Sarah Monette on staying married to your novel after the honeymoon’s over:
There’s only so long you can go on posing questions before you have to start answering them, and answering questions is work. Convincing the story to lie down on the bed you have made for it is work. And staying married to a novel when you reach that stage is also work. It’s so much easier to let yourself be seduced by the new idea that’s walked in the door in its skin-tight leather pants and is giving you a smoldering come-hither look that promises it’s going to rock your world.
And it’s probably not lying. But sooner or later, you’ll hit the same stage with it that you’ve hit with the previous idea, where it glowers at you and walks out in the middle of arguments and won’t return your calls.
And you find yourself looking around, waiting for another idea to come seduce you.
This is why finishing a novel is such an accomplishment. Because it’s so much easier not to. It’s so much easier to say, It’s the novel’s fault. It’s not trying. To say, I can’t do anything about it. To say, This relationship is over, and walk out the door yourself.
You have to be patient and stubborn, to write a novel. You have to have faith that the novel still loves you. You have to continue to love the novel.
Your new flings can wait their turn.
That’s getting taped to the wall.
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