Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

13 Woes of an Anguished Writer

1. Word length. Usually before I begin a manuscript I have an idea of how long I would like it to be. Never in all of my years of writing have I hit the targeted length. Every, single, time I go over… by a few thousand words at least. Yeah, longwinded much? *sigh*

2. Plot Bunnies. They’re like dust bunnies but a trillion (yes a trillion) times worse. Why can’t they stay in the back of my mind where they belong?

3. Uncooperative characters. Seriously, they should do what I WANT them to do, all the time! Don’t they know it’s not about what they want? Arguing with me is not good. *grumbles*

4. Scenes popping up in the wrong place. OK I will admit this is probably a side effect of being a panster but come on, can’t the scenes just come when they’re supposed to?

5. Blockage, for me usually due to massive amounts of numbers 2, 3 and 4. Being blocked is like hitting my head against a brick wall… for like a week. Not good.

6. Editing, OK please let’s have a show of hands to see who really likes editing. It’s slow and it’s painful but necessary.

7. Commas are the devil. I’m sorry to those of you who like them but you’ll have to face the fact someday.

8. Cutting. I hate having to cut parts of a story. After laboring over thousands of words having to suddenly cut them because they no longer fit with some stupid (OK probably brilliant) idea due to number 2 is like loosing a limb. *pout*

9. As much as I hate cutting I also hate layering. Seriously, when I’m done with a story I want to be done, not have to go back fifteen million times (I’m not exaggerating… much) to add something I forgot.

10. It’s probably obvious from numbers 6, 7 and 8 that I can’t stand revisions. Yeah, I’ll admit they usually make the story so much better but damn it, why couldn’t that stuff have made it in there the first time?

11. Submitting. I love getting my stuff out there don’t get me wrong but must I have an anxiety attack every time? Seriously, it shouldn’t take thirty minutes to submit an MS you’ve already finished. There is really no need to check the body of the email three thousand times, and the attachments two thousand times… is there?

12. Waiting for responses to submissions has to be the most nerve racking part of the whole process. After like a day, the panic sets in and I’ve become positive that I’ve screwed up at least one thing (if not all) in the submission package.

13. I’ve saved the best for last. Acceptance! (I totally skipped rejection because I didn’t want to depress people.) Receiving an acceptance letter is the most joyous of occasions and should be celebrated as if it were a major holiday. It’s what pushes every writer to do their best and go through all of 1-12 on the regular. Just the thought makes my little heart sing.

Alright now go write or whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. *Takes her own advise and skedaddles*


Heather said...

Excellent first Thirteen, Lauren. Bravo!

(And um...I was born with an internal editor and excel at it. It's the initial writing I suck at!)

Ms Menozzi said...

So, it's universal, then?

*whew!* I feel much better, now. LOL!

An auspicious debut, Lauren!

Brava! Ben fatto!

Welcome to the Thirteeners - Now I have to get mine done! :)


Shelley Munro said...

I have a theory about commas. The minute I hit the send button to move around and have a party like the toys in Toy Story. They get all excited and forget whereabouts in the story they were meant to be and jump in anywhere! That's my story...

I hear you about hitting send. I did it yesterday.

Cassandra said...

Awesome list! Welcome to T13!

Ours is at:

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Yep. All of those. In fact, I think I'm doing all of them right now. LOL.
Great TT, Lauren.

Adelle Laudan said...

I can so relate! I picked the wrong profession being one of the most impatient people in the world. LOL Happy T13!

Mel said...

I hear ya! I have so many of those right now. Great first Thurs Thirteen! :)

Paige Tyler said...

Great TT! I gotta add hyphens! Love using them! LOL!


My TT is at

Angeleque said...

So I'm not the only one? Great post.

Stephanie Adkins said...

Oh yes ... ditto on all of that. It's a wonderful life though, huh? :) Happy Thursday! *Hugs*

Alice Audrey said...

If I really care about my target length, I usually hit it, sometimes on the nose. In the last few years I've learned to go under target a little because I expand a bit as I flesh things out.

Anonymous said...

Ditto. Ditto. . . lol. Great list. :)

Janice said...

I have to agree with one through twelve but I haven't gotten to thirteen yet, sigh.

Happy TT.

Anonymous said...

But I like my commas. :-)

I feel you on those revisions. I can't do them when I'm still winding down from work. That's why I'm only writing on the weekends.

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen.

Lanie Fuller said...

#11 -- I think this is a necessary evil. Pubs and Agent-type-people like to have a clean query letter. So yes, I double-triple-quadruple check my email before I send it. In fact, I spent more time checking over my email than I did writing a blurb for that TKA thing. Seriously.

Great TT, Lauren! Glad you've joined us! :)

Jamal W. Hankins said...

Great list. I hate editing too, but I'm trying to MAKE it enjoyable. You know, think positive thoughts. lol