I Killed My Novel
***So this is a very difficult thing for me to write about, but I feel like I need to say it. It is generally shorter than my usual posts, but I don’t really want to dwell on it too much. I want these opinion-rants to have as much value to you guys as my usual posts, and I think that there is a lesson to be learned in this. I hope you enjoy. If you want more content like this, you can find it on my blog.***
Honestly, I’m at a loss for words here. It happened to me. I know everyone says “It will never happen to me”, and at times I said that too. Granted, I always knew that it was always a possibility purely down to statistics (I’m not the first writer that this has happened to), but I always knew that I would be able to avoid that fate. I fucking wish.
I was nearly done. About 90% done with the first draft of my epic fantasy novel. So damn close. Then it happened. I realized the scary truth… My novel is dead.
My novel died, but not because I failed to follow my own advice. No, my book bit the big one because of an entirely different reason. It was my first real attempt at fiction and of course I would make some mistakes. Unfortunately I made mistakes so fucking humungous that, short of changing the story entirely (which defeats the purpose), is basically unfixable.
And before you say it, no it isn’t a matter of needing some good edits. It’s a matter of holes in the story’s setting that would need to be changed so much that the story would change. Trust me. I looked at it from every angle. It can’t be saved.
I’m not gonna lie… It fucking sucks. It makes me want to scream and pull my hair out. I want to just eat a tub of ice-cream and cry…
But I won’t.
Yeah, after writing over 115’000 words that essentially won’t ever see the light of day, I would be entitled to a bit of crying.
But I won’t.
Why not? Because nothing good ever came of it. What’s crying going to do? Revitalize my novel and turn it into a masterpiece? Not very likely. No, crying and complaining wouldn’t have done jack-shit. Instead, I’ll just look forward.
I am a writer. I write. More stories will come. Eventually I’ll have my Magnum Opus out there. This just wasn’t it. If I give up now, I’ll never have that. If I give up, my stories will never see the bookstore shelf. So I press on.
Besides, it’s not like it was a total waste. All those hours and days I poured into it didn’t just evaporate into nothingness. No. Those are hours of real, tangible practice and experience. I learned things. I sharpened my skills. I improved my craft. I got better. My writing has improved and I definitely think that that is noting to scoff at. Now my future books will be better. My future novels will be better off because this one failed. Almost like a necessary sacrifice. It wasn’t a complete loss. I grew as a writer and artist from this experience. So I press on.
We must all press on. Unfortunately these things can and sometimes will happen. Life kicks you in the nuts sometimes. Sure you’ll fall to the ground, but you might as well get back up sometime, right? So I’ll keep working on stories. I have tons of ideas. Eventually I’ll write something remarkable. Until then, I’ll keep writing. ’Cause that’s what we writers do, isn’t it?