Sunday, July 11, 2010


There's a nasty disease going around. The CDC has released no information, but I can tell you all about it, because I've had it more than once. And no matter how many times I catch it, I seem to develop no immunity.

Primadonnitis often attacks writers, especially unpublished ones. The symptoms include a grimace and/or scowl while reading, rolling of the eyes, tension headaches, emotional outbursts, and in severe cases, book throwing.

Dormant primadonnitis can be triggered by a number of factors. Spelling and grammar errors in published work are common triggers. Bouts of primadonnitis are also often preceded by prologues, passive voice, blatant POV violations, wordiness, weak verbs, and excessive use of adjectives and adverbs.

Triggers may also vary by genre. Mystery writers are known to suffer violent attacks when they encounter mistakes in police procedure or evidence collection. Historical writers display symptoms when they encounter anachronisms.

There is no known cure for primadonnitis. Some researchers liken primadonnitis to growing pains, and claim it is a normal part of learning how to read like a writer. Symptoms may diminish in time when writers make their own mistakes, and discover that books don't appear out of thin air, but are written by real people with feelings.

And coincidentally, Rachelle Gardner's most recent blog post discusses a method that should help primadonnitis sufferers: A Monkey Could Have Written That.


  1. I thought for a minute this was a hoof and mouth disease! But I do recognize these symptoms. It comes with an, "I wouldn't be caught dead writing that," attitude.
    I make many mistakes just in blogging and haven't found a cure for it. So I try to take it easy on others. It always comes back to what has the Lord called me to write? I think that's the only thing I can be an expert on.
    I loved Rachelle Gardner's post. Thanks.

  2. No cure, but I hear the symptoms can be relieved a bit by experience and having your ego taken down a few notches. Good News for writers. The chances are good.

  3. Yes, I think I may be in remission. I haven't thrown a book in ever so long. Then again, I've been reading my nook. Hmmm.

  4. Yeah, I'm too cheap to throw my Nook. :)

  5. Oh yes, this I think I've had these symptoms before, but thankfully not to the point of throwing the book. :)