Thursday, January 14, 2016

Perils of the Writer: Recognizing When It's Time To Trunk

I think that the Trunk Novel is an important thing.  Some people can, of course, write that first novel thats just a thing of brilliance.  Others get their process-of-work writing out in shorter works, so by the time they actually write a novel, they know what they are doing.
But for most of us, learning How To Novel takes some work, which means we have some misshapen Novellike Objects in our closets.
Probably one of the hardest things you can do is learn how to call Time Of Death* when it isn't going to work.  Some novels are just unsalvageable.  And that is hard to face, because you put heart and soul and hundreds of hours into something, and it's never going to work.
It's never going to work.
I mean, I'm not being melodramatic here.  That's the death of something.
The manuscript for The Crown of Druthal clocks in around 125,000.  And there are some really good bits in there.  And there was definitely a point where my entire mindset was based on selling it and pushing that series.  I was invested in making it work.  I had sketched out a whole plan.
But it wasn't a novel.  It had length, it had characters, it had dialogue, events that happened, but... it wasn't a novel.
And I needed to recognize that it wasn't, and my energy was best spent elsewhere.
I don't know exactly when I formally gave up on it.  Near as I can tell from digging through old emails, it was somewhere around 2009.
It's terrible.  It's not a novel.  But I wouldn't trade the process of having done it, because that was how I learned how to write the books that followed.
*- Yes, I watched a lot of E/R back in the day.

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