For those following me around on tour, today I am hanging out with Julie Klumb of Ramblings of an Aspiring Writer. Stop by for a visit!
I am big on goals. I like having something to shoot for, especially when it comes to writing. Now there are two schools of thoughts about goals. One side thinks you should set small, realistic goals. And if you overshoot that, you can always set a new one. The other side thinks you should shoot for the moon. While the psychologist in me recognizes the practicality of the former, I tend to do the latter. I think a lot of us did that with MayNoWriMo. We set goals in April sometimes and then realized we might have bitten off more than we could chew and revised them.
Well I realized a bit more than that. The book I planned to work on for MayNoWriMo blew up. Seriously. Exploded into a splintered pile of uselessness. I can’t say it was a total surprise. It had been sputtering along like a car running out of gas. But still, that kablooey was painful. I was still digging shrapnel out and MayNoWriMo was literally two days away and I had to make a solid decision about whether that book was salvageable or if I was going to change horses to a new one for MayNoWriMo.
Ultimately I decided to stick with what I had. But I took it down to the bare bones skeleton of the story and went back to the drawing board. I sat down and went back to basics, the goal, motivation, and conflict of my hero, heroine, and bad guy. I revisited the story structure–tossing the original one out the window. And things started to come together. Wheels and gears in my head that were stuck, suddenly started turning. So I set a new goal to finish plotting things out and add 10k to this story. It’ smaller than the 18k I originally wanted, but I think I’ll have a better book in the end.
I didn’t give it up. Oh, giving up probably would have been EASIER. It’s almost always easier to chase a new shiny than it is to cope with the mess of a book that isn’t working. But if you still have a spark of interest for that mess, don’t give up on it. It might be more work, but you won’t regret it in the end.