An Intervention for the Literary Lothario

Setting: A bar. MIKE and the LITERARY LOTHARIO sit at a table. MIKE drinks a hard cider. The LITERARY LOTHARIO is downing something a bit more potent. MIKE eyes him with disapproval.


I can’t believe what I’m hearing, buddy. A few months ago you couldn’t stop talking about your Novel. It was as if there was nothing else in the world. You couldn’t stop telling me how beautiful she was, how unique she was. You loved the cute way she wrapped up her first act and how her characters were so well-rounded. And then you went on and on about her story construction! I thought I was gonna have to hose you down.

You knew she was special. You always carved out time to be with her. And when you couldn’t be with her, you thought about her.

So what happened, man?

You know what happened? I’ll tell you what happened. It happens in every relationship. You’re halfway through the first draft. You moved past the dreamy, infatuation stage, and you started to notice that your Novel wasn’t as perfect as you thought she was.

And now you’re starting to ask yourself questions:

“Did she always have that plot hole?”

“Was that well-rounded character I loved so much always just a loose assembly of quirky traits?”

And now you’re starting to think, “Why is this relationship requiring so much work?”

You wanna know the answer to that last one? Because all relationships require work.

And now that things have gotten a little more real, now that the glow has faded a little, you’re starting to stray.

You don’t think I see your eyes wander? I heard about you and that novella. Don’t even bother denying it. And just the other day I spotted you canoodling with some free verse. What are you, 17? Grow up! God only know what you can catch from such a loose and unrestrained form of writing!

You have a beautiful Novel at home and you’re out cruising for new stories. Do you think that’s the way to strengthen a relationship? Do you think that’s the way to be happy? And don’t even pretend that this is her fault. You’re screwing this all up, not her.

(Pause. MIKE sighs.)

Let me tell you something, bucko. In the long run this behavior will leave you empty inside. You’ll look back on a life full of empty flings and false starts and wonder why you don’t have a fully-realized Novel to call your own.

You were in love, man! IN LOVE! You and your Novel were the perfect pair. Don’t walk away from that.

Go home, dummy. Work on that Novel of yours. Rekindle that spark. ‘Cause let me tell you something. If you don’t take good care of her, I will. You get me?

(The LITERARY LOTHARIO exits, leaving his drink half finished. MIKE nods and smiles.)


(MIKE finishes off his cider and waves for another round as the lights fade.)

48 Replies to “An Intervention for the Literary Lothario”

  1. This is hysterical! Stay the course! You can do it! 🙂 Note: These words have not been uttered by someone who has put aside her YA novel to work on pbs and chapter books. 🙂

  2. The Beatles even wrote a song about this. “You’re Going to Lose That Girl.” Your post was brilliant – you should take it on the road!!! (In the meantime, I’m going back to that first draft I wrote 5 years ago….)

    You’re going to lose that girl
    If you don’t treat her right, my friend
    You’re going to find her gone
    Cos I will treat her right, and then
    You’ll be the lonely one

  3. Additional lines should lothario need more persuasion:

    Mike: Besides, your novel loves you! Sure, she occasionally gets lost and leaves keys in the freezer, but you’re just the man to deal with that!

  4. Interventions are so 1990’s. Are you writing historical fiction?

    Write on, be tenacious, embrace your unrest. All good fodder for that murky middle!

  5. Brilliant!…except I consider myself quite a loyal person, and now I feel like a complete story slut! I think I have four short stories and a longer children’s novel on the go…NONE OF WHICH ARE EVEN REMOTELY FINISHED…AGHHHHHH! Ok, now I need to go practice forgiving myself…or maybe just writing:-) Great post Mike…dang! Love, Harula xxxx

  6. It’s brutal when that Honeymoon Phase is over. It’s true, you think, “How did I not notice that awkward transition before?” And “That plot point isn’t nearly as credibly as I originally thought it was.” You start thinking, Maybe I should just start over. It will be better next time. And it is, until you find something wrong with *that* piece of writing. And so on and so on. Some people aren’t ready for the long haul.

  7. That’s a normal transition, one you have with a new job, a new relationship, etc. Just know once you power through the period “Realizing there are things you don’t know” you’ll move into a period where you learn more and feel like an expert. Your relationship will be perfect again!

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