This week, Debbie asks: “Have any of you ever thrown out a manuscript that just didn't work for you?”
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Hmmm. Haven't thrown any out...but I have a file stuffed full of manuscripts I never sold! :)
I don't have the repertoire that most of the other authors do, but I have experienced this situation on just my last book (the third of my Grime Fighter series). I'd already set up that story and started putting the pieces in place when I realized that there was no way to make the story work for the series. Irreconcilable issues. So I tabled the idea for another time and started completely over with a blank file. Funny how all of that empty space stirs my imagination! LOL! And I think Grime Spree turned out great! :)
I’ve been through all the variations of this theme. I still have a couple of complete novels on my computer hard drive that just didn’t work. They were written before Jeff Gerke taught me theimportant question for a novelist: “So what?” In other words, what’s at stake for the hero/heroine if they fail. I’ve also let my first reader (my wife—try that one to see if your marriage survives) look at a story on which I’d written ten thousand words. When she pointed out why it didn’t work, I started over—literally, started over. And the result was one of my prize-winning novels. So, absolutely. If a manuscript doesn’t work for you, chances are it won’t work for the reader, either. Good question.
Richard L. Mabry, MD
I had three books published through a vanity press back in 2006. Once I got my rights back, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to rewrite them. Yikes! The first two are so bad, I'd have to start from scratch. The stories are languishing in a cabinet and may never see the light of day again.
Cynthia Hickey (Melton)
I haven’t actually “thrown out a manuscript,” but I have a few sitting in my computer I’d like to do something with someday. One needs to be edited, and two others need to be finished. One was actually accepted by a U.K. publisher – until his promotions people decided it wouldn’t sell well in Great Britain because my main character prayed in the library. What???? And another was the sequel to a book that was released by a publisher that started courting and selling gay fiction. I didn’t feel we were a good fit at that point, so she gave me back the rights to it. I haven’t looked at it for years.
Although I want to do something with these unpublished or incomplete novels, to be honest, I’m blessed to be too busy to do it right now.
Maybe someday when I’m rich I can slow down and work on them. LOL!