Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Saying Good-bye to Old Friends...

I'm in the midst of a dilemma (per usual).

Have you ever been so attached to your characters that you can't let them go, but yet you don't know where they are going? That is the case with my Revolutionary War manuscript "A Convenient Misfortune." I've been working on it since I was in high school. Way back then, I didn't even know the word 'outline' and so I wrote and wrote until I wrote myself into a hole. Then I went back a few years later and made some revisions, but I never could see the end of the novel. Now that I have spent some time studying this whole craft we calling writing, I'm better prepared to work on this manuscript.

Or am I?

I love the hero and heroine in "A Convenient Misfortune" even though they are both vastly different from Alex and Julienne in "The Enemy Within." Jackson is far more roguish than Alex, but he hides a secret hurt that he intends to protect at all costs. Arabella has some similarities to Julienne: she is well educated and feisty (albeit in a more social acceptable way). While Julienne rails against her position in society, Arabella knows that she has to do what she has to do. She's also a conflicted character like Julienne when it comes to men. There are two men in her life: one that she is over her heels in love with and the other is a dear friend who desperately wants her to reciporcate.

Despite my attachment to Arabella and Jackson, I feel like something is missing in their story. I've got plenty of drama (that's my signature, right?) but I fear the plot is weak. Part of me wants to keep writing to see where they take me because I am emotionally invested in them, while the other part of me doesn't want to pour the time into something that is not viable. Let's not even get into my quandry over POV. At the end of the day, I worry that this is my "trunk" novel and that makes me very sad.

So what about you guys? Have you ever not wanted to put away a manuscript?


  1. I have one of those and I think I'm starting to be okay with it. Took a loooooong while to get there though. In a way, it'll live on. I have had it bound and a cover made just for me (no one else will ever see it) and it may well be cannabilized for parts.

  2. Yes, I've put a MS aside, but I hope to one day work on it more.

  3. I hear you--it's hard to step away, yet there's something to be said for a trunk novel. It gets to live on as is...not every novel needs to bend toward publication :) I have one of those--in the end, though I could rewrite it ad nauseum, it will never be as good as a fresh project could be. And in its current state...well, it makes me happy. It was my first. Maybe that's enough for it :)

  4. Don't be sad! Trunk novels have a way of re-emerging down the road - either as an improved version of the same novel, or the same characters and elements in a different set-up.

    By the way, I feel like I'm invested in your characters just from reading your descriptions. Nice!

    Also wanted to let you know I gave you a shout out with a blog award in my latest post.