Tuesday, October 2, 2012

When Do You Give Up On a Book?

I'm writing my 6th book right now. And my 7th. The only book I have actually gotten published is my 3rd. Here's a little breakdown of my books.

1: The Last Heir: Wrote in 2008: YA classic fantasy
2: The Solindran Stone: Wrote in 2009: YA contemporary fantasy
3: Not Your Average Fairy Tale: Wrote in 2010: YA contemporary fantasy
4: Bound: Wrote half in 2010 and half in 2012: YA urban fantasy
5: Inbetween: Wrote in 2011: YA paranormal
6: Not Your Average Happy Ending: Writing now: YA contemporary fantasy
7: Super Secret Project: Writing now

So, out of all of those, only one is published and one its sequel is under contract.

What do I do with all the leftovers?

I really want to re-write book #1. It's so overwhelming right now though, so that won't happen for a while. I wish I could re-write #2, but some books can't even be re-written to save. That one will never see the light of day. Unfortunately.

Believe it or not, sometimes you have to write a crappy book and then dissect the good scenes and put them in another book. In my case, that's exactly what happened. Book #2 has a bunch of scenes in it that I pulled and stuck into book #6. Never throw anything away. Especially an old manuscript.

Book #4 I've always had a love/hate relationship with, and I've finally figured out that I hated the main character. I loved the love interest though and he may make an appearance in book #7 instead.

Book #5 was written at the wrong time, since no one is taking paranormal anymore. Maybe someday.

It makes me kind of sad to have that many books written but most of them aren't published. But then I think about how much I've learned and how far I've come in writing all of them. I've gotten better with each one. I can tell and my readers/crit partners can tell. Each book is a part of me and a great learning experience. And you never know. A few of them may be published someday. It's just not the right time at the moment.

I've recieved plenty of rejections over the past few years. Most of my books weren't ready to query, but when I was a newbie I didn't know that. Even now that I know more about writing, I still get rejections. The bottom line? This business is super hard. REALLY HARD. But I keep writing my books, hoping that an agent will love one of my ideas and take a chance on me. Someday.

Don't give up. Even if you've shelved 5 manuscripts like me. Perfecting your craft takes time. No need to rush it. :)

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Fire and Ice

Jolene Perry


Katie Dodge said...

I need to find out about this secret project of yours. We don't talk enough anymore!! And btw, you're pretty awesome to be able to come up with as many ideas as you do. It takes me forever to come up with just one!

Emily R. King said...

I have about the same stats as you. In fact, I decided not to query my most recent MS, the one I did the rewrite for. It's paranormal romance, which is not an "in" genre now.
You're right though, I don't regret any of them. And I've written all over the map! I have an adult contemporary I loved writing, but don't feel it's my break-out novel, ya know? Funny how we start to think of the market as we write our later stories. With the first one, I didn't consider my platform, etc.

Steph Sessa said...

This is such a great post! I've kind-of been wondering the same thing, though I am not even close to as far along as you are. (Revisions on my first MS, and drafting a second). I feel like I'm so stubborn that I won't know when to quit a MS. But since I haven't queried yet, I'll just wait and see what happens.

Suzi said...

I have many manuscripts sitting because I just moved onto other things. I hope to jump back into them someday, but they'll all need a lot of work because I wrote them before I knew anything about writing! :)

Cynthia Lee said...

I finished a first draft of a book but I didn't like it so I shelved it.

I started another book and took those same characters that I'd worked with for nearly a year and put them into a totally different story.

I love it how that happens sometimes. :)

Jessie Humphries said...

My first two books will never see the light of day! But this third one...just might! :)

Jess said...

Thanks for the encouragement! I'm about to revise manuscript #9 and I'm almost done with a first draft of #10, so this was a great post for me to read. I'll keep plugging away :)

Krista McLaughlin said...

Great advice! I'm currently working my sixth novel and the first four I wrote will probably never see the light of day. I'd really like to revise the fourth one, but it might be quite a while before I can. It's okay to have a few abandoned manuscripts on the shelves. :)

Anonymous said...

Great post! Perfecting the craft does take time. I always forget that! I have so many books written, most of them never past the first draft. I always thought they were a waste until not so long ago I realized I didn't even like the genre I was writing in. So it wasn't necessarily a waste, just a really long step in the right direction. ;)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Awesome post! I have been trying to revive the first one I ever wrote. It's pretty much a total re-do, but I love the characters and hate to let them go. I never thought of just putting them in another story...great advice!!

Tammy Theriault said...

Keep it up! Everything happens in it's right time.. :)

Angela Cothran said...

I've got a project I've set aside for a while, before I can tackle it with new eyes :)

ELAdams said...

Great post! I shelved my first two completed novels, but I've taken aspects from them and incorporated them into other books. It's interesting how so many ideas are easily reusable. My first two books were rejected multiple times mainly based on the plot, but I still love the characters and I definitely plan to reuse them at some point!

Rebecca Taylor said...

I know it's hard to look back on all that work sometimes, but every single one brought you closer to your dream that is happening right now. Such an amazing perspective you have.