I lost over 80,000 words

I make a lot of mistakes, but this last one is really hard for me to cope with.  I am telling you about it so that you don’t make the same one.  It is a lot of hard work down the drain and I hope that you don’t make the same mistake.

I have lost over 80,000 words.  I would guess that it would be closer to 90,000.  It take be about an hour per 1,000 words.  Sometimes more, sometimes less so we are talking about 90 hours down the tube.

What was my mistake?  I stopped before I finished a book and decided to go back to it later.  When I stopped writing it, it was at 72,000 + words.  Since picking it up I have been working on it for three weeks adding whole chapters and fleshing out others.  80,000-90,000 words isn’t a stretch. Six months after I originally started it, I decided to pick it back up.  I had one major editing project, one short story and one novel that I wrote in between when I first started it and when I picked it back up again.

My writing had changed so much in those months.  The word quality was up.  My descriptions were better.  Action tags were used regularly.  I didn’t have as many bad habits, like using the word that every other sentence.

This would be perfect for editing because the more skills we gain we can apply to the edits and make it look all shiny and new.  Doing original writing in the later half was a bad idea.  You can clearly see where I went from novice author to . . . well, something much better.  I have to either simply the back half or improve the first half.  I have noticed that no matter how much I tweak the first half it feels forced.  If I can notice it then so can my future agent/publisher/reader.

I am at this moment scrapping them.  I am a word pack rat so what that means is I will put it in a folder and condemn it to the folder marked synopsis plus which is where every other failed project goes next to the shiny new ones that are unmarred by more than a simple outline.

Please don’t make my mistakes.  FINISH what you are doing.  Even if it sucks.  Even if it is like pulling teeth.  Finish it because you never know if you will want to come back to it later.


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