Monday, May 05, 2008

Story Vows

Ten Promises I've Made to My WIP

1. I will be faithful to you. I'll ignore other, flashy story ideas who try to seduce me away from you. Once in a while I might spend a couple of hours with an old flame or someone else's new love, but don't be jealous -- I'll always come back to you.

2. I'll work hard to get you into shape. We'll start off at the best place and pace for you. I won't let you drag, bloat or sag around the middle. I won't pack your trunk with a lot of junk.

3. I will speak kindly of you to others. However much you deserve it, I will not refer to you as that bitch or a stupid-ass idea.

4. I will give you the best I've got, not whatever's left over after the rest of the world is through beating the hell out of me for the day.

5. I will not avoid you, even when I'm tired and you're being difficult. I will remember what a privilege it is to spend time with you.

6. I will never fake my way through a sex scene with you.

7. I won't turn you into a personal grindstone, or use you to hammer others with my political opinions, my faith or my creative agendas. I'll remember that you're supposed to be a gift, not a weapon.

8. I will not start up with you when I'm on the rebound solely so I can work out my frustrations over my last failed relationship.

9. Whatever anyone says about you, I will remember how much you mean to me, and how little I care what anyone else thinks of us.

10. When you're ready, I'll let you go. Somehow.

What are some of the promises you make to your WIP?


  1. Anonymous7:50 AM

    My promise to my WIP

    *G* Even when I think you're being a bitch, I won't say so. Sorry, it's the best I can offer. I'm not always very nice.

  2. Number four is really, really hard.

    And very important.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  3. I'll finish you. Somehow. Someday.

  4. I'll give you anything you want if you'll work with me on this scene. (This is how the damndest things end up in the books, but it works.)

  5. I swear I won't leave you when things get tough and I have a sweet new idea.

  6. I promise not to force you into directions you don't want to go. I promise not to make your characters too stupid to live.

  7. Ditto Mary Stella and #9.

    I will not be ashamed of whatever odd quirks or habits your characters might have.

    I will not listen to non-writers half-baked ideas about you or your characters progression.

  8. Anonymous2:10 PM

    My promises are simple: I will finish you. I will fix you. I will send you out into the world the best I can make you.

    And this time, I think I just may follow through. (I TRY to promise all my WiP's that, and I'm lucky if I can make the first one.)

  9. Anonymous2:19 PM

    Inspiring as usual, Sheila. Thanks a lot.

  10. I won't force the sex, even though this is supposed to be EROTIC romance. Remember? EROTIC?? Could you try to be less with the angsty and a little more with the sexy, pretty please with mocha-flavored lube on top?

    ANYWAY. I won't force the sex. It'll come or it won't.


  11. -I will not whore you out to just whoever wants to buy...but if you should choose to get a job in a good location with good prospects, I might be willing to cook you dinner. And dessert.

    -If you promise not to abandon me at around the 2/3 mark, I promise to not cheat you out of a kick-ass surprise ending just because you're being difficult and obstinately refusing to follow my outline.

    See? I don't really promise my manuscript anything. I bargain with it. We evil people are like that. Mwahah.

    ...Then again, you're hella-published, and I'm hella-not. *snerk* Maybe I should start making my words some promises, eh?

  12. #5 is the one I needed to read today.

  13. Anonymous10:52 AM

    After reading your list I finished the shorty short story I've been working on. Oh and if you're wondering just what a shorty short story is (a short story with about 3500 words).

    I told it that if it cooperated I wouldn't take this hammer here and force it's square head through a round hole.

    Seemed to work, now off to correct spelling and grammar.


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