Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Writer Wednesday: When You Have to Put A Draft On Hold


I used to think there was nothing worse than having to put an unfinished manuscript aside, but I've come to change my mind about this. With my editing schedule, I often have to write in sprints and then put a manuscript away until my next small break between edits. At first I hated this and I'd give up sleep to finish a draft before the next edit landed in my inbox. Not anymore.

I've found that I love returning to an unfinished story. I get fresh ideas about the plot and characters, and knowing I only have half or a quarter of the book left to write is exciting and totally doable on a time restraint. So I'm not stressing anymore. If I have to put a book aside,  I know I'll come back to it.

Do you ever have to put an unfinished draft aside? How do you feel about it?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post. 

24 comments:

  1. I've put aside 3 and never went back. I do feel terrible, but one day I may get the bug again, so they are safe at the moment. Have you ever fallen out of love with a story you were writing and just threw it away rather than put it aside?

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    1. I've fallen out of love with an idea in the planning stage and tossed it, but never a draft. I try to make sure I have strong positive feelings before I start drafting.

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    2. I think that's been my biggest issue, the fact that I can't get a plan together before I start to write. I'm getting the bug to outline, so that's a good thing maybe. :)

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    3. I think it helps, but everyone is different.

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  2. I put unfinished stories aside a lot. Mostly because I get the idea for them while I'm writing something else, so I write as much as I can, which is usually several chapters, and then set it aside for when I can write more later.

    Recently, though, I've been hopping around between 3 different unfinished projects. And for the first time, I find it a lot of fun. Usually, I focused on the main one and only wrote something new when I got the idea. That tended to only last 2-3 days.

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    1. That's tough. I envy people who work on multiple drafts at once.

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  3. There are times when it's a good idea to give a draft some rest and come back to it down the line.

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  4. I definitely do better w/a little away time now and then. It's amazing what the brain does when not focused directly on something.

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  5. I've found I work better when I take a break. Fresh eyes help to move the project forward. Besides, life always seems to throw things in the way and force me to put a manuscript away for a bit. I'm getting used to it. :)

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    1. It does take getting used to, but there are positives.

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  6. I put a story aside sometimes, usually when I'm having trouble with where it's going. I work on something else for a few days, and in the meantime jot down new thoughts about the other story that come to mind. When I go back, hopefully I have fresh ideas and work from there. Glad your method is working out for you.

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  7. It can be hard to put something aside- but it can definitely help our brains get more ideas. :)
    ~Jess

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  8. I have fear of losing momentum and losing the voice if a story must be set aside before I complete a draft or a revision round. I can put it aside for a few days when needed, but not much longer. You have worked on a few stories simultaneously, I think. This is another thing I can't quite do well, for the same reasons.

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    1. I go back and retread what I've written to get back into the voice and flow of the story.

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  9. I have mixed feelings about putting a manuscript aside. But over the years I have come to appreciate the necessity of putting aside a project for a later date.

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    1. I feel like it's something you have to learn to do. I definitely had to.

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  10. I always feel like when I put an unpublished manuscript aside, I'll never be able to get back to it. Since getting published, though, I've had to work that way because sometimes revisions come in and you have to shift for a while, then come back. It always works out somehow!

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    1. Yes, deadlines do dictate what you work on and when.

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  11. I was afraid it was dead by default. Yet, just as you described, I was delighted to return to it! New ideas flowed like a canyon stream and I think I even like it better now ;-)

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    1. This sounds like the time I lost a manuscript to a corrupt flash drive. I was devastated at first, but I rewrote the book and I loved it even more. Fun fact: it's the book I'm releasing next month. :)

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