Abandoning Your Work in Progress

Trying to pull out a project which doesn’t seem to work is the same as staying in the relationship which is doomed for disaster.

You just feel that you’ve invested too much time and energy and you feel afraid of leaving it and trying new things. You remember the enthusiasm from the beginning an of the project and for some reason, you hope that it’s going to come back while the fact is that it is a daunting and exhausting project without any visible sign of success.

Sometimes it’s advisable to stay in the dip and try to figure your way out because very few people get out of there and those who’ve seen the light at the other side of the dip are enjoying a great success now.  

But, sometimes you just need to give up and start something new. Before you do that, make sure that you’ve at least tried these things: 

  • different points of view
  • different plot points
  • different locations
  • outlining
  • writing
  • setting the events chronologically
  • mixing the events
  • merging few characters into one
  • looking your story through the scope of another genre
  • talking to other people about your WIP
  • converting a secondary character into a hero
  • creating strong a climax
  • creating a strong stunning surprise
  • etc

If none of these didn’t help your story to become better, it’s definitely time to shelve it and leave for some other time or perhaps never.

The important thing is not to despair.  It’s normal. Projects fail. The main difference between an amateur writer and the professional is that professional knows that 90% of her writing sucks. She trashes her WIP in progress, starts a new one knowing that she had learned a lot from her failure.

It’s not easy to trash because we get emotionally attached to our writing, but sometimes there is no other solution. So, if your WIP is suffocating you, reconsider tossing it away.