For the sake of my sanity, I have decided to table my manuscript, When the Black Roses Grow. While I have not, and will not, delete the file, I am at a place in life where I just need to say good-bye to the novel—whether indefinitely or not, I don’t know.
From the day I started the novel, it has given me problems. I’ve struggled with the plot. I’ve struggled with the characters. I’ve struggled with the story. I’ve struggled with every word, sentence, and paragraph of this novel. A few times I’ve actually wanted to forget I even wrote the darn thing.
One problem was the dialect of 1692. From the “hath” instead of had, have, or has, and the “saith” instead of said or say, to whether or not to put them in or leave them out, and then to a use of proper words, making sure I don’t use any slang or modern phrases.
Another problem is back then the lines of moral and proper behavior were not blurred. For my hero to visit the home of and spend time alone with the heroine was a sin beyond sin. So how am I supposed to justify that? Surely, women rebelled against the laws of society, but to what extent, I don’t know.
Of course, why I worry about that is beyond me. Why worry when the hero and heroine clashed so much? They never could come together in love on paper, and while they liked each other, their connection really was never that impressive. They are just sort of an “eh, whatever” couple.
For the last several weeks, I’ve been trying to get through one last read through on this novel to get it ready to submit to my editor. And, for the last several weeks I’ve about lost my mind. It was a few days after Christmas that I finally decided I need to bid the novel a farewell. Certainly, I really don’t want to do this. I mean, I’ve worked a good ten months on this manuscript. I really don’t want to face the fact that the last year was just a big waste of time when I could have worked on something else, but I suppose that might be something I have to just suck up.
Suck it up, Buttercup. Right?
It’s better than submitting and having something I hate under my name. Which was exactly where I was headed—straight for “I HATE THIS NOVEL” town.
Perhaps one day I will open it again, or I might use some of it in another novel down the road. I don’t really want to say the 54k words are a bust, so I won’t. The disappointment stings, but with that said, I’ve already started diving into what was supposed to be my 4th novel, As the Liquor Flows. My 1930 Depression/Prohibition novel. The characters are playing nice and the change of pace has done wonders for my author mood. Of course, it will be a good 5 to 6 months before it’s finished, but oh well.
So darling followers, have you ever struggled with a manuscript? Have you ever struggled so much you’ve just said good-bye? If so, how did you cope with the disappointment?