we've talked about the practical, and we've talked about the Forever Guy. What's missing? Oh, right. The one who doesn't stick around.

I think I had a whirlwind relationship with my last manuscript. Flying high on the wings of love, I skipped through the all-important getting to know you phase and went straight for the uber-crush. You know, the heart-pounding, midnight-obsessing, follow it around like a stalker straight-up hardcore crush. My manuscript and I didn't part for months on end. Then, like sexual tension after the first sex scene, we crashed. Fell from the sky and landed, quite inelegantly, somewhere on Fifth Avenue, only to be run over by the wheels of a hot dog cart and crushed by the broken leather heel of a very old woman.

Except, by that time, we were already married.

"It's not you, it's... you." Maven Erica gave me this line the other day and I swore to use it in a blog post. But it's true. There's nothing wrong with my manuscript. It didn't change between that first glimpse and today. There was no false advertising. His jokes are still funny and he's still got the same sparkle in his eye. He's just not directing it at me, or if he is, my Spidey senses aren't picking up on it.

So what to do? Well, divorce is always an option. In this industry, we can file manuscripts under the bed indefinitely, we can burn them, we can mail them off and forget about them, we can send them to our closest friends and let them laugh at our folly, and if you trust the Gmail sidebar, there's only a million small print shops who would be happy to bind it into your own precious photobook of broken dreams.

Or.

You can do nothing and hope it will just disappear on its own.

Or.

You can find a new toy and play with it instead. Pretty soon, you won't even notice your old one has gone missing. Did the snotty little girl next door steal it? Who cares! You have a shiny new one to break!

Yes, I've officially announced my foray into Humorous Women's Fiction. It's a new love for me, still rosy with the first blush, and perfect for all its hidden faults. Right now. It's not perfect; hey, it's not even publishable. It's the ultimate Unpublishable Novel, in fact. But it's fun, and it's mine, and it's private. I try to avoid the crushing, soul-destroying existence of the Unfinished Novel by pretending it doesn't exist.

Ever had to shelve a project? Ever wondered what to do with a project that no longer felt "fun?" Ever realize how cyclical romance can be? Haha. That last one was for me!

13 comments:

Bill Clark said...

tomorrow's post is going to be FAB-U-TASTIC!

I mean, this post is awesome. You definitely want to comment on it. You know you do.


OK, OK!! I'll comment, already:

Can't wait to read it!

lacey kaye said...

Bwa. Thanks. That helps me out a lot.

B.E. Sanderson said...

I've never shelved a project that I've written all the way to 'the end'. I have this stubborn streak that won't let me let go. I still love my books - whether anyone 'important' (i.e. agents, editors, publishers) does or not. Sometimes I feel like a 5-year old sticking my tongue out at the rejections and protecting my dollies from those big meanies. =op

If I never get published, I can wrap myself up in the pages and remember how everyone who read my books said they loved them. (Even if they may have been 'just being nice'.)

ERiCA said...

I've officially announced my foray into Humorous Women's Fiction.

Hurray for trying new things! Genre-tasting was totally how I found my voice. Branching out might be the smartest thing you could do to augment your career! And your self-esteem/awareness. You're a fabulous historical writer, and now you know you can do contemporary, too!

Maven Lacey rocks!

terrio said...

I'm only working on my first WIP just now so I don't know about the shelving. I'm hoping this one doesn't end up under the bed but I'm realistic enough to know this one might be the one I use to learn how to write the others. So, if it goes under the bed, it will never be forgotten. *g*

And I'll Aaaawwwww the DH too.

Darcy Burke said...

Hurray for being in love. With my ms in the Magical Mulch Pile under the bed (I will always use that term, E), it was a case of "if you love something, set it free." I don't miss it a bit. But I'll always love it.

Second that Maven Lacey rocks!

Jacqueline Barbour said...

This whole post had me laughing out loud, Lacey. I *so* get the whole "whirlwind romance" with a story thing, though. I've dumped more manuscripts than I care to think about because I went from one whirlwind romance to the next :)!

I'm still debating what to do about that first completed manuscript. It might end up in the Magical Mulch Pile, it might end up getting a big facelift, or I might just leave it mostly alone and try to sell it. But rather than having fallen out of love with it, it's more that I've changed so many things about it so many times, I'm not sure I know who it is any more. The story isn't the fresh-faced. unformed youth I fell for; since then, it's gotten older, developed wrinkles, and grown opinionated and stubborn in its old age. I still love it, but I'm not sure I'm "in love" with it any more :)!

lacey kaye said...

Now *that's* insightful, J! Love it. LOVE IT.

MsHellion said...

Yes, I've got a finished novel that's SHELVED. It needs to be re-written; the heroine needs to be more empathetic. The hero...needs to be "someone else", I believe is how it was phrased to me. Now I can fix my heroine; I can fix the "plot" perhaps and make everyone look more empathetic, but I love my hero. He's a great hero. Dangit.

So he's been shelved until I can find a time in the future when people might be more accepting of his anti-heroic ways.

I shelve a lot of projects, but I always end up picking them up again. :) I can't resist them forever.

Maggie Robinson said...

I have stuff that's lying quietly, not completely dead, but mostly unconscious. That's how I was when I wrote them. If I ever get done with my current wip, I think I'm going to go back and do some mouth-to-mouth.

lacey kaye said...

Hmm... I didn't even think of murder.

/Lacey makes mental note never to have an affair with Maggie...

beverley said...

That doesn't mean your giving up historicals does it?

lacey kaye said...

No, Bev! Even if it turns out HWF is my calling, I HAVE to finish my trilogy. They've been kicking around in my head way too long. I just needed a break. And there's a story just screaming to be told that I can't seem to shut up, so...! I'll let you know how it goes.

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