Writing can be frustrating
While there is always doubt in a writer’s mind, there comes a day when you just know what you have written is not working or that it is simply rubbish. I have just had this day and have decided to trash a project I have been working on now for a few months.
There is always the option of cutting, pruning, trimming, re-working or savagely editing, but sometimes the best option is to go back to a blank page and start all over again with a brand new idea. Although a painful and seemingly wasteful decision to make, there does come a time to admit that what you have written is crap.
This is the third time it has happened to me, and it prompted me to think about the reasons why it happens. Lack of motivation, a poor idea, weak characters or simply a lousy plot are probably common elements, but these can usually be fixed in one way or another. What I believe happened is that I just didn’t attach myself to the main characters and failed to have an underlying message I wanted to get across. With this most recent admission of failure, I have to say that I completely lost my way, and although thinking I was following my plot outline, I was in actual fact wandering off in all directions.
The other probability is that the story was a continuation from one of my previous books and I fell into the trap of trying to milk an already exploited idea. I found myself writing for the sake of writing and although producing words, I wasn’t producing a story. Nor was I enjoying myself. Whatever the reason, I just knew it was time to stop.
While all writers need the reassurance of an independent eye, there are times when in your own heart you know you have failed. So back to the drawing board or me. Now, where’s that delete button?