I decided to abandon a manuscript today.
Two acts in, three sex scenes written, two characters worked and re-re-reworked. That’s a month of work, and about fifty thousand plus words down the drain.
But when it’s wrong, it’s wrong.
It felt wrong because I felt like I was too old to be writing about main characters who gave too many fucks about what other people had to say. It felt wrong because the love interest was all over the place, like he couldn’t decide what kind of guy he wanted to be.
One of the Big Life Lessons my Dad kind of impressed into my brain is not to waste an opportunity. I had an opportunity to keep saying “okay, yes” to what I was doing, but I’ve reached the point where it wasn’t working, and all those “okay yes-es” I gave it wasn’t a waste.
These table flip repeat everything moments have done well for me before. Stealing Luna was supposed to be set in London, in Lucerne, in Shanghai, all written partway before I decided it wasn’t right and stuck to Barcelona. The Queen’s Game was supposed to have a monarchy the exact copy of the British when someone pointed out that there were other monarchies to consider. The book I just finished last month, a holiday romance between a cafe owner and her rival bakery set in Lipa, started life as a book set in London, with the same LI as this manuscript I abandoned (I’m having issues with this LI, apparently??).
I attended a branding workshop a couple of weeks ago where we did the most extraordinary thing—we talked about everyone’s biggest personal failure, and changed it to see the positive side of it. Yeah, I failed to follow through with this manuscript, only because I know that a better version of this will exist by my hand.
Powerful stuff. I blame Cancer season (which ends tomorrow, perfect timing, Leo!) + Mercury retrograde for this.
So, nothing wasted. I’m kind of…excited to explore a new angle on this, actually. All in the name of The Right Book.
(reassuring words much appreciated, thank you?)