Rule S: don’t beat a dead Story

Linda’s Rules of Writing

Three monkeys: Hear no eveil, speak no evil, and see no evil.
Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil, remember no evil. Yup, it was an amnesia novel.

We’re onto the letter S in Linda’s Rules of Writing of the A to Z Challenge, and don’t beat a dead Story.

My first novel was a dead story that I kept trying to fix.  It was called “Remember No Evil” and was a thriller.  I’d get about to the first 100 pages and the story would stall out.  I could see the whole story, but I couldn’t seem to get past that first point.

So I rewrote it.

And rewrote it.

And rewrote it.

I got hung up having to finish it because I’d invested so much time in it, and I didn’t want that to go to waste.  It was a story though I should have walked away from much earlier than I did.

When my former cowriter approached me about doing a book, I realized that if I wanted to actually finish a book, I needed to go to a new project.  I couldn’t quite bring myself to give up on RNO, so I set it aside.  Then I was able to finish a new project, which was Valley of Bones, later revised into Audacious Run.

When I returned to reassess RNO, I realized that I had been writing it for long that I had grown out of the original story.

Sometimes finishing a story isn’t always the best thing.

Do you have a trunk novel you had to give up on?

Caption: A to Z Challenge Logo

5 thoughts on “Rule S: don’t beat a dead Story

  1. mrkelly2u April 22, 2013 / 6:26 am

    Hi there. Sorry to hear you had to ditch a story, but I do understand. I did have a novella I tried to write many, many years ago that I was stuck on for a VERY long time. My answer in the end was to finish it – but very badly and in a rushed fashion, just so I could move on to a new project! I really don’t think this was a good solution as I have never returned to it, and probably never will, so I probably should have taken your advice and just ditched it.

    Having said, I’m refusing to give up on my current first draft! I WILL get to the end!

    Kelly’s Eye – Writing, Music, Life


    • Linda Adams April 24, 2013 / 8:16 pm

      I think it’s tough telling when you should walk away and when you should keep plugging ahead. I have done so many revisions on the current book, but at the same time, I’ve learned a lot about how to write in ways I hadn’t before.


  2. Janice Heck April 22, 2013 / 1:17 pm

    I don’t have a trunk novel, but I do have lots of trunk writing, stacks and stacks of it. The importance of this early writing is that it put me on the steep learning curve to being a better writer.
    Someday I’ll just shred the old stuff, but for now, I can’t quite make myself do it.


    • Linda Adams April 24, 2013 / 8:17 pm

      Why shred it? It’s part of the journey of being a writer.


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