When we start a story, it's because we love it-- the idea, the characters, the setting, the adventure of discovering all those things. For me, that's why I write. Because I love the discovery and the creation of a new story.
So what happens when you're not sure you love it any more? When you want to give up and just bury it/burn it/cry over it and tuck it lovingly in a drawer?
I mean, of course we get discouraged. We have moments when we have no idea how to fix a plot hole, or we've worked on it forever and just need a break. But what about when you really do want to just give up on this story and move on?
The first thing to do: wait.
Wait until morning, or until the stress and joy of your sister's wedding is over, or until you're not sick. In other words, wait until you can get a little perspective.
Then look at the story again. Look at what, in particular, has you frustrated and discouraged. Are you sure you want to be done?
I started asking myself that question this week. Was this story what I wanted it to be? I'm getting toward the end-- close to sending it out into the querying world. Did I want this story out there as a representation of me? Well, the short answer is that the story WASN'T where I wanted it to be. So the question changed: was I willing to put in the work to make it what I wanted?
And I decided yes, I was. I love this story. I know what I want it to be, and it's really not very far off. Sometimes, you do have to decide to let a story go. And that's okay--I've done it before. But this story is worth the fight for me.
So, my friends, have you ever wanted to let a story go? How did you decide to do it-- or not to do it?