The funny one (synopsis for the Big Book):
The absolute hardest part of writing a synopsis for me is the “wrap-up” paragraph—the one that says all is resolved, they’re madly in love and watch the horse’s tail swish as they ride off into the sunset.
So in order for me to move past that point and start polishing it—leaving that last paragraph for later in case something inspiring comes to me—I just throw an end sentence in there. Well, some comments come back from the fabulous, gorgeous and brilliant person who was bitchslapping it, and her very last comment:
Oh, I’d definitely lose this line…
Yup, it was still there: And they lived happily ever after.
And the lightbulb one (from the book I’m madly scrambling to finish):
Like every writer, I don’t always love my story. (If you’re the exception to that “every”, don’t tell me. I will hate you.) But I realized today that my biggest swing isn’t brought on by how many times I’ve read it or writer’s block or anything.
I was reading through the hardcopy version 68.5 or so this morning, and I loved this book. I mean, we’re talking “clutching the pages to my chest, whirling around my kitchen and belting out The hills are aliiiiiiiiiiiiive” kinda love. Now the short kid’s at preschool and it’s time to get back to work, and I hate this freakin book. We’re talking the “kindest thing I can do for my editor is send her an email telling her to fill my slot because I suck and I’m running off to study the mating habits of the dung beetle” kinda hate.
What the hell happened?
The little lightbulb popped on. I write out of order—when a scene pops into my head in full, blazing Technicolor I get that sucker on the page. So in reading version 68.5 of the book, what I really have is a book full of the best scenes. The most emotional, the sexiest, the most adrenaline-filled. It’s like a really long highlight reel of my best stuff.
Well, now I have to bridge them—write the sequels to those scenes. And I. Hate. That. Part. Making sure I don’t have utterly boring introspection between the highlights. Continuity. Flow. Pacing. All that crap. I have no idea if knowing why I now think I’m the worst writer on the planet will help me combat it, but at least I know.
And knowing is half the battle.
(Sorry. Random childhood G.I. Joe moment there.)
Did you know that when dung beetles mate, they usually meet in the dung pat. The male offers the female a giant-sized brood ball which if accepted, they roll away together, or with the female riding on the ball. During this time, other beetles often attempt to steal the ball. They find a soft place and bury the ball before mating – mostly underground.
And because you’re an editor, you’re wondering if the “mostly underground” refers to the burying of the ball or the mating, and my guess is both. I’ll tell you for sure when I get back from the dung pats, k?