Throwaway Novels

At my writing group this weekend, I started getting this feeling of anxiety.  My novel was losing momentum after about 130 pages and a month of work.

It’s taken me a year to research and outline this novel.  The thought of dropping it went against my grain.  I told the others in the group as much.  This is the part where I get the perseverance talk, the encouragement that the first draft is a crock of shit.  They were going to tell me that I’ve got to stomach through it regardless.  I didn’t expect what I heard.

“So stop writing it,” said one writer.  I’ll call her Chelsea because that’s her name.

Chelsea explained to me she had a handful of novels written and gathering dust in a drawer.  Or as some might call it, Hell for novels.  But she also said she’d never throw them into the garbage or delete them from her computer.

Contrary to my belief you can polish a turd.  You can dig out the diamonds that survived the digestive tract.  And I can already see the diamonds peeking out in this one.  The novel itself might not be right.  The format is skewed, but there are stories in it I enjoyed writing.

The trick now is distilling it to the good bits.

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