Friday, May 30, 2008

My manuscript likes carrots!

There's a catchphrase on my primary internet community: "Bob likes carrots." It refers to how people in the besotted stage of a new relationship find a way to make EVERYTHING all about the beloved. So, if you're over the moon for your boyfriend Bob, and your friends are talking about carrot salad or the carrots in their garden, you butt into the conversation with a perky, "Bob likes carrots!" (This can be adapted to any obsession, not just a boyfriend or a girlfriend. If everything comes back to Torchwood or Aubrey/Maturin or The Daily Show for you, those can like carrots, too.)

Lately I find myself acting all "Bob likes carrots" over my work-in-progress. When I started this project, I decided I wouldn't talk about the details of my alternate universe scenario or my plot until the day it sells. (Please, publishing gods, let this one be the book that sells! I love these characters and want to write the rest of their series!) It's not that I'm afraid anyone would steal my idea outright. While there's plenty of plagiarism out there, I don't think people who are capable of writing epic historical fantasy sagas want to use someone else's idea--they have plenty of their own. However, I do think that it's possible that if I talked about all the details of my story all over the internet, some other writer might read about it on a blog comment, forget about it, and later have a similar idea because my idea put it in her subconscious. Far-fetched, but it could happen.

But my biggest reason for not telling all is that I think it's such a cool idea that I don't want to sort of spoil it by talking about it when it's incomplete and half-baked. I'd rather wait till I can say, "I'm writing about X, and the first book comes out in July 2011," or even, "My debut novel, which is about X, is now ready for preorder on Amazon!"

It's not that no one knows what I'm writing about. My critique partners know, as do a handful of other writers and friends I've asked for help and advice. My husband has been in on it since the beginning. Still, it's driving me crazy not to be able to talk about it everywhere. So my poor critique partners, especially The Other Susan, get an earful because they're the only ones who know all the details. And everyone else gets hints. "Bob likes carrots" hints. I will take any opportunity short of giving away the whole game to talk about my characters and their adventures. I caught myself babbling at my boss earlier this week about how some book she had in her office reminded me of my protagonist, and how he's just the coolest ever...and that's when I realized I'd turned into a Bob Likes Carrots writer.

I hope I haven't been boring everyone in earshot/blogshot to distraction. And I hope this book sells so I can talk about it properly.

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