Have you even been in a situation with a book where it just doesn’t seem to be working. You started out with a great idea, characters are fleshed out and talking to you, the plot seems pretty tight and you’re into the first hundred or so pages. Suddenly, it all falls apart.
The characters you thought were so terrific now feel like stick figures, the plot is so full of holes that it’s a wonder it doesn’t leak … and that great idea … just doesn’t seem so great anymore. But wait! You’ve invested hours into this book and you’re into it for a hundred pages. What do you do? Back up and try to re-work it? Breathe some life into it and hope for the best? Or do you just bag it?
Fortunately, I’ve never been in this situation. I’ve been lucky in that each book I’ve started, I’ve been able to finish. Are they all good? Probably not. Would some of them improve with some major revisions? No doubt. But I don’t think I’ve written anything that I would just toss out. I think it’s the fact that I’ve invested so much time and effort into these stories that I could never bring myself to discard it.
Might not be practical in the long run, but I sincerely believe that no book is hopeless. You must have seen something in that story when you began it. Could be that you just need to set it aside for awhile (maybe years) and come back to it again one day. Maybe this is a story that just wasn’t meant to be written at this point in your career.
So what do you think? Do you have any books that you think might be salvaged? Or are you one to just chuck and write it off (no pun intended) to a learning experience?