When to throw in the towel

Right now I pretty much hate my WIP, which is par for the course when I’m first drafting. I give myself permission to suck, so when it does, I get to revel in all the self-loathing goodness while powering through. Usually it doesn’t suck as bad as all that and once I finish it I get to do the rewriting, which is really where it’s at, as far as I’m concerned. However, on the current WIP, I’ve decided to scrap it. I’m writing a new outline and starting over from scratch. Well, it’ll be more like baking bread from a starter–some of the dough has already been fermenting on my counter for a week and just needs the right ingredients to be bread. Or something.

How did I get here? Why did I not just power through to the end like I normally do? Well, I’d spent a fair amount of time away from the draft, and that did kill my momentum a bit. But that’s not the biggest reason. When I looked over what I’d written and my notes on where the story was going next, well … I was bored. It didn’t excite me. Not in a “wow, this prose sort of sucks” way, but in a “wow, how much do I not want to write this?” way. It’s not that I don’t want to write this book or this story–I do. And it’s not that I don’t have other stories or books I want to work on. It do. But I don’t want to keep writing this book in this form.* So I’m rewriting the outline and reworking some plots. It helps that I’ve figured out some key back story and behind-the-scenes bits that will shape the story a bit more. Just writing this post is getting me excited to work on the outline and get started writing the book. It’s a good sign.

Write what makes you want to write more. Sometimes it really is as simple as that.

*Cue lightbulb.

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