Book Update: Can I Throw it in the Trash?

Hey there Epic Dreamers!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Just Chatting” post and it’s been even longer since I’ve shared any news about the book I’m working on. So I thought today would be a good day to spend some time chatting about my book.

For those of you who are around here, I’ll give you a quick history of how this book got started. About two years ago, I posted chapters of a story I called The Hashna Stone that ended with a decision to be made and a poll so readers could vote on what would happen next.

By the time we reached the end of this little story, I realized that this could be more than a choose your own adventure. With a little sprucing up, it could be a book.

So, I spent a year writing and rewriting and rewriting some more to turn this little story into a novel-sized story.

At the beginning of this year, I announced that the manuscript was finished and I was ready to send it off to agents.

Woohoo! All my hard work has finally paid off and I’m going to be rich and famous from the product of my labor!

Okay, that’s not exactly what I thought. At that point, I’d read tons about how difficult it was to get an agent and have a book published. I knew it would be tough, but I was hopeful. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but it could still happen right?

Fast forward to eight months later (now) and I’m about ready to chuck the thing in the garbage and finally accept that I’m only good at writing short stories for my blog. (Okay, not exactly… I could never destroy something that I worked on for that long  😛 )

I did set it aside after finishing the third draft, which is what I sent agents. The break was good for me though. It allowed me to look at the story more objectively and see some problem areas.

I haven’t sent a query letter to an agent in months, partly because I got burned out after so many rejection letters and partly because I realized that the story could be better, but didn’t know how to fix it.

At the moment, I have some ideas about the new direction I should take the story in, and I’m slowly (VERY slowly) making the changes needed in yet another draft. I’m going to finish making all these changes before I start sending to agents again. I don’t want one to ask for a manuscript that isn’t finished.

I’ll give you a little more detail in another post, but for now I just wanted to do a quick update so you wouldn’t think I’d forgotten about it or threw it in a river somewhere. 😛

Until next time Epic Dreamers!




9 thoughts on “Book Update: Can I Throw it in the Trash?”

  1. When I first heard the advice that after you finish the first draft, you should set it aside, I thought that was stupidest idea ever. I was totally raring to go and into *that* book, I wanted to fix it up more! And that was fine, actually, until I got to the point where it didn’t seem to be working quite right. Then, it turns out, putting it aside and getting a wider-frame view of it was an incredible help. I’m glad the same thing worked for you and that you have fresh ideas for how to improve the story. It’s so hard to know, of course — great books get rejected by tons of authors just like not-so-great books do. But if you have ideas that you think make it better, go for it. No sense farming it out until it’s the best you think it can be.

    I also want to make the joke that I *did* throw another book in the metaphorical trash (if you saw my recent post about that) — and it was the best thing that ever happened to it, because the compost helped it sprout a whole new story that might actually work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually did set it aside after the first draft. I guess it needed a second “setting aside.” 😀 It is so hard to know what to do sometimes. The possibilities in a story are endless, and while such freedom is what I love about storytelling, it can become a bit overwhelming at times. I feel really good about the changes I’m making though. 🙂
      I guess sometimes it’s beneficial to throw a story away. 😛 Good luck on your new story!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have quite a few short stories that need revising that I haven’t gotten around to, and have been feeling guilty about it. But now maybe I’ll consider this their required “setting aside” time, and reassure myself that I’ll be that much better at ripping them up and revising them when I do get back to them!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have some stories like that. Some that have been sitting there for years. When does it stop being a project that is set aside and start being one that needs to be let go. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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