When is Enough Enough?
The Good Fight, as it was known, (ironic, now I think of it), never got beyond 20,000 words. The entire story was mapped out in my head, but for a variety of reasons, the last 80,000 words never made it onto the page. Ill health caused a delay, with debilitating headaches stopping me from sitting at the computer, but even on good days, I struggled to get the words onto paper. I loved the setting, the characters and the overall idea, but it just wasn’t working. Even now, I can’t quite put my finger on what is wrong with it. All I know is it doesn’t have the spark, the electricity it needs to keep the reader gripped.
Many times I considered setting it aside and starting something new, but I was concerned I was being wooed by the sparkly new ideas, and if I let that happen once, there was a chance I’d never finish another novel.
Thank goodness for my wonderful Romaniac friends. They guided, advised, consoled, energised and supported me. And in the last few months, The Romaniacs have enjoyed some amazing successes – a number 1 in the UK Kindle chart, agent representation, paperback releases, competition wins, superb reviews – and each one has spurred me on.
They inspired me into action.
So, after a year of slogging away on book 4, I’ve decided The Good Fight has fought its final battle and I’m allowing myself to be wined and dined by the new, sparkly ideas.
I’m in that exciting phase of discovering new characters, researching new issues, and opening a new Word document. I have a title, which Catherine, Sue and I work-shopped last week – a fabulous session over tapas and cocktails, or in my case, soda and lime – and I know how I want the story to evolve. I can feel it. I realise that is an element missing from The Good Fight. I cannot feel it. It hasn’t hit me in the stomach or made its presence felt. The new story arrived as a mass of feelings and emotions which I could not ignore, which is how I know it is right for me to move on.
The Good Fight may come into its own one day, but for now I’m going with my gut instinct.
Enough is enough.
And yes, I am singing along to Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer.