Monday, November 30, 2009

The Novel From Hell

Almost everyone who knows me knows I’m having a devil of a time with my work in progress. EVERYTHING is wrong with it. The characters names feel wrong, but I’ve searched and searched for the right ones. The scenes don’t flow, they just seem to hang out on their own. I’ve skipped writing EVERY sex scene in the book because the chemistry feels wrong. My word goal was at least 70,000, but I don’t think I’m going to hit 30,000.

I’ve tried everything to inspire myself and make the book flow better. I’ve rewritten parts of it. I’ve read the books I read when I’m in a writing funk. Hell, I even took a break and wrote a short story, and that story wrote easier than anything I’ve ever written. I figured my writer’s block was cured so I went back to the WIP.

Nope, it’s still all wrong. This leads me to believe that the problem isn’t with me, it’s the book. I wrote an 8k short story in a month and all was well. I’ve had at least ten ideas for future stories. I actually was looking forward to writing and now I dread it, because I know I’m not getting anywhere.

Usually during my writing process I have down periods, but this is ridiculous. And since I wrote the short story and I’ve had millions of ideas I don’t think I’m off my game.

Unfortunately I don’t think I can just give up. I like to finish books once I start them. Maybe rewrites will make it better, but I’m not sure I can even make it to the rewrites stage.

But, I think I’ve finally given up. I haven’t written on it since October 30th. I think I’ll work on the next book in the series, or maybe even start something new.

What do you think? Do I just not know when to quit? Should I move on or keep trying? Have you ever had to give up on a book? What was your breaking point?

Update: I started the next book in the series. So far it's going very well, which makes the problems with The Novel From Hell even more annoying.


Paige Ryter said...

OH...this is a piece of cake! Make your SECOND book your first in the series and keep this horribly tough one as a future book. I bet it'll work itself out by then, or you can just throw it away completely. And yes...I've done this myself. I think most writers have 'broken up' with books.

One thing you might try is to use names you know will make good chemistry while writing the books (like use Romeo and Juliet), just to get your brain used to the chemistry. Then replace all the names to the names you WANTED to use. Sometimes that helps.

Good luck!!!

msabbywood said...

I've done it a couple times. Don't delete what you've wrote!! I stepped away from my stories for months, and then it hits me. A new angle, a different attitude with one of the characters...and I went back and finished it. Loved the stories after I figured it all out.

Good luck with your new wip!

Honoria Ravena said...

Abby - I never throw away anything. I'm a hopeless pack rat, and I'm even worse with my writing. I think eventually I'll find a place for everthing. I hope I have The Great Epiphany with this novel, because I love the hero. It's everyone else I have a problem with.

Honoria Ravena said...

Paige - Luckily all my books are pretty much stand alone novels that occur in the same world. I have a few over lapping characters, but it will still be easy to write it some other time (if I ever figure it out).

That's a cool trick. I've never heard of doing that before. I'm not sure if replacing their names will work, but it's certainly a thought.

Melissa said...

Hi Honoria, I have a story that I started with very similiar problems - Daughter of the Sun. It started off great, like a house on fire. Then, just like a house on fire, I was left with a bunch of smouldering ashes and a couple of shells of rooms that didn't quite touch. Every so often I feel spark leading me back to the manuscript, so I do hold hope of getting it completed. However, I no longer see it as the beginning of a series the way I used to. I trashed the notes and plot-lines, streaming every thing down into a single tight solo run. *wry grimace* Watch it turn into a life shattering best seller.

Honoria Ravena said...

Lol, it probably will become that life altering best seller. And then you'll just have to make it a series. Excellent imagery with the house fire. That's exactly what it's like.

Kaye Manro said...

Hi Honoria, I saw you on the RRP author's group and followed your link.

That's something about your WIP. I don't know if I could continue writing it either. I've never had that particular thing happen.

I'm new to the group and have a book coming out sometime at RRP--no release date and no cover yet. But I am in edits. I see you write paranormal romance. I dabble a bit in Para too, but mostly I write sci-fi or tt.

It's good to meet you! Kaye

Marianne Stephens said...

Yes...we all have that "one that got away" and we just can't get it to behave and become a wonderful story! I still have the first book I wrote (awful) and once in awhile I look at it to see if it's redeemable. Never quite get there, though!
Nice blog topic!

Author Mary C said...

I've had that problem, Honoria. If you love the hero but everything else is wrong then he's not happy. There is a certain woman and storyline he wants and until he whispers it to you, he won't cooperate.

Hang in there, hun. Every man comes around eventually.

Honoria Ravena said...

Mary - Lol, I hope he does come around. Hopefully he tells me what he wants soon. Until then I'll talk to Archer. He's being much more cooperative (so far).

Marriane - I know my first novel will NEVER be publishable. I'd have to rewrite it completely without looking at that first draft at all. It was from before I learned to write. Good luck with your first novel. Hopefully one day you'll look back and find the right angle.

Kaye - Hi, and welcome to Red Rose. Congrats on your contract. That no release date/no cover phase sucks. It's very hard to promote going "Well, it will come out sometime in 2010... No, I don't have a pretty cover to show you." I hope, for your sake, that you never have the problems I was having with my WIP.

susan said...

Why get stressed out over the book you are not pleased with..put it on the back burner for a future book and work on the one that is fitting into your style. Later on return to the PITA (pain in the a..) book and by then it may all fall in place for you. susan L.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you need to put that book aside and come back to it later. Sorry you are having a tough time of writing it but I have faith in you. Keep writing and have a nice holiday

Honoria Ravena said...

JOYE - Thanks!

susan - Lol, PITA. I love it. Lol, I'm stressed about it because I feel like over 20,000 words and who knows how many days have been wasted on writing something I can't use. It takes so long for me to crank out a novel I really don't want to waste time.