Sunday, April 18, 2010

Words Is Sneaky

I don't mean the way words sometimes say things we didn't intend, or that we DID intend but thought we were so clever that we had tucked the meaning down deep inside but it came shining right through anyway. That would be tricky. Make no mistake -- words is tricky.

But they are also sneaky. As in they sneak up on you. Usually when you are doing things that make it hard to catch them. Like when you send a note to an editor and say "I have this great idea for a book that would be a great idea for a series, would you be interested?" and the editors says "yes". That's when the words -- not necessarily the words you expected -- will start swirling, and stewing, and simmering and brewing. Glug. Glub. Blub. Surprise!

They have formed themselves into a whole 'nother story and climbed from the primordial ooze that is the writer's mind fully formed. Well, as formed as words ever get, which is pretty loose. Sometimes they stand there demanding attention until you crawl into your chair and decide to get them in shape. Sometimes the take off and carry you right along with them. Sometimes they growl at you and snap and slither under the porch and you know those words and their story will be with you a while before you can poke them enough to get them out and onto the page.

Writers talk about books being like children? Well, they are (not that my children ever slithered under the porch but as teens, they did scurry into their rooms for extended periods of time) Words, like kids, keep you up nights, thought. They make you laugh and cry and doubt yourself. They don't always behave the way you'd like.

So be warned. Words is sneaky. They may be lurking around you right now, waiting for a moment to start ganging up on you.

Annie sighs and thinks of that great idea she pitched the editor that she can't seem to write the first scene for then at the book that she IS working on that is SO NOT what she wanted to do in so many ways.

Sneaky, I tells ya.