Category Archives: Plot

Abandoning My First Novel

I “finished” my novel for the third time this spring and I’ve been preparing to query agents or perhaps to submit my manuscript to publishers.  But I’ve come to the realization that this novel has no future.

The goal of my  most recent round of revisions was to tighten the scenes and add depth to the characters.  I wanted to bring my story to life, but my plan backfired and the plot flatlined.  Is there a way to resuscitate it?  Maybe I could revive it if I were willing to spend another year on revisions, but I think it’s time to let it go.  I’ve spent six years on this project and it seems I’m not willing to invest any more.

Does six years seem like a long time to spend writing a novel?  It does to me.  Maybe I’m just slow.  Or easily distracted.  Or maybe that’s just how long it takes.

I’ve thought about taking my impractical BA in French back to school so I can become a teacher or a librarian.  I think I could be happy doing either of those things.  The trouble is, I’m not ready to give up on writing.  My first novel may be dead, but my second one is waiting to be born.  New characters speak to me in the pages of my notebook and I want to find out what they’ll do.

I have no idea how long it will take me to write my next novel.  I hope it won’t take another six years.  Perhaps I’ll never publish a novel, but I still love to write.  That has to be enough.

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Filed under Manuscript, novels, Plot, Writing