Monday, July 23, 2007

When to Quit

When do you give up on a book?

I am struggling with my revisions of DASH and seriously considering setting it aside for a while. Maybe a long while. My mentor basically says there is no shame in that. Sometimes it is better to start a new book then waste time working on a book that isn't, well, working.

On one hand, I really hate doing that because I have an editor who requested a full. A different editor requested a partial, but I haven't heard anything. Of course, it's only been about four months and I've heard that HQ can take forever. I really love the story too...but I'm frustrated with it. It sucks to be over 3/4 of the way done with it and have it start to unravel. My agent isn't that enthused about the project, but is, however, seriously excited about the MG outline I sent her. (The reason I'm working on it without agent seal of approval is that I was between YA projects and have always wanted to break into series romance. My agent is okay with that.)

So here I am. Wondering if my time would be better spent elsewhere, right now. My agent would like to go out with the new proposal in September. I would like that too. On the other hand, I can't break into series fiction unless I get something out there. Of course, if it sucks, I can't break in anyway!



Kristen Painter said...

You know, that's such a tough question. Sometimes finishing a tough project can be a hugely rewarding experience, because you grow as a writer and it's like proving to yourself that you are stronger than you thought.

Ultimately, I don't think anyone can answer this question but you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kristen. Whatever you decide will be the right decision :)

Jaci Burton said...

I think a lot of times an editor request enthuses us to the point where we push through a project that may have no life to it. At least not at the moment. You might be pushing too hard.

My gut reaction to your dilemma is that if you're not feeling the story, you should put it aside, especially with everything else you have going on right now. You have a proposal your agent IS excited about. Work on that. Work on what excites you (and your agent).

Of course this is all just my opinion. You have to do what's right for you. Never easy, is it? :-)

Rachel Vincent said...

What's MG?

Lexi said...

I'm with Jaci on this one. If it's not working for you, put it aside and work on something else. As long as you stay productive. You know you can finish a manuscript, so that's not an issue. You'll get back to the one giving you trouble when the time is right.

But as Kristen and Bonnie said, the decision is yours.

My theory? Go with your gut. It won't steer you wrong.

J.F. Cossey said...

I would say that if you've had habitual problems with finishing manuscripts and/or your agent wasn't that understanding about you abandoning one project in favour of another, then worry about it.

It seems to me that you are just worried you are shooting yourself in the foot if you put this one aside for a bit, and need reassurances. So here they are, from everyone. Seems like you have it all going for you right now. Follow that wave.

Sometimes, too, all a project needs is perspective, and time will give you that to come back at a later date with fresh eyes. It may also be you never finish it (if other things totally take off, for instance), and that's ok too, because we learn from all of it.

(Bonnie's sister)