Warning: Mild Language
The first review for the novel is in.
It’s one critic. What Pulitzer-winning masterpiece has he written?
He’s the top critic for the New York Review. His reviews are where the Next Big Things go to become the Next Big Things…or go to die.
What did he say about us?
My prose is infantile. The characters lack depth and personality. Had he even been mildly interested in the protagonist, his arc would have actually made him hate the character more. The only reason he read the book to the end was because he was paid to do it.
Sounds like Leonard Bowman needs to get laid.
I’ve been crying for hours, Writing! You failed me. I failed you. We’re ruined.
You can’t stop me. I’m your gift.
Yeah, and the first important person I gave you to first asked for a return receipt, then decided it was an even better idea to light you on fire.
Didn’t you say you would never let anyone’s words about me get to you?
I didn’t expect the first review to be so cruel. I mean this... was BRUTAL.
You’re spiraling. Did you let Anxiety in?
Are you kidding? This is just the kind of thing Anxiety lives for.
Fair enough. Anxiety, what’s your take?
WE HAVE LET DOWN THE PUBLISHING COMPANY, THE EDITORS, OUR AGENT, AND NO ONE WILL PICK US FOR THE CROQUET TEAM AT THE HAMPTONS PARTY.
We got invited to a Hamptons party?
WE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! WE WILL NEVER BE A RELEVANT WRITER. WE WILL STARVE TO DEATH. EVERYONE WHO EVER DOUBTED US WAS RIGHT. WE’VE DISGRACED EVERYONE WHO EVER BELIEVED IN US.
Anxiety, don’t you have something you said to Andrew Milton back in 7th grade to panic about?
OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! YOU’RE RIGHT! WE’LL SPIN MORE ABOUT THIS LATER.
Hey, thanks for chasing him off, Writing.
I’m your gift; it’s what I do. Where’s that confident beast you become when it comes to me?
She’s gone. Everything’s gone. You’re gone too. I’m just gonna lay on the couch and watch Coco all weekend because crying is the only thing I’m good at.
Oh, hey, Depression! I thought that was you skulking behind Anxiety.
I go where he goes.
You can’t be malingering here. I’m lazy enough without you, Depression. Give us a moment.
Depression is half right, you know. The ‘confident beast’ may not be completely gone, but she’s currently MIA.
One bad review won’t ruin us. I promised you, from the moment you made up your first story, that I would never leave you… that no matter what anyone said, I would always be with you.
Says the talent that stalls out halfway through an opening sentence after it won’t shut up in my head for weeks.
Hey, nobody’s perfect. Not even a God-given gift.
Shouldn’t you be? If you were given by God?
Doesn’t work that way when He puts me in a human mind.
Look at you, all philosophical. Where is all of this when I’m staring at the computer screen?
Sometimes I need coffee.
Philosophy and coffee. That’s making me think of a story. We should write about that.
You are the worst friend ever sometimes.
But I AM your friend… and your partner. But we won’t always see eye to eye, and we’re not always going to be in sync.
We worked so hard on this novel. You flowed so beautifully.
Sure! And you threw your Bob Ross mug out the window because we were fighting over how to describe the house in Chapter 3.
Because you hate doing descriptions! They bore you.
Seriously, no one cares whether the shutters are cornsilk blue or juniper. Let the reader decide how blue the damn shutters are.
That’s what the editors said.
I told you! We should always take the Hemingway approach to description. Only Pat Conroy could get away with purple prose, and you didn’t always like his much either.
Well, you were still nowhere to be found when I went all Hemingway on the establishing scenes.
Yeah… because I hate doing descriptions. They’re boring.
Leonard Bowman agrees.
His 1-star blast will probably send ten thousand copies of our book flying off the shelves, you know. People can’t help but check out a bloody disaster.
I’m not sharing you with the world just to be mocked and laughed at. If I wanted to universally be considered a walking joke, I’d go back to elementary school.
Time travel to elementary school… that makes me think of a story… maybe about parallel universes…
Oh, I love parallel universes! We should write about that.
Really, Writing??? Anyway, you know, the publisher might drop us if the sales are terrible.
We’ll find another one.
With what story? When you feel strong, I have no ideas; when I have a brilliant idea, I can’t find you.
Type anyway. You know I’ll show up.
I’d like you better if, for once, you’d show up to the party on time.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
What are you even doing when I’m just sitting there at the keyboard, waiting for you?
Congratulating myself on being brilliant, and thinking of all the places I’ll take you.
Bold of you to assume we still have a future.
Of course we do! I’m preparing a new story as we speak. We’re going to dedicate it to Leonard Bowman.
I think I know what you’re talking about. It’s that idea I had about the-
And the woman who –
You got it –
And that guy with the –
Holy hell! I actually see the middle of this story, and you know how much I hate middles.
The middle is the best part. You won’t believe what I have up my sleeve..
Then we should start, Writing!
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Oh what a fun story! A clever idea and cleanly executed.
Thank you so much Aeris! Greatly appreciate the feedback! I loved your story “Killjoy.”