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Dressing your pig

Posted by on November 23, 2011

For you loyal six readers of Carthage, I apologize for the lack of updates lately. My recent illness wore me out and all my spare energy has been going to Thanksgiving planning and trying to hit my daily word count for NaNo. It’s going well…ish. I mean, I’m on track to finish 50,000 words at the end of November, even though they’re 50,000 words of a ridiculous under-achieving romance novel. When I go back to re-read, I disdain my prose and much prefer the comments of my own snarky internal editor, which I add in bold type just after I write any particularly repellent paragraph.

An example: This is simply wretched. I don’t know what you think is happening here, but no one comes to a romance novel looking for an abstract meditation on the meaning of communal life. You picked this genre, so work inside its limitations. Putting a bow tie on a hog doesn’t make a prom date.

Helpfully, I added a second paragraph for my future self to read right after this one: Your prose is the hog. The thoughtful and therefore out-of-place paragraph is the bow tie.

Oh, the fun I do have. At least when I’m talking to my future self in a Word document, I’m not walking around the house talking to the toaster and stuff. I’ve spent a long and fairly lonely couple of weeks on sick-leave from my social life, and I’ve formed some important relationships with the inanimate objects that surround me. But tomorrow my family arrives and I can spend four days talking to real people! I am very excited. Although I hope I don’t waste all my A-material on real people and can save some of my inspiration for being mean to myself in print.

2 Responses to Dressing your pig

  1. michele

    i’m going to go out on a limb here and guess it’s not as wretched as you think. i’m pretty confident that putting a bow tie on a pig would make a hilarious and awesome prom date story.

    also at least you’re doing better than me who stopped writing at 7,000 words two weeks ago and sank into pathetic sick self-pity wallowing. then again, i was pretty sure i was dying. so i feel i can cut myself some slack.

  2. kt

    So if all the commentary is that good, I recommend keeping it all as a part of the actual manuscript. Sort of an MST3K for the romance novel. Actually, maybe you should leave yourself alone, and save the commentary for someone else’s (actually bad) romance novel, and append and publish _that_. It’s probably illegal but maybe some starving ghostwriter out there would appreciate the numbers boost.

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