1. Brandon J.
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    Brandon J. Member

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    Abandoning a draft

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Brandon J., Jul 14, 2016.

    So I have a manuscript. I'm 16,000 words in butI've lost drive and the story I'm writing has too many holes to count. Is it abnormal to drop a project this far along?
     
  2. Keiko Homura
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    Keiko Homura New Member

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    Its happened to me a few times, but what I did, I ended up starting 4 stories I plan to finish and put my dropped projects into those four in a way that makes sense
     
  3. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Does it really matter if it's abnormal or not? If you don't want to work on it anymore, you shouldn't feel like you have to finish it. Working on it still helped you grow as a writer, so it's not like the time was wasted. Save it, bury it in a folder somewhere, and maybe you'll want to get back to it, fix it up and finish it some day. Or you won't. No loss.
     
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  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Don't force it if you're not feeling it. Set it aside and work on something else. You may find that down the road you get excited about it again, and see ways to fix the holes.

    Never throw any of your work away! Keep it - you may want to return to it in a couple of months or years. :)
     
  5. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    I believe you've taken a crucial step towards becoming good writer.

    I have a fantasy manuscript that's at least 50,000 words long, has an outlined plot, and fully developed characters. I abandoned it because I felt there was no interesting way to end the story. It was just another Hero's journey blaaa, and I did not like how it was unfolding. There was no way to end it that had meaning for me, so I stopped working on it. Maybe one day I'll finish it, but right now I consider it a good, long writing exercise.

    Just never stop writing, and remember that even if your writing blossoms later, you were always growing.
     
  6. RichieMarcus
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    RichieMarcus Member

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    Can't really say much of anything else that hasn't been said, but I'll reaffirm the 'setting it aside' idea. Generally, if you feel you're forcing yourself to do it, the reader will pick up on it. I had that happen with a project of mine where I was going at a pretty good pace but botched the ending simply because I wanted to finish and post it. Others commented that it was good up until the ending and I had to agree with them.

    I think we all have the potential to lose our drive to finish a genuinely good piece. When you chug away at something for so long and learn to push other idea that don't work with it out, it can feel stale after awhile. That's why I typically have 2-3 different projects in the making at once. If one starts to feel forced, I switch to another and come back to it.
     
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  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I fully support the idea of putting it aside for now—but keep it cooking in the back of your mind. You might discover a way to sort the problems. If you do that, your enthusiasm will return.

    I would warn against automatically trashing a story because you've encountered problems or run out of steam. That's a bad habit to get into. It can mean you'll never finish anything, because you'll hit snags in just about everything you write—especially long pieces like novels.

    What REALLY makes you grow as a writer is working out how to solve problems. How to plug plot holes, etc. You don't have to do it in a dogged, never-say-die fashion, though. Sometimes you do need distance, in order to see what really needs to be changed about the story in order to make it work. Give yourself the distance—as much as you need—but don't give up.

    Eventually, the elements of the story that are worth keeping will re-emerge, and you'll feel stronger for having 'rescued' the story than you will for having simply dumped it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
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  8. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It seems a lot of people hit a wall at about 40-50k, so it's definitely not unusual to drop a draft at 16k. Tuck it away in a folder and come back to it in a few months/years/decades ;)
     
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  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    You have to really believe in a project in order to carry it through to conclusion, and if you don't have that belief, you can't force it. Better to put it away for now and turn to something you can get excited about. Maybe a few (or even many) years down the road, you'll get it out and take a look at it and say, "Hey, this might work after all!"

    Best of luck.
     
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  10. Brandon J.
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    Brandon J. Member

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    Thanks to all for the assistance. I have decided to put that aside and work on other projects. I have many decades left to get back to it if the time comes considering i haven't even finished my second decade on this earth yet.
     

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