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The Stages of Book Love

Just something I’ve been playing with as I dive into the new book.  I suspect some of the writers can relate?

(Click here if the graph gets truncated and you need the full view.)

The Stages of Book Love:

ETA: Also see this graph and blog post by Maureen McHugh.  I honestly don’t remember whether I’ve seen McHugh’s graph before, but it’s very possible I saw it reposted somewhere, and that it was hiding in the back of my mind as I worked on my own graph.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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( 78 comments — Leave a comment )
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suricattus
Aug. 28th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
I think there should be another dip during draft revisions, where you realize that this thing stinks on ice and you're totally not good enough to fix it...

jimhines
Aug. 28th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah. Been there.

Realistically, it's going to be a much spikier, borderline-bipolar graph, at least for me. But there was only so much I could squeeze into the jpeg and still keep it legible.
(no subject) - barbarienne - Aug. 28th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
jayene
Aug. 28th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
That is pure awesomesauce with a side of chips! And god does that last sentence date me. Thank you. This made my day.
jimhines
Aug. 28th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you :-)

Mmm. Awesomechips and Firefly. Sounds like a good way to spend an afternoon.
(no subject) - jayene - Aug. 28th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Aug. 28th, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wookiemonster - Aug. 28th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
controuble
Aug. 28th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)
Almost spewed coffee all over the monitor - At least it's better than Twilight. That shouldn't be your end-point, though. Your books are WAY better.
jimhines
Aug. 28th, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
There's a later point, when you've gotten some distance and you go back and reread the book, and (hopefully) start thinking "Hey, this is actually pretty darn good!" But at least for me, it's hard to get there during the writing process.

If I had more room, the final rewrite probably should have had its own category: "It might be good. Hell if I know anymore. I just want the damn thing off my desk!"
(Deleted comment)
jimhines
Aug. 28th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
Heh. Thank you :-)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jimhines - Aug. 28th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jimhines - Aug. 28th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - brainstormfront - Aug. 28th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - marycatelli - Aug. 28th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
beth_bernobich
Aug. 28th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)
Remember Maureen McHugh's graph?



It doesn't cover rewrites, though.
jimhines
Aug. 28th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
D'oh!

You know, for the life of me, I can't remember whether I've seen that before or not.
(no subject) - beth_bernobich - Aug. 28th, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Aug. 28th, 2009 01:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beth_bernobich - Aug. 28th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - barbarienne - Aug. 28th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beth_bernobich - Aug. 28th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - marycatelli - Aug. 28th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
dean_italiano
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:08 pm (UTC)
LMAO!

Yeah...
(Anonymous)
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC)
*snicker*

Nothing substantial to add to the conversation, other than I laughed, identified with it even though my writing is a totally different type and style. Thanks for the chuckle!
pickledherring
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
I'm rewriting and I need a huge dip between "Finished 1st Draft" and "Finished Rewrite" heh.
jimhines
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
If I were to zoom in, my day-to-day graph would be as spiky as a porcupine with all the ups and downs I go through in a single book :-)
(no subject) - marycatelli - Aug. 28th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
andrewfeland
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
I like the graph, but you should move "at least it's better than Twilight" further down the list...
jimhines
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
You know, I actually feel a little bad about that one. All of the review and discussion I've followed about the books makes me cringe, but I've never actually read the book. I included it because it's funny, but it also feels like a cheap shot at the same time, you know?
cuddlycthulhu
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC)
It's funny how many authors I've heard mention this pretty much exactly.
jimhines
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
Same here. Everyone's roller coaster ride will be a little different, we all seem to have the ups and downs. Did you see McHugh's graph?
(no subject) - cuddlycthulhu - Aug. 28th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Aug. 28th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cuddlycthulhu - Aug. 28th, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Gaiman on how you feel when writing - marycatelli - Aug. 28th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
jimhines
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
Originally the graph said 25K-30K, but I was trying to keep things tight for space. But yeah, it's right around that 1/3 mark that I burn my outline and run screaming into the streets :-)
barbarienne
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
Great, Jim. I've been cruising along on the new novel, and last night I got myself to 21,500 words.

If my current pace holds, Labor Day weekend is gonna SUCK.
jimhines
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Good luck! I just finished the first chapter on mine, which means I'm at that gut-churning first hill of the Roller Coaster of Suck.

Why do we do this again?
(no subject) - barbarienne - Aug. 28th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
jimvanpelt
Aug. 28th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)
ROTFLMAO! Love it.
jimhines
Aug. 28th, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks :-) Please feel free to share, if you think your kids might appreciate it.
(no subject) - jimvanpelt - Aug. 28th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
sistercoyote
Aug. 28th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
My question is, how long do those periods of "OMG this is so much worse than Twilight, why did I ever even start this thing?" last? Because I have a half-finished novel that I haven't touched in months and every time I go to look at it those are the thoughts that flit through my mind...
marycatelli
Aug. 28th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
As long as they last.

Are you working on something else in the meantime? Always dangerous in that you may never complete anything, but it can be a break.
(no subject) - sistercoyote - Aug. 28th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Aug. 28th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sistercoyote - Aug. 28th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - marycatelli - Aug. 28th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
sinanju
Aug. 28th, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
You've graphed what I've seen Dean Wesley Smith refer to as "the one third wall"--the point, about a third of the way into a novel, where you're convinced it's unsalvageable crap and you should just quit and do something else. According to his blog, it's so predictable that he and his wife both know that when one of them storms out of their office grumbling about the book turning to crap, the other just asks, "How far into it are you?"

The grumbler stops, growls, goes back into the office and starts writing again. 'Cause the magic part is, when it's done? You won't see any difference in the quality of the writing between the one-third point and the rest of it.
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