Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The 'Hated' Manuscript

When I finish writing, I mean really finish, after sending the work to willing readers, making countless revisions and exhausting edits, after multiple rewrites and drafts, after telling myself, there is nothing more that can be done, that I know, anyway, I tend to banish the finished product.  Send it into exile.

I convince myself it is not important to me. I tell its characters I despise them. With a cheeky Chita Rivera West Side Story bye bye, I lock them out of my heart. 

The truth is, most written works are sent out into the world to be, essentially, slaughtered.  And I do believe it's a lot easier to watch characters you have unconvincingly convinced yourself you hate...get tossed into the inevitable bloodbath.

Today I went back to one of these 'hated' manuscripts.  One of these good for nothing, you deserve to get the crap kicked out of you projects and I read a random page.  

I expected to throw it against the wall,  give it the finger, maybe I'd metaphorically drown it in a bathtub or toss a glass of whiskey in its face or pee on it, like I was a guy, ya know, that kind of take that piss.

Of course, it felt like looking at a portrait of someone I once loved.  And I hated it all the more for that.


  1. I shredded my old manuscripts. Honestly, I couldn't reread most of what I wrote years ago.

  2. "it felt like looking at a portrait of someone I once loved."

    Ugh, I know that feeling - it's the same one that woke me up an hour and a half early this morning as a banished ms popped into my head. I was like, "didn't we already end things??? why are you creeping back to me???"

  3. I haven't been able to mentally let go of any of mine yet. I still see potential. Possibilities. Maybe one day . . . it could work . . . :)

  4. I still get that twinge in my stomach like I'm losing my breath. And my mind.