Sunday, March 30, 2008

Talk About Writing

by Marcia Mickelson

I'm not sure how it is for everyone else, but when I start on a new book, I don't like to talk about it to anyone. I keep completely quiet about it because I feel that if I start to talk about it too early on, the magic will go away. I know that sounds weird, but during the infancy of my book, it's too fragile to talk about. It's at the point where if I talk about it, it might not even get written.

I don't mind people reading my work when it's about halfway done or more. I like and need to get good, honest criticism. The more negative the better. I welcome it. I want to hear how I can improve it, but not too soon. Once, the idea is more firmly cemented and past its tentative stage, then I can share it.

Maybe it's like when it's very early in my pregnancy, I don't like to tell people. I prefer to wait until after the second doctor's appointment to share my news. I guess I'm too worried to tell anyone just in case. In case of what? I don't know, just in case. By the way, this is in no way an announcement. I'm just making a comparison--a pregnancy in its early stages is like a book in its early stages, and I'm too worried to share it until I know it's well into development.

So, I am working on a new book. I can say that much, but I can't even say what it's about. It's too scary. I'm about 10,000 words into it and I'm grateful for Tristi Pinkston's Book In A Month challenge this month so I can work like crazy on it.


Stephanie Humphreys said...

I don't want to tell people what I'm writing either. Part of it is losing the magic, like you said. The other part is when I tell someone, I feel like I've already told the story, and I don't feel the urgency to get it down on paper.

Marcia Mickelson said...

Great point, Stephanie. I think that's what I feel too, and couldn't quite express it. Once, it's said then why write it? Exactly like you said, the urgency is gone. Thanks for adding that.

Amanda said...

I agree with you Marcia. A lot of the projects that I'm working on now are in 2nd and 3rd draft stages, so I feel okay going over changes to the plot I might be making and that sort of thing with people I'm really close to. But when an idea first comes to mind, I don't like to talk about it much. I might give a 2-sentence brief to Jason if he asks, but other than that, not until it's firmly together in my drafts/notes do I really start talking about it.

Annette Lyon said...

I think it's wise not to overtalk a book before it's written. The magic (or urgency, or whatever) does dissipate a bit. That's one reason I no longer outline religiously. While I need to have a general idea of where the story is headed and where it'll end up, if I outline in too much detail, then the magic is gone--it's like talking it out too much. Best of luck with the BIAM!