The stories that won’t go away

A while ago I described the epic destruction of my second novel What if your story is boring?. For starters it was a solid idea. Sadly the storyline was not. 

Shred Pic 1


It was tough to shred months of hard work but it is what it is. I am a firm believer we didn’t choose this line or work, they chose us.

Monday morning was a new beginning. I was cautious in a way one would be if they were stepping on glass. But it wasn’t the story I was cautious with.

I was cautious with myself.


Can I sell it?

If I believe in something I can sell it. Just ask Sears when I worked for them during my college years. I could sell you a hammer in your sleep. But there was something in this story that I couldn’t sell and the person I couldn’t sell it to was me.

There was a doubt I couldn’t shake. A feeling that my balance was a little off. The shirt was a bit too tight. The hat to loose. You get the idea.


The audience wasn’t buying it.

cautious 1

Some writers can get past this. They put their head down and plow through to the finish line. I envy you if you are the one reading this.

Unfortunately for me there’s no plowing. There is no knocking over boulders and there’s no finish line. If I can’t feel it I can’t write it.  

When I completed my Monday morning writing things were different. There was no frustration. No regret. I started feeling the same way when I wrote book one.


It was exciting.


I could finally see the protagonist. I could feel him and in some ways I could relate to his troubles. That’s a good thing.

I saw him stumble and laugh when he was tossed out of his comfort zone. It didn’t take long for the confidence in me to come back. That tiny smile you and I have where we say – I got this.

I always understood the supporting characters but now I know where they fit. As we all know this is a puzzle we’re creating and sometimes we choose the wrong piece, or worse, the wrong box.

In this crazy journey sometimes the story chooses us. I’ve always envisioned pockets of stories floating around like clouds and every so of often they rain down on one of us.

That’s what this story has done to me.

It entered my mind years ago. A crazy scene that made me laugh. That little moment is all it took for the cloud of ideas to appear.


I am grateful it hasn’t given up on me.

It seems to know I messed up but a pat on the back and a promise for better days is all I really need. I am amazed at its patience.

This story reminds me of a best friend who looks past a bad moment and sees the big picture. They know what we’re trying to do and they’ll make sure we achieve it.

So here I go. Draft one all over again but this time it’s a much better feeling. I’m traveling along a far better road. The conversations are a whole lot livelier, the scenery a tad bit brighter.

I’m curious where this idea is taking me. It’s funny, I’m not the most patient guy in the world but times are a changing.

Rainy books


24 thoughts on “The stories that won’t go away

    1. Anytime we have to delete a piece of writing it is a stab to the heart, no matter how big or small. We work so hard on these things but we have to be honest with ourselves and sometimes that’s the last thing we want.

      Thanks Paul.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I feel nauseous thinking about scraping a whole novel. Still, it’s better to scrap it now, than plow through editing only to end up back at square one. I get the sense that this new draft is flowing and I wish you all the luck in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is, Lorraine. I say that with confidence because the feeling I have now is the same feeling I had when I wrote my first novel. I knew I was doing something right. I’m not sure I’m explaining it correctly but I’m sure all of you know what I mean.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow you are a much more discplined writer than I. I’m over halfway through draft one of my first (maybe only) book. It’s a memoir of two yeas of biking 10,000 miles. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m doing it, 500 words per day or more, when I’m not blogging. But tossing out a whole novel? I can’t imagine. Success to you this time!


      1. That’s a high honor coming from a published author… actually needing to figure out what to do with draft one. Beta readers? (You?) Put it on Patreon? Workshop with a group? PS Do you bike?


  4. Junking an entire draft seems so harsh a thing, but in effect I have done it myself (I have re-written two finished novels almost from the ground up, although I never had physical copies of them to shred). Good luck with the new version. It’s certainly good that you are feeling it this time round …


  5. Hi Eleanor. So much of it comes down to being true to the people I write about. I wasn’t being honest. No way I could face them if I continued. Thank you for stopping by.


  6. This sounds like me with my current WIP. I’ve restarted it a half-dozen times. I’m feeling better about it now, but there’s still something eluding me. I’ll probably figure it out by the time I power through the first three-quarters of the draft 😮


  7. I don’t think I could ever shred my work like that. I’d keep it for another time for when I can make it work. Even if that was never to come.
    I can totally relate to the seller part of your post. It’s not easy.
    Good luck with the rest of your journey.


  8. I think I understand what you mean Bryan!

    I don’t think I could do that to my first draft (which I’m still editing!) BUT just because of all the sentimental value 🙂

    I started as a “pantser” so this first draft is such a mess I often feel like abandoning! BUT I learned SO MUCH writing it! Like, the importance of plotting! LOL

    I have never been good about “abandoning” or “giving up on” anything, which is a two-sided trait of course! 🙂

    I’m about 40% done editing it so I think I will finish. 🙂

    Then if my CP or Beta readers hate it then, yes, I will probably abandon it and move on to my 2nd WIP which I’m already plotting 🙂

    Good luck with your next project!


  9. Hi Daniela. Thank you for your comment.

    This is such a personal experience. All of us learn in our own way. There is no right or wrong about it. My hope is that your readers will enjoy what they see which will allow you to build in the next draft. Stop by again and let me know how it’s coming along.


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