books, writing

Has This Ever Happened to You?

Writing is just having a sheet of paper, a pen and not a shadow of an idea of what you are going to say.’

Francoise Sagan

:::drumming fingers on computer:::

I haven’t written anything (except comments on blog posts, and a few minor revisions) for at least two days now. Am I busy? Not especially. Distracted? A bit.

As part of my Christmas presents, my son’s ex-gf (and still roommate) got me a ticket to a concert that I had told them about, for a band we all like. Evil Son and said Ex got tickets for themselves after I informed them this band was coming to town, but did not offer to pick up a ticket for me (for which I would have paid, had they asked). I was a little miffed. Actually I was going to cut him out of the will (as soon as I put one together). So he’s saved now. Anyway, I was looking up directions to the venue where the concert is going to be and then of course saw the roster of acts that are playing there over the next four months, which included a couple of Finnish metal bands, so I had to check out their sites… Sweet Brigid how one thing leads to another.

As you can see, I’ve also just learned how to do the ‘excerpt’ thing here. But the point is, I’ve been spending so much time geeked out on music I haven’t been able to concentrate on writing. I’m kind of at a standstill again with Andrej and his story. It needs revising, badly. I’m talking major surgery. There’s no point in pressing on if I’m going to ditch large chunks of the story. I want to take it in a whole different direction, so it’s nearly starting from scratch. Some of it will stay, but I seem to have meandered so far from the original intent that it’s almost unrecognizable to me. The problem is, I don’t know how to fix it. I have absolutely no idea how to undo the damage. Not a shadow of an idea. I’m half tempted to just ditch the whole thing entirely and move on to something else. I’m disgusted, disappointed. It’s just bad. I’ve been working on this thing for about nine months now (excluding November, of course). I don’t even have the satisfaction of a live birth after all that time. I know some folks would say to put it aside for awhile, work on something else. Well, I think we know what will happen if I do that: I’ll never get back around to it.

Has anyone else ever totally given up on a novel after almost a year?


3 thoughts on “Has This Ever Happened to You?”

  1. Donald Westlake did. I wish I could remember which of his novels this was, but I distinctly remember reading, in the introduction to one of them, that he had started it several books ago, and set it aside b/c he didn’t know how to end it. Some years later he re-read the unfinished manuscript, and (loose but accurate paraphrase) “I had to finish it because I wanted to know how the story ended.”

    You love Andrej, and I’m just learning to spell his name, so you just have to keep him around! At the same time, vampires are like that – they come and go, every couple of years or decades or centuries, and there’s no controlling that. I say set him aside for a little while, with the understanding that when he returns, you have to invite him in 😉


    1. I can always count on you to give the best advice! 🙂 I just hope when he comes back he’ll be willing to tell me the rest of his story. He can be such a tease.


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