Saturday, January 7, 2012

In Love and Manuscripts

Happy New Year, bloggy friends! Is everyone's 2012 off to a good start? I hope so!

At the very end of 2011, I went snowshoeing with my family, and--WHAM! A new book idea hit me! I'm thrilled to have a new love again!

(Please note: objects in puffy, red coats are smaller than they appear.)

Right after I thought of my "novel novel" idea, I could
feel two or three of the characters and the voice. That's when I know I'm on the right path, that I'm focusing on the right story. You know how it is when lines of dialogue and story pieces start materializing, and you can't wait to get the ideas and words on paper? It's that story crush period when the beauty of the idea is so bright and it's all so new that you can't yet see the imperfections and plot holes. You know they're there, though, because nothing is perfect--yet the love of the story will make you stick around and work things out.

I think we have chemistry with certain stories. If we're writers, the chemistry will help us find our voices and ignite us with a passion to get the words on the page. I'm not saying it's easy; it's work. But something makes that story alive in us.


In the same vein, while agents and editors sort through oodles of submissions, only certain manuscripts have a special spark and make them fall in love. The same goes for all of us as readers. One person might love a story while that same story falls flat for someone else. It's like chemistry in relationships: just because he's cute and your best friend thinks he's right for you, it totally doesn' t mean he's zing-worthy.


Oh! Now I feel like sharing a video featuring the mad scientist Dr. Doofenshmirtz
of Phineas and Ferb
, a super clever TV show I adore. Click here if you'd like to watch it. The clip shows villains in love, singing and dancing--evil people with their own weird chemistry.

Much different from Dr. Doofenshmirtz and his gal, here's a pic of my dad and mom, two amazing people with kind hearts and beautiful chemistry!

I guess in love and manuscripts, the right chemistry is required.

15 comments:

B. WHITTINGTON said...

You described perfectly how I feel when I first get an idea that I love. It's love instantly and completely and no we see NO problems at that point. Then the voices start coming, the characters names, and other little surprises that make us keep falling.
I'm excited for you. I'm reworking a novel and this is after the honeymoon is lover. I still love the story and the people but we are not first in love. There's a difference. We're in a long term relationship.

Blessings to you and this new love of yours.
Barb
www.barbwhitti.blogspot.com
Writing: the ups and downs

Angelina C. Hansen said...

I've never had this feeling, Dawn. My stories and characters seem to grow on me, the more I work on them. They start as friends and it's not until I get to the end of the process that I feel madly in love with them. I think it would be fun to have a mad crush in the beginning though. ^+^

Dawn Simon said...

Barb, yes, the honeymoon stage doesn't last forever. Someone did an awesome post a few years ago (Who? I can't remember, but Nathan B. linked to it) about the ups and downs in our relationships with our mss. It was super funny. Good luck with the novel!

Hi, Angelina! One of the things I love about blogging is seeing where writers' processes overlap and don't. Each of my completed novels started out this way, with me feeling the love and a voice once I came up with an idea. I tend to outline more with each new book because I get eager to write, and I'll go the wrong way without an outline, wasting time and energy. I've been jotting down dialogue and story ideas that have been coming to me, and I'm using them to shape my characters and outline. Plenty of things will get cut, but that lovin' feeling keeps me fired up and it makes the story feel alive!

The Pen and Ink Blog said...

You hit the nail on the head with that post. Thank you

Dawn Simon said...

Thanks! :)

Medeia Sharif said...

With me, chemistry is stronger with certain ideas than with others, so I know the feeling. I'm working on two WIPs right now and I'm in love with them, but I favor one over the other.

Happy belated New Year!

Michelle Dennis Evans said...

Yes, I love when the chemistry then follows on to drive me to keep reworking it to get the story to sing... or zing. ... ;)

Faith Pray said...

I agree, Dawn! Story lightning, that's what we call it around here. And as a reader, I've found some highly recommended books to be surefire sparks and others tepid dishwater. Love and manuscripts! Happy 2012!

Susan Fields said...

What a great picture of your parents!

Good luck with your new book - sounds like you're off to a great start!

Dawn Simon said...

Medeia, good luck with both of your manuscripts!

Michelle, so true! The fire has to stay alive to push us through the saggy middle stage, revisions, etc.

Faith, story lightning! LOVE that!

Thank you, Susan! :) I read your writing resolutions yesterday and they sounded great! As I told you, I write mine down each year to make it all official-like, but I still haven't done it. My first writing resolution of 2012 will be to write down my writing resolutions! ;)

Robert Guthrie said...

Wow, yes, writing is a relationship, so, oh, the power of chemistry.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

Dr. D is one of my favorite characters ever. Love that example! :)

I'm so glad you're in love, Dawn! I'm not in that stage at the moment, but I remember it well and look forward to the next time. *happy sigh*

Elizabeth said...

Very nice blog...congrats on being a finalist in the Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest.

NEW FOLLOWER.

If you need another book, try my giveaway. :)

Book Giveaway on my blog….THE WICKED WIVES.

Stop by and complete the entry form if you like.

http://silversolara.blogspot.com/2012/01/give-away-of-wicked-wives.html

Old Kitty said...

Love was once a crazy dream, now I have an evil scheme...! LOL! I love it!!

Thanks for the fun clip!

Awww it's brilliant that your muse is working wonders for you! Good luck with your new novel idea and characters!

I think that's why I despair when people write in bad reviews of books in places like amazon. I don't understand why bother. A story is so subjective - some will get it, others won't. That's just how things are.

Hello to your gorgeous mum and dad! take care
x

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Robert!

Amy, I totally thought of you when I posted that because I remembered you're also one of his big fans! :) I bet you'll find new love soon! And I know I already told you, but that first page was sooo great!

Thank you, Elizabeth, for the congrats and the follow! I'll check out your blog this week!

Old Kitty, you are always so fun! I agree about the negative Amazon reviews. Congrats again on your good news! Hugs to you!