Those of you who follow my blog know I often compare writing to a relationship. There's an indescribable kind of love that connects me with my story, but just like any relationship; there are ups and downs, give and takes, love and hate.
Stage 1-- The awkward first date (the first chapter)
You've gotten to know your date over the phone or maybe over the internet, but the first time out with him/her is a scary thing. You don't really know what to expect. Maybe things will go as you imagined, then again, you might realize there's nothing there. Even if things go well, there's still a level of uneasiness. You don't know him/her all that well, and your mind races with questions. Is this who they really are? Do they have ulterior motives? Can I trust this person?
Stage 2-- Looking through rose colored glasses (the first half of the book)
The awkward first date is over, and soon you realize you really like this other person. Each date is anticipated with a tummy-turning giddiness, and soon, you find yourself falling hard and fast, head-over-heels in love. This person can do no wrong and is perfect in every single way. You turn a blind-eye to the imperfections and dismiss his/her quirks with a wave of the hand. The only thing you want to do is spend every, waking hour with the one you love.
Stage 3-- The first fight (your first "trouble spot" or bout of writer's block)
This stage is heartbreaking. You realize your relationship isn't as perfect as you thought. Maybe you blame yourself for not thinking things through, or maybe you feel guilty for not trying or caring enough. Sometimes things get ugly (laptops may or may not get thrown across the room). Regardless, if you truly love each other, things get resolved and you'll move on.
Stage 4-- The end of the honeymoon stage
The first fight is over, and as the relationship chugs along, you realize things are far from perfect. There are problems--big, ugly, in-your-face problems. But you're determined to make the relationship work; you've come too far just to throw it all away. You're confident that over time, things will get worked out and resolved.
Stage 5-- Deciding to stay together or break-up (stick with the novel or shelve it)
This can be one of the most difficult stages. Do you listen to what everyone around you is saying? Do you take their advice? Are you so committed to your other half that you'll do anything to make things work? Or do you decide to chalk it up as a good learning experience and move on? This is a very personal decision to make, and only you can make it. People can give you their opinions (and they will), but at the end of the day, you have to do what's best for you.