Love or Infatuation? It’s never easy to tell. The heart may “want what it wants,” but it can be fickle. So – how can you tell if your love is real or just a passing fancy…for your Work In Progress (WIP)?
My older brother’s sage romantic advice: spend four seasons with the person. He theorizes this will give you the opportunity to see them for who they really are. Warts and all. Of course, my brother is on wife number 3, so not sure how sound the advice is for relationships. It does make good sense from a literary perspective.
Spring: Brand new love for the brand new story.
Summer: Things heat up as you finish the draft.
Autumn: You’re comfortable with the story and have hashed out all the plot problems.
Winter: Oh ’tis the Winter of our discontent as we move on to endless edits.
If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ve heard about my “on again off again” romance with an epic fantasy series called “The Heart of the Warrior.” I’ve been working on this behemoth since the early 2000s. It’s been a bumpy ride. First it’s a dark fantasy, then I try to change it into something it’s not (YA). It gets pissed and walks out. I apologize with chocolates. We separate for a while as I see other characters. Eventually, I come crawling back. Why? Am I crazy or unhealthy (well, maybe a little)? Actually, I’m stoopid in love with the story. I’m so in love I’ve recently gone back to Book 1 Chapter 1 and started over again. There are five books in the series and I have committed to write and publish every single one of them whether they turn a profit or not. I hope my readers will love this story as much as I do, but if they don’t …doesn’t matter. I’m writing it anyway. Crazy stoopid in love. Yep.
So – Are you in love or infatuated? Will you stick by your work no matter what or are you wasting your time on something that doesn’t bring you joy? Trust me. I have a drawer full of story ideas I’ve walked away from. Not wasting my time on something I know is a dead end.
Reality Check List:
- Are you as excited about your WIP six months or more into it as you were when you first had the idea?
- You’ve just finished reading your rough draft after having let it sit for a while. Do you still care about the story? Are you willing to make the year plus commitment to edit, publish and market it? Or is there another project you’d rather be doing?
- For Series: Visualize your readers clamoring for more stories. Can you see yourself writing more books about these characters? Or are you done with them (aka should this book be a standalone)?
No matter what you decide to do with your WIP, enjoy the journey. It’s a tough one. Why not travel with characters you love?