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?


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.