The Ones That Didn’t Survive

Oh my goodness, I almost did something completely crazy there. I *nearly* started a new novel. I only just managed stop myself before typing the first word onto the glaringly blank screen. Luckily I regained my senses just in time. That would have been the death of my NaNo. Once a sparkly shiny new idea gets its claws around you, there’s no going back to the problematic but ultimately workable idea that you were struggling with before.

Too many potential novels have died in this way. I have the scavenged remains of four of them tucked away in folders on my computer. The first one was never even given the chance to flourish; I abandoned it after only a few lines because the words on the screen did not do justice to the wonderful images in my head.

The second one did not survive the transition from short story into novel. It was a risky procedure but at the time I thought it was worth a shot. In order to survive as a short story I would have had to remove huge swathes of prose. I decided instead to try to stretch the thin plot out further to encompass the growing body of words. Sadly, it was not enough.

The remaining two unfinished barely started novels suffered the cruelest fate of all: they were neglected simply because a better idea came along.

I have been a callous callous writer but I will learn from my mistakes. I will not let my NaNo suffer the same terrible fate; left forgotten and unloved until there is no hope of a conclusion. I will not let it fall into decay, I will not pluck out the best descriptions nor strip it of its most polished sentences so that I can use them elsewhere. I will keep working at it until is a fully formed, functioning first draft.

It’s just hard to carry on when my new idea is sooooo much better.


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