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When Is It Time To Give Up On Your Novel?

Aug 12, 2018
 

There comes a time when every writer has to face the awful thought that they may have to kill their manuscript.

 “Often when I sat down to work,” wrote Michael Chabon about a novel he ditched after five years of work. “I would feel a cold hand take hold of something inside my belly and refuse to let go. It was the Hand of Dread. I ought to have heeded its grasp.” 

It's hard to be sure for a while, then when it becomes clear, axing that book feels like a release.

Nothing is ever lost. You learn, you get better. Sometimes, as with the plot a novel, you have to go through a few ordeals to learn to turn and face the enemy. The enemy, in novels and life, is so often internal.  But usually, there's a blind spot. Clarity, vision, can come a little later than you'd like.

If you have more than a niggling feeling that something's wrong with your novel, if you're worried it's not showing any signs of life, here are some clues...

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Happy Writing.

The Novelry.