Adventures in Writing a Novel

Saying good-bye to a manuscript #writing #amwriting #writerproblems #writerslife

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?

 

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4 thoughts on “Saying good-bye to a manuscript #writing #amwriting #writerproblems #writerslife

  1. Wow, Angela, I think you’re very brave. It is SO difficult to be in your shoes, but I just have a feeling you’ll come back to When the Black Roses Grow one day—perhaps you’ll even rework it in another form or restructure it in a different time period. But taking that huge weight off your shoulders has to be good for your next book, right? Wishing you and your muse great writing days in 2015!

    1. Thank you. Sometimes, I wonder is bravery falls hand in hand with stupidity. LOL. Kidding…a little. 🙂 I did happen upon one problem that I fixed, but there is still so much more that needs it. I have a friend reading it right now to make sure I’m not just overthinking the whole thing. I’m about 80% sure I will either get back to it, or use parts of it in other stories. It just might be that particular one just shouldn’t be told. Who knows. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. As always, your comments (as well as your posts on WordPress and Facebook) are so helpful.

  2. Yes, I’m struggling with a novel I’m writing now. It’s an unintended sequel to the my first, and may never get finished, but that’s okay. Right now, I’m just feeling it out and see how it works. I’m working on another novel at the same time, and that one I’m loving.

    Having said that, I don’t believe your 10 months work were a waste. What I think might happen is that you’ll either use some of that material with another novel (which I have done before in short stories), or somewhere down the road a bell will go off and you’ll find the light that will make it shine. 😉 Happy New Year, Miss A.

    1. People have asked me for a sequel to In the Land of Gold. For awhile I was tempted and even started an outline. I think in the end, I’m probably not going to write it. Sequels are a slippery slope of either readers loving them or hating them. With this one, I don’t know if I will end up figuring out what it needs or not. We shall see down the road. For now, I am just going to work on what would have been my 4th. Good luck with yours! Happy New Year!!

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