Home » Laura's Posts » Life Cycle of a Writer: When is Enough Enough?

Life Cycle of a Writer: When is Enough Enough?

When is Enough Enough?

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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.

Laura xx

 

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10 thoughts on “Life Cycle of a Writer: When is Enough Enough?

  1. Pingback: When is Enough Enough? - Laura E. James

    • Thanks, Kathy. I think it’s a story to which I shall return when I’ve found the missing piece.

  2. I love this. Thank you so much for sharing it. A lot of writers think quitting is the worst thing you can do but I do not agree. I think you know yourself and your writing process and your projects better than anyone. And I think you know when something is not working and when you need to move on. Who knows? You may come back to this someday and realize exactly what was wrong and how to fix it. In the meantime, you’ll have written something you love. 🙂

    • My pleasure, Sarah. And I agree. Until I figure out what’s missing I can’t progress the story, but I’ll keep it nearby in the meantime, just not front and centre. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. I think sometimes when you feel like this the best way is to look at it as a reader would, and ask yourself what would keep you wanting to turn the pages. Then weave that idea into the story 🙂

    • That’s a great tip, Terry, thanks 🙂 I think it will be good to take a step back from this manuscript and mull over such questions.

  4. Laura, I know exactly what you mean. Have lots of sparkly ideas trying to woo me away from book 2 at the moment. I’ve given in a little to work on a short story and on some flash fiction, which is kind of cheating on book 2, but still staying married to it! Best of luck with your new projects, and it’s fantastic to see so many of the Romaniacs doing so well.x

    • Thanks, Anita 🙂 I think it’s fair to say The Good Fight and I are currently separated. Good luck with your writing projects, too 🙂 x

  5. I think some things simply aren’t meant to be. Sometimes you come to a dead end and then you’re rescued, often by another thought that takes your work in a compeltely different direction and moves the whole thing on. It might be worth holding onto The Good Fight though, as you could quite easily come back to it later on and see what you need to do to give it that kiss of life and get it moving again xx

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