Knowing when to say “good-bye”.

It’s never easy. It always stings, but saying “good-bye” is often a necessity in life. Especially when it comes to writers and bad manuscripts.

As my readers know, I’ve been working on the 5th installment of the Gemini Island Shifters series. Hopefully, once done, this new romance will take its place with the others.

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I had almost 20,000 words done this past week. I had it plotted, outlined on paper, and well thought out in my head. I had characters, histories, conflicts, all ready to go. I began writing, pleased with the tension and sensual promise between the hero and heroine.

And then, 20,000 words in, I made a startling realization. I hated it. I can’t even tell you why specifically. There was just something about the heroine that felt off, something about the conflicts that seemed false, something, something, something.

I agonized over it for a few days. And when I say agonized, I’m not really exaggerating. I felt a little sick, a little green. And it was all because I knew if I continued, I’d be unhappy with the story and my readers might be disappointed.

Decision time. Do I pitch it and begin from scratch or do I continue, hoping any issues will work themselves out?

It’s extremely hard for a writer to pitch their work. I still have my very first, flawed manuscript, and haven’t been able to get rid of it, despite its clear problems. There’s always the feeling that I might be able to improve it.

Not this one. There was good banter which I’ve been able to salvage, some nice tension which I’ll save. But otherwise, it’s going in the can. I started fresh upon making the decision to scrap it, and wrote 9000 new words the first day. Not bad, huh? The story already feels tighter and stronger, and I know it’ll make for a good read.

Was it hard to throw away “my baby?” A little. Was it necessary? Most definitely.

18 thoughts on “Knowing when to say “good-bye”.

    • Thanks for sharing that, Pauline. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. We do get to a point where we are ready to pitch them, I think. I wish you the best as you continue.

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    • That’s kind of you, Rhea, thank you. It felt more like a surrender than an impressive demonstration, I will admit. It just had to be done. 🙂

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  1. Been there. Done That. Have the T-shirt. So hugs.

    What’s even worse is get the first full draft done (before self-revision, buffing and polishing) and realize your hero is a cad and then you have to toss the beginning and rewrite most of the book.

    At least you managed to take that step back before you had 75K down. That happened with a book of mine — it obviously was fixed since it is selling well and gets mostly decent reviews. Big sigh of relief.

    So good work. And, ahem, I’m here if you need an objective eye. But you knew that, right?

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    • I do know it, and thank you, Moni! A cad, huh? No doubt the audience loves him for it. Cads are big right now. 😉 Thanks for the hugs.

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  2. Don’t forget though, that by keeping the parts that ARE working, you’ve kept yourself from throwing out the baby with the bath water. Just think how sweet and wonderful the baby is going to smell with fresh water this time!

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    • LOL, love it, Nickie! No, I would never throw out my baby with the bath water. I’m too protective of my literary children. 😉

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  3. I have to say, I’ve scrapped chapters before, I’ve rewritten and edited the hell out of manuscripts, but I’ve never trashed one flat out. It was a brave decision on your part and I’m so glad the new version is more to your liking =D That’s all that matters in the end!

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    • Thanks Alianne. It didn’t feel brave; it felt like lunacy. However, you’re right. And the new, better ms is what matters!

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  4. I am so proud of you Rosanna! It takes a lot of courage to see the issues and to recognize what is good and what needs to go. Also tremendous integrity to want to put the best book out there. That is one of the things I love about you as a person/author Rosanna!

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    • Oh, thank you Heather. I’ve been fortunate and blessed to have readers like you who believe in me. Thus, it stands to reason, I must only put out the best product I can. I owe it to everyone who supported me. 🙂

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  5. Hi Rosanna – YUP – same thing happens in music :)))))) I have several songs that will never be recorded , but you know, there’s a fine line between scrapping it and being too critical of your own work. Different people react to different songs …… Well……. Differently – lol

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    • Very true, Bruce, which is why I suppose I agonized over my decision for so long. However, I must say, now that all is said and done, I’m glad I did it. I guess that’s all we can hope for. 🙂 Best wishes on your music!

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