Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Knowing When to Trunk

It all started with an idea. The burning excitement that comes with an exciting new project. You sat down and wrote and wrote and wrote. Writers' block stood in your way, but you pushed on. A few months later, a finished manuscript sits on your desk.

Then the time comes when that shiny manuscript isn't looking so shiny. You don't want to give up, but you're just so sick of looking at it that you just want to hit that delete key and never look at it again.

Today I'm going to talk about knowing when to trunk a novel.

1. Between edits. A common suggestions that I agree in is to let a manuscript "simmer" before and between edits. It can be for a week, a couple months, or even a year. How long you let a story sit depends on you and how long you can go without touching it. But try to put it away for at least a week and work on something else. Force yourself if you have to. Put it in a separate folder and don't allow yourself to open it until the week is up. If you have any great revisions ideas, write them down so you don't forget, but don't put them into action.

2. When all you want to do is throw your computer out the window. If this ever happens to you, put the story aside. It'll be there when you come back and trying to force yourself to edit when all you want to do is bang your head on the desk and scream, "I give up!" isn't the most beneficial for your story.

3. When querying doesn't go well. If your querying isn't going well (and by isn't going well, I don't mean you have ten form rejections), then put it aside and come back to it later. This might not be the best market for it. Or it might not be "the one." Put it away, write another novel, and then maybe pull it out and think about revamping it. Of course, if querying isn't going well it might be your query and not your novel so you might need to think about that as well.


Emilia said...

I think I'm in that simmering stage right now... but it's taking a lot longer than I'd hoped. I need some inspiration, and most importantly, I need TIME! :P Anyway, great post. haha

Static Void said...

Hmmmm... I don't have to trunk it then!!! :D

*off topic question: How did you get the horses on the back of your blog? I can't seem to change my background?*