How do you know when to throw in the towel?
Posted 04 November 2016 - 08:09 AM
I have a finished MS that I'm querying now. This is the second time I've tried sending it out.
The first time I queried it, I sent it out to about 50 agents. I got a good number of positive responses to my query and requests for partials and fills. But ultimately, they all rejected it.
I revised the novel heavily and I'm sending it out again, but I'm getting the same responses from agents. They like the premise and query but reject the MS.
Based on their responses, I think I have a good idea that's marketable, but my writing isn't good enough. I can't execute my idea well.
I could go back and revise again....but a part of me wonders if this MS is supposed to be my "learning" book. The one I worry and fret over but ultimately I can't save it, so it ends up under my bed. I wonder if I should let it go and move on.
Has anyone else felt this way? What did you do?
Posted 04 November 2016 - 10:41 AM
Have you started another book? You should. This could, indeed, be your learning book, but that doesn't mean it won't be published someday. It just means that it isn't ready now.
I would advise you to begin work on a new project and slow down the querying on this one. Apply the knowledge you acquired during revisions to your new book. And if you don't have critique partners, find them. The feedback you give to others will teach you much about the craft of your own work.
Don't despair. Most of us have novels stashed in a drawer somewhere.
Posted 04 November 2016 - 01:41 PM
I have CPs and had several look at my first MS. They were helpful, but maybe what I really need is time and distance. To grow a little myself and then decide if the book is worth fighting for.
Posted 04 November 2016 - 04:55 PM
Yeah, I have a stashed novel, and I'm working an R & R for my second. I feel more like I understand why the first novel didn't quite work--with which I went through the same process you went through--and have some plans on turning it into something else someday. Keep writing, and make sure you're loving what your writing.
Posted 06 November 2016 - 11:14 PM
Definitely write something new. Letting go of a novel that is almost there is the HARDEST. I recently have been dealing with this and it has broken my heart and I slipped into a small fit of depression about it because of how hard it was to move forward after putting so much into that manuscript and getting SO CLOSE. I still don't think I've fully processed what it means.
Writing something new will allow you to get some space between yourself and that "just not quite good enough" manuscript, and it might even give you insight into it you were unable to see before. Also, your writing ability will probably get better if you work on something new. That old manuscript isn't "done", you might still get a chance to get it together one day, but I would think working on something new right now is the healthiest thing you can do.
The advice above about a writing partner or group can also be huge. That is by far the biggest thing that has allowed me to grow and get better as a writer, and is something I would suggest to anyone and everyone.
Good luck and hang in there. You're not alone.
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