Thursday, December 9, 2010

Giving Up and Giving In

Do you ever feel like you should give up?

I sort of feel that way with my Nano '08. I still really love the concept, but I executed such a poor first draft, that it's required many massive rewrites, and it's still all over the place!

I think the problem is that I never gave my WIP a fighting chance to begin with. I didn't outline, and I wrote it before I really knew how to "write". There are plots that jump around. There are subplots that go nowhere. There are subplots that have nothing to do with the main plot. And in the end, it doesn't tie together into a neat little bow.

So here I am, on draft 4 and it's still not right.

I think my only option is to strip it down to the bare bones and do a complete re-write. I've worked on it so long that I feel like ditching it completely would be wrong. I can't do that to my characters. I owe it to them to finish the story and finish it right.

Have you ever been in this situation? What did you do to get out of it?


  1. Ugh. What an awful feeling! I've definitely gone through that, and I've found that stepping aside from the WiP for a little while--a few weeks, even a few months--is the only way I can come back to it refreshed. Don't give up if you still it has a chance!

  2. I had to totally rewrite my draft because it was such a hot mess. I totally feel you.

  3. That's part of what happened with my story. (There's a reason why I refer to it as the Beast.)

    I usually forget about stripping it down and rather start from scratch with my characters. Sometimes I incorporate parts from the previous versions.

    But there's hope. I'm quite happy with mine now - and it's done.

  4. This has most definitely happened to me before. I agree with Meredith, you may have to step away from it for a while.

    When you come back, trying outlining (or timelining) it as you read it, just to give you a picture of what's going on. This might help you rearrange your events/scenes, find which ones you can purge, and/or which ones to be re-written.

    There is hope. Good luck!

  5. I just stop and move on to the next thing. If something is now working, stop working on it.

    Also, I get lots of help from my crit partners and beta readers, loads of them.

    As writers we will never be satisfied with a final draft, that's why we have readers. Find them. Find ones who will give you some honest feedback.

    I'm always available. :P

  6. I think you should put it down and start something fresh. I worked on my first novel for so long and I still love it, but I haven't pinned the voice down yet or the direction I want it to ultimately take.

    I started a new work that I'm revising and it's so much better--because I learned so much with the first one. Start afresh and take what you've learned to your new story.

    That doesn't mean you can't come back to it. I intend to with mine, but the time isn't now. It taught you something. Take that and run with something new...for now...