If you are following both The Prosers and my personal blog, you should know that although the beginnings are similar, the 2 posts are very different, so keep reading!
I'm a great starter. A finisher? Not so much.
I became aware of the direness of the situation when Sheena, Sabrina and I finished the rough draft of Ironwood, and for some reason, I was completely pumped up about starting the sequel--immediately. For various reasons, which probably included sanity, Sabrina and Sheena were not ready to dive right into writing another book, and there was only so far I could go without their input (to be precise, I could write one chapter. One stuffed full of stuff chapter.)
In an effort to direct all that energy somewhere, I brainstormed a whole new story, which became novel number 11 on my list of unfinished manuscripts. I was surprised how much I liked the idea I came up with. Usually I allow my ideas to start more organically, but it was almost like this one had been in my head all along, waiting for me to notice it. I was having a fantastic time plotting and developing characters when I stumbled upon some correspondence from several years ago. I was struck by one thing--my writing career hasn't really changed much over the years, except that my stack of rough drafts has grown exponentially.
We aren't being true to our stories if we never get them into good enough shape to share them with the world. Besides, I'd be lying if I said I didn't hope to make a few dollars at this hobby of mine. How about you? Where is your novel on the journey to the finish line? Take this little quiz and find out:
The Finish That Novel Quiz by
Your score for this quiz is the number which most accurately reflects your book's current condition:
1. I have lots of ideas floating around in my head, but I never seem to find the time to turn them into a novel. Someday I'm going to write one though.
2. I'm in the middle of writing a book.
3. I've written a manuscript, but it needs so much work, I've put it away for now. It's resting.
4. I get lost in the maze of editing. When I first wrote it, my book seemed nearly perfect, but once I sent it out to be critiqued, I became very discouraged with how much there was to do.
5. I polished that manuscript until it gleamed. And then I let it sit there. I really want to go the traditional publishing route, but it seems impossible.
6. I've looked at the pros and cons of traditional publishing versus self-publishing, and I've made my decisions. I've got a plan, and I'm moving forward in a systematic way. Meanwhile, I've started writing something else.
7. It's been published! Now I have a marketing plan, and I'm out there. I never thought I'd end up being a salesman, but apparently that's what waited for me at the end of this road.
Wherever you are on the list, stop fretting about getting to 7. Your goal is simply to move to the next level.
7=The End! Congratulations! but don't stay here. I hope you are already lower on the list with another book. The End is no fun all by itself.
I hope you can use this quiz to help you move forward. This is how it helped me:
First, I made a list of all my rough drafts. That was harder than you might have thought. One book was stuck in a folder of another book's stuff. One book I apparently wrote three times. (Completely different versions. Seriously.) You can see my complete list here. Then I committed to move 2 of my novels to the next stage, with 2 more on the backburner to move forward when the opportunity presents itself.
Where are you and your novel on your journey?