From first draft to multiple revisions to query to submission the writer’s life is difficult ( and that’s putting it mildly ) and filled with angst. But we writers LOVE to write so we endure. And that’s why it’s necessary to have an Arsenal of Funny at your disposal. Infusing a bit of humor into the day just may save our souls…or at least give us the gumption to fight the good novel fight another day!
Mix ‘n match these 15 classic lines from Princess Bride when you need a dose of writing perspective.
- You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. Realization of newbie writers and fledgling wanna-be authors whose novel screams BEGINNER. ( Actually, they probably fell victim to many many classic blunders.)
2. You’d like to think that? Wouldn’t you? Yup, we’re a bit delusional. It’s an unfortunate byproduct of our ability to pull stories and characters out of our a**. So we do like to delude ourselves and think our novel will be the next New York Times bestseller or that Starz will offer millions to make the series.
3. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever. Does your manuscript whisper this to you? Mine does. The voice is especially loud when I’m proofreading the final draft and find awkwardly written paragraphs.
4. It’ll take a miracle. The attitude you need when sending out queries or while enduring the submission process.
5. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Maybe this is the best response after reading a manuscript where the writer misused and abused words and language.
6. You’ve been mostly-dead all day. The perfect description when the words and ideas won’t come. Or when you’ve received a bunch of agent rejections or publishing passes. Which is followed by….
7. Turns out your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. See, mostly dead is still slightly alive. The attitude you need to take before giving up. You love to write. Rejections be damned! Allow yourself to heal and then…
8. Have fun storming the castle: The proper attitude for attending a writer’s conference. Go in with gusto and determination.
9. Inconceivable. Best word to shout after sending off a query or manuscript and finding a TYPO.
10. Life is pain. Novels need lots of conflict—some kind of emotional pain, struggle of the soul, or difficulty to overcome. Make sure your novel has plenty.
11. Boo! Boo! Boo! Rubbish. Filth. Slime. Muck. Thoughts after reading your first draft. Which is a very good thing.
12. To the pain. Whether you hoist a coffee mug or wine glass, this is the perfect toast before writing the first sentence of your new novel.
13. As you wish. The best ( maybe only ) response should an agent/editor want a change.
14. Let me explain. There is too much. Let me sum up. Summary is a learned skill, and you need to hone that skill into a 1-sentence pitch for agents at conferences or for anyone asking “what’s your novel about.”
15. My name is ______________. I wrote a novel. Prepare to read it. You need this kind of tenacity to succeed. Maybe it takes years. Maybe you lose confidence. Maybe you have to endure a few metaphorical stabs in the gut. Keep fighting the good novel fight.