At some time or another, we all get a story idea that doesn’t seem like something that will fit into nicely within a particular genre. I’ve been battling with one such story. It was the first novel I wrote and it’s become better as I’ve improved as a writer.
It was out on submission for over a year and at the end of that time, the publisher declined to buy the book. One good thing came of that experience, in that, they submitted the book to our education ministry. The report was very positive, except that the book wasn’t something they’d recommend for the school curriculum as it focused on the ‘affective’. Yeah, I learned a new word too. In essence, the book arouses emotion. (In this case, emotion that can lead to downfall.)
Now since this story is dear to my heart, I’ve been pondering what to do with it. It’s a little outside the norm for YA fiction. There is domestic violence and a child witnesses an argument that leads to a fatality. This, in turn, causes the family to be split up.
I’m coming up to a break in the books I’m working on. Meaning, I’m writing one, editing another and will have room for something else, since Distraction will be out this week. I’ve had good comments from other writers about the YA story and the book won a medal in a local creative writing competition. Also, it’s been haunting me for a while, especially since I wrote a stand-alone sequel for the MC’s brother and have moved on to the third book in the series.
|The sky is the limit when we dream!|
It takes me a while to make decisions and so I leave unresolved things hanging in the background while I work on other stuff. I had a look at the book yesterday and think it’s time for another edit. That will keep me occupied and dissuade me from starting something else, when I have so many books unfinished.
Writing a plan is the smart thing to do. Some writers make a list, so they can track their accomplishments. I like lists and they help keep me in order, but in my writing, things work a little differently. I move with the project that’s calling my name. Having kept this novel of my heart under wraps since 2004, I think it’s time to move forward.
How do you treat such projects? D’you allow them to languish on your hard drive for years or do you work at them, stopping at nothing to get to the finish line?