You have made it all the way here, so you may as well sit down, take a minute to look around, and enjoy. What you will find, depends on the day and my mood. You just never can tell.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Giving up?

First, be sure to check out the new interview I completed at: HERE  You could win a free autographed book of Shadow Dancer from yours truly.  Check it out, post a comment, etc, etc and you are good to go.  You only have until Friday, January 21, 2011 to enter.  Hurry up already. 
I have been working on a story for an Anthology for a few weeks now.  I hate it.  It's not going well at all and the struggle is taking away from other projects I could (and should) be working on.  I can't decide if its worth the continued fight to get it written or if it's time to just say enough and move on to something else.  I have never not finished a story, whether good or bad.  I always once started, pushed forward to the end, but then, all those bad stories do are sit in my computer collecting....cookies so to speak.  I always think I will go back to them and fix them and make them into something usable, but I never do. 
It feels as though I am giving up, quitting.  I can hear this little voice in my head that says, once a quitter always a quitter and do you want to be one?  The answer is no.  Unequivocally, no.  Its not in my make-up, and yet I have never wanted to chuck something out the window as I do this stupid story!  It's haunting me for Pete's sake. 
I thought that maybe if I just "put it to the side" for a few days that then I could come back to it fresh and be able to see my way through it.  Let's be real though, if I put it aside, I'm never going back to it as that's just the kind of excuse that can get you in trouble.  No, no, really, I'm just giving the story time to rest.....ten years later. 
What are you thoughts?  Do you chuck and run or do you stick with it to the bitter end?


  1. If its taking away from all your other projects in writing my advise is to put it to the side for now and go back to it later. Don't give up just give it a rest and work on something else.

  2. Personally, I'd say goodbye and forget about it. Think about what aspects were bugging you, what didn't work, and move onto something else that grabs ya. It's part of the process. Nothing lost. I wouldn't call it quitting at all. As long as you are still writing and working towards a main goal.

  3. Hmmm, I can feel your agony. I used to give up on stories a lot. Now, I don't allow myself to, because it is a slippery slope. Are you in the first draft or revising?

  4. I sort of agree with both Legacy and Carrie. Set it aside, and work on something that is easier for you. Come back to it later, and see if there's a core element you love and get rid of everything you hate. Leave it again to baste, and work on something else. Get your mind off it. Come back, and put the story back together, and see if you still like it. Repeat as necessary.

    Me, I try to never put a story in a drawer and never work on it. I always want any thing that I dream up to make it out into the world. I admit, though, sometimes it turns out much differently than I anticipated, but at least it's the same germ of story I wanted to share.

  5. Oh, I give it up! But I should add that, quite often, I give it up in order to start over again--same premise or story problem, maybe even the same MC, but plugged into a different story.

    (This may just be a different way of saying what Cat has said! ;-D )

  6. It isn't giving up to know that a story line is not working. It's smart to recognize that fact, and to quit while you're ahead. There are many writers who do that...begin something they are excited about at the beginning, get halfway through, and realize that the story arc is wrong, the characters are real, the conflict isn't really a conflict, or whatever. You can keep working on it for the next year, and never be satisfied with it, so what is the point? In the meantime, you've let go other projects that you could have made good headway with.

    I don't consider it quitting to put something in a drawer and forget about it. I don't consider it quitting when you are so frustrated that nothing is making sense. I don't consider it quitting when you are realistic enough to know that something is seriously wrong with the story, and at the moment, you can't figure out what it is. That's not quitting, Courtney, that's just using good sense.

    Put it away, and forget about it. Totally. Get busy on something else, something that works or that you can see is beginning to work. We all have enough frustration in our "real" lives, so to let a story line create more for us is just not smart thinking.

    If the story is meant to be...seriously...it will be. Whatever is wrong, or not working, will be fixed. It might come to you in the middle of the night, or in the middle of writing some other story, or whatever, but you will eventually know how to make the story work. And if you don't...so what? It's just a story...you have many more stories in you, many more ideas to bring to completion, so don't worry about it. Put it away, Courtney. It's not quitting, it's using good sense.

  7. Couldn't help but notice that you posted this inquiry at 5AM or something, either that so early it's scary, or so late it's scarier.
    Just an observation..
    I make few good decisions after 3AM or before 7AM. 5 is my witching hour when this night owl should be dead.

  8. I think it depends . . .

    I like to think I stick things out, but if I find that something is using up time I should be spending elsewhere, or money I don't have, then yes, I'll chuck it and run.

    On the other hand . . with writing, it is often worth putting it off and coming back with fresh perspective.

    Or just beginning over again. A new page holds innumerable opportunities.

    - Lauren

    Ladaisi Blog

  9. Sometimes when I get in this situation and don't want to give up on the story, I open a blank document and start all over. Rewrite it. Sometimes a fresh screen helps you figure out a new way to approach the story and make it better.