Wine, Cheese, Women, and Manuscripts

What do these have in common? Oh, you’re so smart. I like my cheese moldy (intentionally, beautifully veined in blue or green), I used to like my wine old (and preferably Italian) before I started living the clean life, and women–well don’t ask a woman facing 50 if she’s better with some wrinkles. You might get your head chewed off. The answer is yes.

Manuscripts? I got thinking about this because Angie James posted at Romancing the Blog today on those one-manuscript wonders, those folks who are so in love with their novel, their one baby. Perhaps they’ve rewritten it ten times, or sent it to every agent and editor they can find. They give the likes of Ms. Snark (God bless her, hope she’s fine) a lot of subject matter. Anway, Angie said all that better.

My thought is that I don’t sit on things very long. I write it and send it. I don’t have a curing process. No cheesecloth, no wine cellar. No virtual shelf for my manuscript. Bam, out the door. I’m the opposite of what Angie writes about. I’m so anxious for that next contract, to show people I’ve learned and moved on to new territory.

Do you think the healthy approach may be in the middle (it usually is, damn it)? Those of you who know me have heard me talk about rewriting some books that were at another publishing house. I don’t suggest waiting for your publisher to close so you can rewrite a book. Let me tell you, if you don’t notice a difference in your writing after two years, you need some input. It’s excruciating. I wonder what I’ll notice two years from now?

So I can’t afford to sit on everything for two years. God knows, I might be writing historicals by then (not). But how about two months? Two weeks, for Pete’s sake?
How long do you let something age before you go back and fix all the crap that seemed so marvelous when you were “in the zone?”

I’m approaching a time when I’m going to panic slightly. Or largely. When I’ve fulfilled my contracts and don’t have a new one. When I have to sit down and write a brand new book. How long should I let it age? Can one turn into a one-book wonder after writing 15? I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, go read this interesting post.

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