Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Honeymoon Period

Whenever I start a new story, I have what I call the “Honeymoon Period.” It’s filled with all the wonderful things I love about writing and none of the bad. No tedious editing, no writers block and definitely no revisions. It’s just me and my muse. Life is bliss.

In this stage, I fall in love. I receive the first bursts of a great new idea that gets my fingers itching and my heart racing. I don’t need to drag myself to the computer. Somehow I just find myself there, desperate to get the words down. I want to meet my characters, get to know them. I’m so excited about giving them the happily ever after, I know they deserve. After chapter one, I realise my new friends are going to take me places I’ve never been before and my muse pushes me towards the next imperative step.

The research.

I love research. It often involves frequent trips to the library- the one place on earth I’d be all the time if it were legal. I browse the shelves, surf the net, discover new worlds, new concepts and new authors too if I happen to accidently slip sideways into the fiction area -which I frequently do.

Still, sometimes all that’s not enough and I need a bit of hands on experience. I take a friend out for coffee to grill them about their occupation. I ring up a tourist centre to get a few local details about a new setting. Once, I went horse riding to find out what it was like to have a long day in the saddle.

Yes, research is most exciting and definitely fun. But after that I know everything, I need to know and my story is nearly half way through. All of sudden my muse gets bored. He knows how it’s going to end, so he picks up and leaves. He’s got more exciting adventures over the next mountain. I’m left behind, cleaning up the mess, sorting through the debri, struggling to work fast so that I can catch up with him again. My so called “new friends” drag me back. They aren’t as agreeable as when I first met them. And we start to fight. They misbehave and I wonder if I really should have made such a huge commitment to them in the first place.

That’s when I know the “Honey moon period” is definitely over. But I always stick with it to the end. If I can just get through the “Difficult years”, I know “Retirement” is on the other side. But that’s a story for another blog.


LaVerne St. George said...

My sentiments exactly, Loretta! I find that the real trick in writing a novel is creating enough glowing embers after that first burst of creative flame to keep me warm through the long hours of rewriting...and rewriting...and writing again. Thank you for the reminders and a smile.

Jane Myers Perrine said...

Loretta--I, too, know exacrtly what you mean! I have an unpublished friend who doesn't understand why--although she's won many contests--she isn't published. The reason is the doesn't reaize how hard writing is after the initial infatuation. Writing isn't for the faint of heart.

Amy DeTrempe said...

Great post. I've experienced this so many times and now I know what to call it. Perfect description.

Loretta C. Rogers said...

Beginning writers should read your article. In many writing classes I teach, new writers simply want to get their words on the paper, submit and get published. Never mind, the layering, deepening h/h POV, or the rewriting. Great post!

Cami Checketts said...

So very true. My critique group has saved me at times like these. They get excited about my story and help me rekindle the magic.
Thanks for this post,

Elisabeth Rose said...

I guess that's why lots of wannabe writers have lots of great beginnings---three chapter stories with no endings. It's hard work and there's no avoiding it if you want to be published.

Tell you what though--the thrill of finally getting that couple together, all loose ends dealt with and everybody happy, is almost as good as the honeymoon.

Beate Boeker said...

Loretta, how well you put it! The sagging middle is the difficult part - but what bliss to write the beginning! I couldn't agree more . . .

Loretta Brabant said...

Thanks guys! It was wonderful to learn it's the same for everyone :)
Happy Writing!