Below are the 8 stages of birthing a novel, and why fiction writers drink.
THE STAGE OF:
JOY – You are finished your manuscript. Damn, it’s good! The best thing you’ve written, and it’s ALL DONE! 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 you 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 work 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?