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Should I save it or trash it?

May 20, 2010

You have a gazillion manuscripts sitting in your drawer. Each time you go near that desk, the alarm of dread sounds off in your head. You know you should pick up one of those rejected piece of craps that you’ve slaves hours, days, weeks, and months over. But it’s that alarm that stops you. The drawer opens and you remember that dreaded R that you’d received months ago from an editor.

Don’t be afraid. It is scary. You can open that file on your computer and say to yourself that it such a good story, why didn’t they want it? I think every writer goes through it. The key is being able to realize yourself whether or not that manuscript can be saved since you’ve poured your heart and soul into that story. The characters miss you.

Now that you’ve had a break from that rejected manuscript, it’s time to go back and ask yourself why it was rejected? Did the plot make sense? Were your characters shining through the story or were they just cardboard heads floating around? Or maybe they did something stupid or reacted obnoxiously wrong? Were there motivations and goals achieved or were they just along for the ride?

So many things to think about but it’s great to leave a story alone for a while and see how much you’ve grown as a writer since completing that first story.

My draw is filled, my computer holds file I dread to open but I’ve grown immensely as a writer. Some manuscripts can be saved and only you would know. Or actually a crit partner comes in very handy. I wouldn’t know what to do without my girls.

Every writer has their own unique strength and voice and it’s up to you whether or not you act on making things happen.

I opened an old rejected MS intending to resubmit to another publishing house and rewriting is a lot of hard work, but necessary for anyone who wants to succeed. My story had major character flaws, unbelievable event occurrences, and not enough emotional growth. As a writer and editor, I’m unable to spot my own flaws, but after putting it aside for months, I’ve opened my eyes and worked up the courage to open that particular story up because I know there’s potential.

It’s just how you learn from your mistakes and handle them, how you pick yourself up from rejections and keep writing. Anything is possible.

Do you have an MS you’re afraid to look at? Whip it out! Decide for yourself whether or not it can be saved. Maybe with the right corrections and fixes, it could be a best-seller! Not all pub houses have the same preferences or likes. You never know if you don’t try!

Happy writing!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2010 9:45 am

    So true. I’m always struggling to decide how much rewriting to do, or if I should take what I’ve learned and start another book. I don’t want to give up on something too soon, nor do I want to waste time on an old MS that I should just leave alone when I could be working on something new. Constant battle. =)

    • May 20, 2010 3:48 pm

      So very true. That’s what I’m struggling with, but I love this old story I wrote. Thing is, it might not be smart to try and save. Definitely a constant battle. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. May 20, 2010 6:12 pm

    I totally understand this. I’ve been trying to rework this one manuscript for SO long, and I’ve put it away and decided not to look at it for awhile. Last summer, I went through my backfiles and trashed four projects that I’d been working on that just weren’t going anywhere, and that put a fire in my bones. So I trashed everything that I hadn’t worked on in the last month. It was *liberating* 🙂

    I’m thinking I might have to go through another cull this summer…

    Love the post. 🙂

    • May 20, 2010 6:57 pm

      Awesome! At least you tried and you figured it out. Love that liberating feel. Almost as good as sending off a MS to an editor. Alright, not quite.

      Thanks so much.

  3. May 29, 2010 6:28 am

    I have a few from long ago that I get urges to pull out. The stuff I’ve done in the last few years, I tend to just put away. 😀 OTOH, I don’t have anything but the most recent that has been rejected. Only two things I’ve officially subbed around–one to agents and one to an epublisher. Give me a few more rejections and maybe I’ll be where you are. *hugs*

    • May 29, 2010 7:51 pm

      LOL. You’re a great writer, Bethanne and optimistically speaking, maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones without the R’s. I know how dedicated and hardworking you are. You can do it!

      Good luck!

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