The Magic Moment

It’s a magic moment really. The moment when the manuscript you wrote with such excitement, the characters you thought were so fabulous, the conflict you just knew was SO different, the story you lovingly crafted into a work of art, suddenly turns to crap in the space of a second.

Something silly might have triggered it off. A sudden doubt about the reaction of your heroine. Or maybe the feeling that your hero’s Big Secret is too big secrety.  Or even the fact that you’ve never really got that ending parargraph just the way you like it. But whatever it is, something somewhere has abruptly rendered your story into a heap of steaming ordure.

If you think I’m going to tell you wonderful things about how to overcome that moment then you’re sadly mistaken. I just wanted to complain about it. Mainly because my lovely chess ms, that I loved when I wrote my black moment, suddenly became The Worst Story in the History of the World. I don’t know why. I suddenly thought that my hero was too dark. Too much of a b*stard. Too unsympathetic. There wasn’t enough glamour in it to make it Presents. My heroine’s conflict was waaaaay too light and unexplored, and she was also too shouty. The plot just dumb.

The crazy thing is that this all this could be true. I just don’t know. All I know is that there came a moment where I fell out of love with it and wanted to rewrite the whole damn thing.

But I guess that’s the moment where you either stop working on it and send it off. Or you put it away.  Either action determines the worth of the story. Sending it away magically makes the story even worse than you thought it was. Putting it in the drawer somehow makes it fabulous again. Because when you take that story out and read it again after a week or four, it’s amazing how amazing it turns out to be. And you wonder how you ever doubted it.

Then you send it off and it magically becomes crap again.

Writers are magicians.

So do you work your magic on your mss too? Or is it just me?

6 thoughts on “The Magic Moment”

  1. Do I work magic on my mss? Um, I’m thinking no. I tend to really struggle to keep my opinion of my WIP somewhere (vaguely) in the middle… not totally brilliant, but not totally crap either. Depending on the minute, I might have lots of faith or just a skerrick, but I REFUSE to give up all hope. Ever! I often wonder if I waste too much time and energy trying not to over-react, but I don’t think it’s something I can change.

  2. Robyn – hehe. I wish I had your equilibrium. And your optimism. My opinion soars from Best Story Ever to Worst Thing I’ve Ever Written. I love you refusing to give up hope. It’s inspiring. 🙂

  3. My dear Jackie, please send the MS, I know how you feel, I’d written about eight complete books, but there is one which underwent ‘eleven drafts’. So don’t fall in that circle.

    There is a readership for every story, and if the Presents’ editors don’t want it, for whatever reason, there is always the option of Kindle Direct Publishing.

  4. Hey Joanna, I think this one has had about eleven drafts! But I can’t send it – I’ve already got something out there. So this one will have to wait its turn. And after that…we’ll see. But I love what you said about each story having a readership. I reckon you’re right.

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