For every major fiction writing project I complete, I must have another nine that never get done. Some are novels abandoned about 1/3 the way in, some are short stories without endings, and many are nothing more than a blank page with a title on it.
Since I finished the 2nd draft of Eleven Days on Earth, I’ve started and abandoned two more novels, and am now trying to work on a third, and beginning to get bored with that one as well.
It used to be that I would refuse to give up and plow through them anyway. Those ones I forced myself to finish even though I’d lost interest in them, those are the flops that litter my writer’s trunk.
I had to ask myself, finally, why the hell am I writing these manuscripts? The answer inevitably came back to me that I spend all this time and energy on them because I enjoy it.
And if I don’t enjoy it, I shouldn’t spend time on it.
I enjoyed Eleven Days all the way through. It was fun to write, and I’m getting word back that it’s fun to read, too. That’s exactly what I want to hear.
I guess my point is, false starts are okay – take them in stride. Learn from them. And steal bits and pieces that you like and put them in other things you’re working on.
None of that effort is really wasted. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.