by Dave White
I recently did something I've never done before.
I took a novel I was 70 pages into writing and started it over. I didn't hate what I had written earlier, and I didn't lose the file. In fact, I think it has a great premise, but it was lacking something in those first pages.
And, I think I know what it is.
In opening drafts, I often find myself following a formula. Characters fall into the old tricks of the genre and the story, while it has it's moments, ends up being same old same old. I know what a thriller is SUPPOSED to look like and when I hit a road block, I take the easy way out.
Often, I tried to edit and re-write that out of my drafts in subsequent rewrites.
But this novel, the original one, I was hitting EVERY beat. And it felt forced. I would write myself into a corner and another corner and another corner, to the point where I stopped writing it.
I hate when that happens, too. I feel less and less like a writer, and my focus goes elsewhere (though I do get tense, as I wrote a few weeks ago).
So I had to jumpstart things.
So I started over. I got some new inspiration, looked at a character differently, and am going to try again.
It's slow going right now, but we'll see how it turns out.
Have you ever started a novel over? Reading one or writing one?