LOVE STAGES AND PAGES

Mom_thumbnailIt’s Sunday and it’s Edith, and hello!

Today, I am in the midst of an emotional crisis. I’m in the getting-to-know-you stage of my new love, my newest WIP. The third chapter. And I just got the copy-edited pages of my last book, which was my last love.

This sets up a triangle, and while I love triangles, you can see where this one is a bit disconcerting.Love_triangleStill, I will survive, and the books will too.

But it got me to thinking about how writing a novel is very like having a romance. You can even break it down into similar stages.

1) The Awakening. You’ve fallen in love. The bolt from the blue, or the slow realization that this plot is for you.

2) It Begins. The slow, feeling your way into the heart and mind of your beloved. Is he (and she) worthy of you? Are you worthy of them? What will you do in your time together? Is there a meeting of the minds as well as the hearts? And is the chemistry right? Brains are fine, but is there enough sexual tension?

3) The Doubts. Is this affair going as it should be? Is everyone doing the right thing? Are you really truly sure of commitment? You may have a love affair without commitment, but you can’t have a novel without one.

4) The Dread Dead Middle Malaise. You begin to worry if you’ve done the right thing, and if this is the right love for you. There have been things said, and maybe done. You can’t turn back, but should you end it all now? Surely, this isn’t true love. You could have done better. Aha, you recognize this! It’s happened before. Self-doubt is all it is, because much looms ahead. You’re desperate to get to the end: the fulfillment and rapture until ever after. But it wouldn’t make sense. You have to get over your issues before you get on with your love story.

5) The Excitement Renews! You’re racing toward the end; there aren’t enough pages to tell the world about your new love. You’re at it night and day, naughty you!

6) Ahh! It’s over. Pride and serenity. Married, promised for eternity, and all down on paper.

7) Not Quite. You finally go back, see what’s happened and think about it. Your heart sinks. It’s not what you wanted to do. It was so much better in theory. You failed you. Too late. It was the best you were capable of. Turn away, and move on.

8) But wait, maybe some counseling will help? Your editor has a few ideas. You defend some of you actions. And you realize you goofed with others. Correction time.

9) Bliss at Last. You get the copy-edited pages back after making changes for your editor. It’s wonderful! How could you possibly have doubted? You are terrific! (Until you read an anonymously written bashing you get on Amazon, from someone you doubtless ticked off at some time in your life.)

10) Here we go again all aglow again. You are certain love is lovelier the second, third and thirtieth time around, and you fall head over heels again.

At least that’s how it goes for this writer, and, come to think about it, except for stages 7 – 10, how it goes for this reader of romance novels too.

Am I right? How does it work for you?

20 thoughts on “LOVE STAGES AND PAGES”

  1. Wench Edith, what a wonderful, comforting post. I’m 35,000 into my current WIP and swirling mindlessly between your stages 3 and 4. It’s so good to know I’m not really lost, but experiencing the “norm.”
    This is why I love Word Wenches. Thanks Wench Edith.
    Nina, pushing onward

    Reply
  2. Wench Edith, what a wonderful, comforting post. I’m 35,000 into my current WIP and swirling mindlessly between your stages 3 and 4. It’s so good to know I’m not really lost, but experiencing the “norm.”
    This is why I love Word Wenches. Thanks Wench Edith.
    Nina, pushing onward

    Reply
  3. Wench Edith, what a wonderful, comforting post. I’m 35,000 into my current WIP and swirling mindlessly between your stages 3 and 4. It’s so good to know I’m not really lost, but experiencing the “norm.”
    This is why I love Word Wenches. Thanks Wench Edith.
    Nina, pushing onward

    Reply
  4. Wench Edith, what a wonderful, comforting post. I’m 35,000 into my current WIP and swirling mindlessly between your stages 3 and 4. It’s so good to know I’m not really lost, but experiencing the “norm.”
    This is why I love Word Wenches. Thanks Wench Edith.
    Nina, pushing onward

    Reply
  5. Edith, what a great way to frame it — all the stages apply, every time, in more or less the same order, whether it’s books or relationships (and even revising and editing apply sometimes to relationships as well as books ). Authors have to fall in love with the characters and the stories, and ride through the rough patches as well as the good stuff, to get to smooth sailing, and onward to more books!
    It’s very much a learning process and a bonding process with distinct stages, though the steps may differ from author to author, book to book. 🙂
    ~Susan Sarah

    Reply
  6. Edith, what a great way to frame it — all the stages apply, every time, in more or less the same order, whether it’s books or relationships (and even revising and editing apply sometimes to relationships as well as books ). Authors have to fall in love with the characters and the stories, and ride through the rough patches as well as the good stuff, to get to smooth sailing, and onward to more books!
    It’s very much a learning process and a bonding process with distinct stages, though the steps may differ from author to author, book to book. 🙂
    ~Susan Sarah

    Reply
  7. Edith, what a great way to frame it — all the stages apply, every time, in more or less the same order, whether it’s books or relationships (and even revising and editing apply sometimes to relationships as well as books ). Authors have to fall in love with the characters and the stories, and ride through the rough patches as well as the good stuff, to get to smooth sailing, and onward to more books!
    It’s very much a learning process and a bonding process with distinct stages, though the steps may differ from author to author, book to book. 🙂
    ~Susan Sarah

    Reply
  8. Edith, what a great way to frame it — all the stages apply, every time, in more or less the same order, whether it’s books or relationships (and even revising and editing apply sometimes to relationships as well as books ). Authors have to fall in love with the characters and the stories, and ride through the rough patches as well as the good stuff, to get to smooth sailing, and onward to more books!
    It’s very much a learning process and a bonding process with distinct stages, though the steps may differ from author to author, book to book. 🙂
    ~Susan Sarah

    Reply
  9. How well you put the whole wonderful, horribly process, Edith!
    I’ve always thought of book-writing n three phases: the last book you wrote is pretty good, the book you’re currently mired in writing is awful, horrible, the worst piece of garbage imaginable, and the next one — ah, the next one will be the best book EVER.
    Such a love-hate thing we have for our creations. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  10. How well you put the whole wonderful, horribly process, Edith!
    I’ve always thought of book-writing n three phases: the last book you wrote is pretty good, the book you’re currently mired in writing is awful, horrible, the worst piece of garbage imaginable, and the next one — ah, the next one will be the best book EVER.
    Such a love-hate thing we have for our creations. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  11. How well you put the whole wonderful, horribly process, Edith!
    I’ve always thought of book-writing n three phases: the last book you wrote is pretty good, the book you’re currently mired in writing is awful, horrible, the worst piece of garbage imaginable, and the next one — ah, the next one will be the best book EVER.
    Such a love-hate thing we have for our creations. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  12. How well you put the whole wonderful, horribly process, Edith!
    I’ve always thought of book-writing n three phases: the last book you wrote is pretty good, the book you’re currently mired in writing is awful, horrible, the worst piece of garbage imaginable, and the next one — ah, the next one will be the best book EVER.
    Such a love-hate thing we have for our creations. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  13. I’m not published (yet!!) but have two novels under my belt, and the one thing Edith’s post didn’t mention is something that has happened to me with both books. After spending so much time with them, I love my characters and I don’t want to let go of them when I get to that final scene. I’ve become literally depressed at that point with both books. Am I just weird or is this something other writers feel as well?

    Reply
  14. I’m not published (yet!!) but have two novels under my belt, and the one thing Edith’s post didn’t mention is something that has happened to me with both books. After spending so much time with them, I love my characters and I don’t want to let go of them when I get to that final scene. I’ve become literally depressed at that point with both books. Am I just weird or is this something other writers feel as well?

    Reply
  15. I’m not published (yet!!) but have two novels under my belt, and the one thing Edith’s post didn’t mention is something that has happened to me with both books. After spending so much time with them, I love my characters and I don’t want to let go of them when I get to that final scene. I’ve become literally depressed at that point with both books. Am I just weird or is this something other writers feel as well?

    Reply
  16. I’m not published (yet!!) but have two novels under my belt, and the one thing Edith’s post didn’t mention is something that has happened to me with both books. After spending so much time with them, I love my characters and I don’t want to let go of them when I get to that final scene. I’ve become literally depressed at that point with both books. Am I just weird or is this something other writers feel as well?

    Reply
  17. Oh Diane, the word is “bereft.” I’ve felt it so many times. When the book is done, you’re empty, and that’s good, because it means you got yourself very involved and so then hopefully, will your readers. Good luck with your work, and welcome the loss of your fictional friends. It will start you up again, and is a sign that you really cared!

    Reply
  18. Oh Diane, the word is “bereft.” I’ve felt it so many times. When the book is done, you’re empty, and that’s good, because it means you got yourself very involved and so then hopefully, will your readers. Good luck with your work, and welcome the loss of your fictional friends. It will start you up again, and is a sign that you really cared!

    Reply
  19. Oh Diane, the word is “bereft.” I’ve felt it so many times. When the book is done, you’re empty, and that’s good, because it means you got yourself very involved and so then hopefully, will your readers. Good luck with your work, and welcome the loss of your fictional friends. It will start you up again, and is a sign that you really cared!

    Reply
  20. Oh Diane, the word is “bereft.” I’ve felt it so many times. When the book is done, you’re empty, and that’s good, because it means you got yourself very involved and so then hopefully, will your readers. Good luck with your work, and welcome the loss of your fictional friends. It will start you up again, and is a sign that you really cared!

    Reply

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