It was one of those mornings. Super Spawn was acting like the spawn of Arch Nemesis instead of his sweet-as-pie self. Screaming, crying, throwing himself in the floor...it was full-on tantrum time. I wanted to scream and rip my hair out as I rushed around the house struggling to get ready for work.
I begged. I pleaded. I threatened. I promised toys and cookies.
We drive up to the sitter's house and then it is total melt-down: I-cannot-live-without-mommy-so-I-must-scream-and-make-her-feel-as-guilty-as-possible.
I was forced to leave him, hysterical, in the sitter's arms and dash out the door.
Boy do I feel like slime.
Then the wheels started turning in my head. Don't manuscripts do exactly the same thing? I think they do. I've seen them referred to as "teenagers" before. In my humble opinion, I must disagree. They're more like rotten three-year-olds who don't want you to ever leave them alone so you can work or sleep or eat.
Your characters bug you in the shower, in the car, at the table -- taunting you. Then they won't just behave and have all these wild ideas about where a scene should go.
Eventually you get so fed up you don't know what to do with them. So you thrust them into the hands of a trusted Beta and drive away to the sounds of their cries, with tears stinging your eyelids.
But when you go back to get them, that manuscript is all smiles and cheer. It runs to greet you and characters fling their arms around you with reckless abandon.
And you remember again why you do it all.
So, in a way, my manuscript is like having another toddler in the house. Now that's a scary thought.