Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sometimes Throwing Something Out Is The Best Option

I have had several authors over the years with projects that we just struggled with. The author would write the story. We would revise it. We would get comments from an editor which sent the story in another direction. We would revise again. And then we would end up in a death spiral.

In some cases, we would even attempt to rebuild the story for other lines, or other publishers and then, once again, we would be in that endless loop.

For most of these cases, we finally ended up just trashing the story and going with something else.
What we did is what insurance companies do if repairing your car after an accident is not worth it. We considered it totaled. We had to make the decision to throw it out and start over.

As much as we hate to do this, sometimes this is the only option. I get that it is painful. You have spent hours pushing yourself to get that story right and then you have to give up on it and move on.

The issue here is that we often are so closely attached to a project that we just cannot see the real issues. Going back and reworking the story, revising and so forth will only make the story worse.

Now, I know that some of you might be asking how you would know if you have spent enough time on it. Maybe one more round will fix the problem? The deal is, we really don't know. Yes, one more round of edits might fix the problem. Maybe one more read through will give you that inspiration to find the problem and write that novel that will be amazing. BUT... you have to ask yourself, is it worth it?

If you are currently struggling with a project, it might be time to just let it go and move on. Maybe you will think of the solution as you work on the new story? Maybe not. Just consider this one of those learning moments in your writing career!

No comments:

Post a Comment