I just had a comment from Pen saying it sounded like I didn’t enjoy writing the new Martinelli book at all. What’s not to like? Working eleven hour days trying to make sure all the plot lines follow through, all the suspects are followed beginning to end, each clue is dealt with, every cited fact re-checked, that I haven’t accidentally given a character some name like Richard Head or called three of them John, Jim, and Jinny, made sure that it’s not raining on one page and sunny on the next (not without mentioning northern California’s caprecious weather), checked…
You get the idea. So I get to five o’clock and can’t remember how to steam a package of grated carrots, or sit for the first twenty minutes of dinner grunting at my family until that part of my brain begins to turn and the Rewrite God goes back to sleep (Who made you God? The book did.) Living the fictional dream is nothing compared to wading through dream plots/grammar/dialogue/you name it all day.
Someone who had never birthed a child might think the proper analogy would be the final stages of giving birth, but not so. Generally speaking, birth is a process that takes over, so that the woman’s main job is not getting in the way of her muscles. A rewrite is the exact opposite, everything dependent on not letting up for a moment, not turning anything over to muscles: it’s all will.
Some things are the same. The loud noises and cursing and basic unpleasantness of being around the person doing the thing, yep. The enormous self-involvement and obnoxiousness and untidiness, oh yeah. The relief and euphoria when the thing’s finally out, check.
So, I’m in transition now, which will mean something to you if you’ve been there at a birth, and I’m not the easiest person to be around. Even the cat got tired of having me jump up a dozen times an hour to hunt down some fact and has taken to sleeping out his days elsewhere.
My family is not given the same option.
This is why writers thank family in their books. For putting up with them.