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Back to the beginning…

Do you ever read a manuscript or piece of work you’ve written and think, ‘Something’s just not right…’ Then spend weeks trying to work out what it is, and usually it’s one small thing, but you know that one small thing means you will have to re-write the entire thing?

Well, guess what…

It’s happened to me 😀

I have been struggling and struggling to finish my current manuscript. I knew it wasn’t the characters, it wasn’t the story, and it wasn’t the setting. Everything was great, in fact, I am really proud of what I’ve come up with.

But it was how I had laid out the story.

It was wrong, and just wasn’t working.

So, although it’s hard to get rid of over 50,000 words of work, I’m going to have to do it.

I will be starting from scratch, working out a better plan and beginning again.

It’s going to be tough and hard work, but it needs to be done. Deep down I know how amazing this story will be with this one change, even if it means starting over everything again. Back to the beginning for me!

But, it’s going to be worth it!

Now to hit that, ‘Delete’ button… Urgh!

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Going back to the beginning! – Planning.
Total word count: 0.

Books read towards goal: 1/50
Currently reading: The Creative Writing Workbook by Matthew Branton.

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52 thoughts on “Back to the beginning…

    • I wish I’d decided to start again earlier. I had been thinking about it for a while, but didn’t have the heart to give up on so much work! 😀 But I am really glad I’ve done it now!

  1. I had to do that with my current WIP, but it was worth it. I finally finished my third attempt at that book, and it’s so much stronger than it would’ve been. Enjoy the journey of this next draft! Usually I find fresh attempts easier than my first attempts–do you?

  2. I have a sinking feeling about my third manuscript. All the stories fit together, and I can’t get rid of any of the story lines but one of them isn’t as strong. Ugh. I think it needs to be re-written!

  3. It’s frustrating when you can’t place your finger on what needs to be changed, but hopefully a fresh start (not completely, I hope) will help you figure it out. Wishing you the best!

  4. I’ve had to do it at 15,00 words and it was painful. In the long run you really want to be satisfied with it. I had a 70,000 word manuscript that required so much editing it almost wasn’t fun anymore.

  5. That’s really tough luck Mishka. I’m so sorry. But, just imagine what it’s going to be like this time round.
    With all the work you already have I hope it goes from zero to superb in no time at all.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  6. Good luck! I just had to do that in the summer, after spending almost ten years finishing the manuscript because of college and grad school getting in the way. The agent who sent my manuscript back said the concept was fabulous, but she didn’t fall in love with the manuscript. To me, that meant the execution didn’t work. And seeing as some of the writing was nearly ten years old, and some only a few months old at the time, I started from page one again, and now it’s better than ever. I’m still not done because of work constraints, but it’s been worth it, despite the aggravation.

    • Getting rid of hard work (especially 10 year worth!) can be a little more than heart breaking, but as you’ve experienced, it’s worth it in the end! At least, that’s what I keep telling myself at the moment 😀

  7. It sounds as though you know the exact direction to take now, which is exciting in itself. I can relate to going back to the drawing board because things aren’t working out, but I have faith in you 🙂

  8. Pingback: Done! | Full-Time Writer Mom

  9. Ok. I’ve wiped more than that, Even when I get out there on that tightrope, I sill keep the original cos I may use that elsewhere. Bits of it anyway. But I do know if something isn’t working there’s a reason.

  10. Just think of it as a second draft, rather than a complete re-write… it won’t seem so daunting, then. I’ve had to do it with sections, and short stories, but never with a whole novel yet. Mind you, I’ve only written two so far lol!

    • I think losing work to tech problems can hurt worse than making the decision to start again. The relationships with computers really are love/hate at times!

      Thank you so much for the kind encouragement! 🙂

  11. I can definitely understand what it’s like to start all over. I have faced that certainly even with projects outside of writing. But it’s definitely better to be content with your work and produce something you can be proud of. I know your story is going to be great 🙂

    • You’re right, it really is better to restart it now, then keep struggling the way I was going and then not publish it because I’m not happy with! Thank you so much for the encouragement 🙂

  12. I admire your decision to start over. It’s hard to kill our darlings, isn’t it, especially 50,000 words! Glad you have a better plan and, above all, desire quality.

    I threw out a manuscript I spent years writing and revising. It never worked. Took awhile for me to see that. I took some of the characters out of that failed book and put them in a totally different manuscript. If I had pursued that first book, this book would never have come about.

    • It’s all about knowing what’s right for you, if the writing is a struggle to get through, it’s better to just take a step back and start over. It’s certainly going better for me now 😀

  13. Ouch, that’s tough. I hate having to delete something I’ve written, but sometimes it’s necessary. I’m sure that if you feel the story will be the stronger for it, it’ll be worth it in the end.

    • If I had kept going with it, I don’t think I would have published it because I wouldn’t have been happy with it. So, better to cut my losses now and go for it over again, right? 😀

  14. UGH! Yes, I know that EXACT feeling. I actually have two that I need to rearrange the layout before they can be complete. I love the stories, characters, etc., but the order is wrong. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this, but glad to know I’m not the only one. 🙂 Best wishes! ❤

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