When to let go, and move on to something that wants to be done

Here recently, while waiting to hear from an agent about my first novel, I’ve been working on another novel-length piece about a girl who discovers she has an amazing talent, and the adventures (and horrors) she finds as she explores it. But it’s stalled; the characters don’t want to work, the ending is unbelievably trite, and the pace is lackluster at best. All things that could and would be fixed in the rewrites, but I’m leaving it in the “trunk” for now. Why?

Because I’ve got this rough, drunken, unlikable slob of a fellow running around in my head demanding I tell HIS story. In this one, the characters are busting their asses for me, the ending I have in mind should be dynamite, and the pace is lively. Guess which one sounds like more fun?

Now, I could “shoulder through” the first one, or focus on the new one. I think I’ll pick the one that wants to be written the most. That’s not to say I won’t at some point take another look at the other one; maybe things will have picked up by then.

“In the end, you write the book that grabs you by the throat and demands to be written.” –Salman Rushdie


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