When Do You Just Move On…

When do you just move on from a project?


I’ve been writing for over 6 years now, not very long in the grand scheme of the world, but pretty long considering I’m only 32. I love writing, and I would like to make a good stab at traditional publishing. In order to do that, I’ve got to actually finish writing a novel–or, finish a good one.

I’ve heard that your first novel will suck, and that most likely, your second novel will also suck. Well, I’m kind of in limbo here. My first novel, a scifi romance, sucked. I’ve rewritten it twenty times, it still sucks. I’ve moved on–for now.

My second novel, an urban fantasy, doesn’t suck as much as the scifi. In fact, I think it’s got great potential, but I’ve been working on it for a few years now–on and off–and I’m starting to wonder if I should just chalk it up as a learning experience and move on.

I have a third novel in the works, another fantasy. It’s got great potential, and as far as structure and characters, is the best thing I’ve done so far. I’m writing it in thirds. I started it as a short story for a serial fiction site, but quickly recognized it could be a full length novel. I’ve done some plotting for the middle-third, but I haven’t actually started writing it yet.

Refining Sylver Official Cover

My dilemma is, should I just give up on my urban fantasy? Shove it back into that drawer and never look at it again? I feel like if I jump into my new fanasy, I won’t go back, and I’m just concerned that I’m leaving something worth persuing on the table…

Maybe there’s no right answer to this conundrum. But I’m hoping my fellow writers out there will have had similar dilemmas and be able to pass along their experiences and advice.

I’d like to be a professional writer, and I worry that I’m being too emotional. My pro-oriented mind says move on, my heart says stay.

Any advice friends? Please leave a comment. We’re all in this writing thing together.


14 thoughts on “When Do You Just Move On…

  1. Somebody out there will want to read your novels, just as someone will want to publish them. Have you gotten opinions from beta readers? Try to join a critique group, or find an independent editor to review your work. More than anything, don’t sell yourself short. Don’t give up.

    1. Thanks andrew! I’ve only given segments to betas. No one has read the whole thing bc I’ve never gotten a full 1st draft that I liked. I do need to look into joining a critique go up though. Great suggestion!

      1. You’re welcome. Also, with independent editors, they will often have different services (proofreading, general critique, etc.) and usually will edit a small sample of your work for free so you can see what their editing style is like.

      2. Great advice. I’ll have to keep it in mind going forward. I forget that editors offer some less expensive services other than a full on manuscript critique. Thanks for reminding me. 🙂 I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  2. Hey Girl, from what I’ve read, you’re writing is really good!!! I am a FAN! My advice is, write what is “HOT” in your head. If the urban fantasy isn’t HOT–then just let it stew in a drawer for a little bit. But, don’t trash it. One day you might wake up re-energized about that project with a new perspective. 🙂
    –You’re too good to give up– Take it one day at a time….that’s something I’ve had to learn about myself too 🙂
    If you want to be published traditionally one day, you will! Keep reaching for that dream

    1. I think you’re right about working on what’s hot in your head. My urban fantasy is just such a hot mess right now–I’m working on correcting my newby mistakes from 3 years ago. I think it might boost my confidence to pick up refining sylver again. It’s just a much better organized story. I could probably knock out a 1st draft with a lot less heartache than my urban fantasy. It’s just so frustrating to spend more time deleting than writing. 😉

      Thanks so much for your words of encouragement! They mean a lot–more than I can adequately express here.

      How is your writing coming? Did you release your book on amazon yet?

  3. I think everyone feels that way about their manuscripts at one point or another. But you’ll get past it, and maybe even be better for the experience.

    For me, I find the thing that helps is to switch focus for a bit. I tend to do a round of revisions on one manuscript, then switch and do a round on another (or work on a first draft), then back again. That way, by the time I’m finished the revisions/writing on one, I’m excited again about the other. Plus, you might learn something while working on the second that will help you improve the first. 🙂

    So, definitely try working on the new fantasy that’s been bouncing around your head. The urban fantasy will always be there waiting, and you can go back to it when you’re ready again.

    1. Thanks Miranda! I think you hit the nail on the head here. I can always go back to the urban fantasy when I’m refreshed and not so weary of edits. I think I’m so eager to actually finish one of my novels that I was pushing too hard. Alrighty, time for my new fantasy! Thanks for the advice!

  4. You are a (very) talented writer. At this point, work on what makes you happy. Dentists tell their patients to floss before they brush. Not because it’s better for their dental health, but because it increases the likelihood they’ll floss at ALL.
    Finish the story that will keep you motivated until those two magic words, The End. From what I’ve heard, finishing other books is easier after that.

    1. Thank Jenn! You’re right. Writing what I’m motivated about will keep me eager to work. I’ve noticed my work ethic slacking over the past month bc working on my urban fantasy is just so labor intensive. I think moving on and enjoying the freedom of a new story is just what I need. Thanks for your advice! (All you guys are so good at putting things in perspective.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s