I wouldn’t have thought writing a book was like a dance, but so it is. A dance with an unpredictable, muscular partner who keeps slipping free of your grasp to show you new steps.
The projects I work on have different dancing styles. For example, the epic fantasy liked to tango. He’d grab me by the waist and march off in one direction, then abruptly bend me backwards and start off on another tack. He loved to lead. He tended to be a little relentless in his pursuit of plot and structure. Sometimes I’d tell him to stop and enjoy the scenery, but he cried, “I’m epic! We have to get somewhere!” He gave me a bit of a backache.
The short stories, on the other hand, were children bouncing on my knee. They came in at odd angles and presented me with crushed dandelions, then ran off. If I was lucky, they took me by the hand and showed me a secret hiding place between two trees which no one else knew about. They had no interest in getting anywhere. They said, “love me for what I am.”
Now, there’s the WIP. She’s contemporary/historical fiction, so she pulls me in circles around a central issue, spinning, spinning. Each circle moves a little faster, pulls me in a little tighter. Each time, there’s a new revelation. I’m a bit dizzy. I say, “Wait. Wait! Move more slowly!” But she tells me, “Hush. I have something to show you. Here. Now here. Now understand what I did before. Now understand what I’m going to do next…”