Friday, July 9, 2010

Is It Dead Yet?

When do you call it quits on a manuscript? We toil and slave, pouring our heart and soul into our work. But sometimes it just doesn't come together for whatever reason.

*Has the market suddenly become saturated with your idea?
*Is negative feedback leading you by the hand to frustration?
*Have you hit a wall?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions then you are in good company my friend. A couple of years ago, I sat at my laptop and started constructing a story with characters that I absolutely fell in love with. The problem? Saturated market, some positive feedback...but nothing substantial. I did finish the MS even 90% of a second installment. Then I hit a wall and started something else. This ended up being the right course of action for me. But I have always held a soft spot for this particular story.

I have now pulled out that old manuscript, blown off the dust and started anew. Why would I possibly want to put myself through this kind of torment you ask? Well, I had an epiphany and started revising and revamping the characters and the plot with renewed vigor. Whether or not this MS ever sees the light of day remains to be seen. But for the time being, I am having a ball challenging myself to bring this dead manuscript to life...twisting my creatures into something fresh and new...reworking the plot to something incredible. (In theory.) Have I completely lost my mind? Probably. Only time will tell.

So my question for you lovely writers out there is you have an old MS on the back burner, one that you have hidden away like I did? Do you move on to something new when you hit a wall or keep at it until it shines?
Happy Friday everyone!!!!


Zoe C. Courtman said...

Oh, the dreaded drawer MS, lol. I had one last year, and I made myself get to the end of a zero draft so I could let it go die in peace. Only it didn't die. While I'm about to finish up a new MS, I had an epiphany about that old one, and now it's back in the pipeline (albeit a novel or two away). Sometimes, though, it's just good to let it sleep for a while. The book might be okay, but the writer may not be at the skill level yet to carry it off - but perhaps will be in the future. Great post!

Cruella Collett said...

Oh, most certainly. I have for the longest time thought about bringing out the Victorian Era Crime Romance Mystery (which is the genre I tentatively place it in...) I started writing when I was 13, and turn it into a parody. It really cracks me up just looking at it ;)

Good luck on breathing the life back into your manuscript - sometimes all we need is time and some perspective to see what a MS is lacking (mine needed intentional as well as unintentional humour...)

Clara said...

Oh thousands! My current one will probably join them, but, hopefully, it won't! I've got to wait and see =)

Good luck with the revamping!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes you have to write just for you.
I have some short stories and a few ideas jotted down, but not a whole manuscript I abandoned.

Jessica said...

I just abandoned the sequel to my first story actually. It will still be written, but right now I'm working on a project that actually has a strong plot and characters that are cooperating!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've been recycling subplots and making them into a plot for a new book (the subplot was from YA paranormal; the new book will be YA romantic suspense). The concept is completely new. However, the next book I'll be writing has nothing to do with anything else I've written.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've got a story I wrote a few years back that I loved at the time. I didn't write it with any thought of publication. It's vastly overwritten. Vastly!! But I think the idea is solid. I might just dust it off one day too :)

Amparo Ortiz said...

I'm definitely holding on to the first manuscript I ever wrote. It sucks (don't tell it I said that...), but I love the characters and have thought of ways to make it fresh.

For now, I'm working on something new. Then I plan on working on another new something. Let's see if there's room for the old someday :D

Great post!

Lydia Kang said...

I definitely have a MS on the shelf that I'd like to revamp someday. HEck, I may have another one to add to the shelf soon.