Thursday, 4 February 2016

Why Writers Drink (as stated by someone with good authority...)

Below are the 8 stages of birthing a novel, and why fiction writers drink.


JOY – You are finished your manuscript.  Damn, it’s good!  The best thing you’ve written, and it’s ALL DONE and on deadline!  Time to open the Glenlivet.

ANGST -  You submit manuscript to your publisher.  Yes, even though they’ve already published 5 of your novels, you still don’t know if they will publish this one.  Will they like it?  Is it as funny as you think it is?  Is it garbage?  Glenlivet is required to get through the next few days/weeks.

RELIEF - They send you a contract – YAY!  You are not a has-been!  Your baby, which was a year in the making (not merely 9 months) will have a life!
Glenlivet is required to celebrate.

ASTONISHMENT – The first round of edits come back.  What do they mean you have substantive changes to make?  That story was PERFECT, dammit!  This is the 15th draft, not the 1st.  Commiserate with other writers over Glenlivet in the bar at the Drake. 

CRIPPLING SELF-DOUBT – The changes they require are impossible.  You’ll never be able to keep it funny/full of high tension, by taking out or changing that scene.  What about the integrity?  Motivation? And what’s so darn bad about being ‘too slapstick,’ anyway?  This is comedy! 
Can’t sleep.  Look for Glenlivet.

ACCEPTANCE – Okay, you’re rewriting, and somehow it’s working.  Figured out how to write around their concerns.  New scene is not bad.  Not as good as the original, of course (why couldn’t they see that) but still a good scene.  Phew.  You’re still a professional. 
Professionals drink Glenlivet, right?

 JOY – They accept all your changes!  YAY!  All systems go. This baby will have a life. Celebrate the pending birth with a wee dram of Glenlivet.

 ANGST -  Are they kidding?  THAT’S the cover?  

(Note to readers: The Bootlegger's Goddaughter is at the Publishers!  Contracts signed!  Release date Spring 2017.  Haven't seen the cover yet...)


  1. You summed it up perfectly:) Congratulations with the progress. I hope it will be the cover of your dreams.

  2. Grin - thanks, Murees! I'm actually pretty happy with the Orca book covers. They really are appealing.

  3. *Snort!* That's pretty damn funny!

  4. That last bit about the cover made me laugh. Great post. (Sadly, I can't imbibe. Alcohol is a migraine trigger.)

  5. That last bit about the cover made me laugh. Great post. (Sadly, I can't imbibe. Alcohol is a migraine trigger.)

  6. Thanks for commenting, Tamara! (I actually love my covers. But one is always worried about what it will be.)