On #WritingWednesday: When to Dump

Artists 0007I haven’t done a Writing Wednesday post in a while so thought it was time for that!

I’ve been a little frustrated with my writing lately. I’m not sure why this current book is such a problem for me but I’ve been struggling. I had a chat with a friend on the way home from the RWA Conference back in July and realized the book was all wrong. That was a blow seeing as how I’d written nearly 45,000 words of the 85,000 goal.

When I got home, the following day I threw the whole thing out.

Not literally, mind you. I just knew that it wasn’t working and I needed a different approach.

So, as painful as it was, I started over.

Oh, it’s basically the same story but the execution is a little different than the first (or second) draft. I started with a different opening that seemed to work much better. Since I had two drafts, I opened up the most recent and cut and paste only a select few lines into the new version. Some scenes got to transfer over but they needed heavy revision. Most scenes were cut entirely. Even characters got the ax. The turning point was different that in the first version. I’d added a whole subplot that revolved around a vampire mafia. Weaving it into the main storyline has been a challenge but he more I worked on it, the more I realized where I was going with the story and how it would work. It was like putting puzzle pieces together.

When I hit the 45k mark, the story was rolling much better. It finally felt like it was starting to gel a little for me.

I’m a Pantser by nature—I have to know only a few little things about the story to get going but overall I like to be surprised while writing. If the whole book is plotted from start to finish then it’s like, eh? Why should I write this? It’s already done.

Since I know this will be a series, I’ve been placing little things in the storyline as I go along to set up for book two. No idea where book three is going to go yet but I’ll worry about that when I get there. 😉

So here’s what I learned from this little adventure. Save all previous drafts, pieces, parts, etc. (even when the book is done or you THINK the book is done). And sometimes it’s really okay to start over even when you’re nearly halfway through with the book.

By Michelle

I love dragons, castles, fairies and elves. I drink coffee, wine and martinis. Fantasy, paranormal and contemporary romance author. Proud Texan.