"I'm so glad you both could come today," the therapist said as she lowered her lithe frame into the armchair. The nameplate pinned to her crisp blue uniform sparkled a simple name: Victoria. "You've already made an important first step by coming to see me: admitting you have problems."
The writer snorted. "Oh, do we have problems."
The story gnashed its teeth. "We have problems? You're the one who--"
"Hold on a minute." Victoria held up a hand. "Let's get your names first, yes? Then we can work through this issue from the beginning."
"Melissa," the writer mumbled, eyes already drifting to something else. A hundred books crammed the two bookshelves claiming half the office, some bound with smooth brown leather, others with glossy paper covers. She'd give up her quill pen to explore their pages, soaking up the scents of a thousand paper worlds.
"....Melissa?" Victoria lifted a perfectly arched eyebrow as Melissa tore her gaze off the books. "Is it fine with you if I refer to Draped in Deception as Draped?"
"Um, sure." It didn't matter anyway; she was so done with Draped.
"Wonderful." Keeping up a bright smile, Victoria jotted down a few words onto a notepad. "Let's start with you, Draped. What caused this discord in your relationship, in your opinion?"
Draped huffed and shot Melissa a withering glare with eyes like ink wells. "Everything was going very smoothly with the third draft rewrites. I was co-operating, she was coming up with good plot points and scenes, and then suddenly, bam! She just stopped writing me. No reason given, no explanation, just 'bye-bye, I'm not going to open your document anymore'." It lifted an arm coated in a thick layer of dust. "See?"
That was not how it happened, not at all. Melissa leaned forward, hands spread wide as if the more distance between them, the more Victoria would understand. "I admit, I did stop writing, but not because I hate Dra--" She paused. "Okay, maybe I did for awhile, but right now I'm just full of doubts, and worries, and potent thoughts. What if...what if Draped isn't worth my time?"
"Woooow," Draped moaned. "Savage, much?"
Victoria finished a line of her notes, and switched to her 'serious face'; pinched lips, drawn together eyebrows, a slight head tilt. "Is that your biggest doubt, Melissa?"
"No." Melissa sucked in a deep breath, and closed her eyes. She swallowed back a lie; what was the point of coming to this session if she wasn't going to be honest? "It's that I'll never get Draped edited well enough. That I'll keep going on, and on, and on, and no matter how hard I try it'll never be perfect."
"And what do you think about that, Draped?"
The hard, punched out lines of Draped's face softened with those few words. It twisted its paper body to look at its writer. "People can never be perfect, so how can something created by them be?"
Victoria and Melissa stared.
"What? Us stories get all the epic one-liners."
A smile crept onto Melissa's face as Victoria praised such wisdom from Draped, and blathered on about how to create a healthy writer/story relationship. But Melissa wasn't listening, not really. Her mind was still on Draped's one question, like a song stuck on loop.
Was there such a thing as a perfect story? Or any kind of art? Or would there always be something to work on, to strive for, to push to be better? And, her mind whispered, does that make the story worth writing?
Victoria's voice floated in. "...the most important thing is that you take your time..."
By the end of the therapy session, Melissa and Draped sat a little closer, and for the second their eyes met, they smiled.
Hey everyone! I hope you enjoyed the post today; I know it's quite different from what I usually write, but hopefully that's okay with you! It's far from award winning writing, but I wanted to talk about my struggles with editing Draped in Deception in a post which wasn't just me ranting, so I wrote this instead.
Would you like me to do more posts like this? (Feedback's welcome!) Have you ever really, truly struggled with a story? I'd love to hear about your experiences. <3