16 August 2012

Are You In The Closet with your WIP?


I guess I was a bit flattered yesterday. I want to share this story with you. I think it is something we've all dealt with as writers. I like to consider myself a bit of an artist though, so it's a little personal when I am working on something and someone wants to have a peek before it's finished.

Of course, I share my work with my critique groups because they understand the art of writing a novel and they provide valuable feedback. I even share with you guys and I truly appreciate the feedback.

However, when someone who isn't familiar with the process of writing asks to see your work out of mere curiosity, how does it make you feel? I'm sure we're all a little different, or maybe not. I'm not certain, but here goes the situation with me.

My husband just finished his two year CT scan and check-up after having a soft tissue sarcoma removed from his calf. His surgeon took an interest in the book I had with me and this is how the visit ended.

"What's that you've got there?"

I held up the book I was reading to where he could read the title, Bullies, BastardsAnd Bitches: How To Write The Bad Guys Of Fiction by Jessica Morrell.

Now, let me say this. The book is a godsend for me, because we've all been told you must write what you know. Of course, I'm not a bad guy, but my novel features a serial killer, so I have to learn how to portray this type of character at some point, right? Anyway, back to my incident.

The surgeon's eyes opened wide and he said, "So, you're reading this to learn how to write what exactly."

"Oh, I'm writing a novel." The two physician assistants accompanying the surgeon on his rounds now eagerly wait for the next question.

"Really?" The surgeon's surprise was not unlike others who have found out I'm working on a novel in my spare time away from a full time job as a software developer.

My husband, and biggest fan, said, "Yes, really, she's writing a novel." And they all stand around in awe, and I imagine they all may very well believe me to be the biggest geek ever.

"Can I read it?" he said. "If you let me read it now, I promise to buy it when it comes out."

"I'm not finished with it." Now I'm a bit embarrassed because all eyes are on me.

"What's it about?"

"Some bastard," I said. I just couldn't help myself at this point.

Seriously, how do you find yourself reacting to this question? Do you clam up like I did, or do you excitedly gush about your WIP? Is it ever too soon to talk about your novel?

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