Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Those Naughty, Naughty WIPs

The Writers Who Kill put a rather provocative post up yesterday: "I Hate My WIP". For those of you not familiar with writing jargon, WIP stands for "Work in Progress". I found a great relief in reading this article and realizing that I was not alone.

I hate my WIP up till the first draft is done. Then, it's: "OMG! I finished it! I did it! How wonderful! Yippee!" Dancing around.

Unfortunately, this is followed by revisions. Maternal adoration turns to diaperish (?) disgust. "There's a lot of crap in here! Yecch! PLEASE don't make me touch it! No! It's ugly! Ugly and full of crap! I can't send this ANYWHERE!"

Eventually (years later?) I have the WIP cleaned up and dressed nicely (i.e. I followed the submission guidelines). I send it out into the world, only to receive a note from the teacher: "Rejected." I search WIP/child for more crap; I know it's in there somewhere. That's the problem with babies, literary or physical.

After a few more rejects: WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY WIP? Isn't it cute enough? Maybe it should be blonde with a frilly dress. I don't think I can dress it like that, it would bite me. By the time I got it into that pink outfit, I'd need to update the technology in the story again (this has happened to me more than once). I detest my WIP; no one wants it. It's too gangly and funny-looking to be loved.

So, now, I have a freakish orphanage in my house (or, at least, my memory stick). My WIPs meep and chirp and drive me nuts. Periodically, though, one gets adopted. I send the lucky child off with relief and joy, but there's always that nagging feeling that I could have done better with it. Therein lies the true problem: the WIP stays a WIP until it's published. You will never be through with it.

So, once it becomes a true 'work', why do we want it back to make one last change?

2 comments:

gabi said...

That is so true.

This is why I'm terrified to read anything I've written once it's in print (even blog posts). I know that some little punctuation error or typo will glare at me and make faces. And I'll never live it down.

Happy writing!

Sarah G said...

The beauty of a blog entry is that you can go back and fix a typo.

When I have been published in real print, I tend to admire the pages but not look too closely.
:)

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