Friday, November 4, 2011

When should you give up on a story?

I started NaNoWriMo this year with a story about selkies. It was going to be a paranormal something or other with family drama and, of course, lots of the ocean. I had two pretty sweet opening lines . . . and then I didn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't have any passion for the idea as a whole. I wrote 428 words and decided that I hated my story.

So I decided to write something different.

A lot of people will tell you to push through those kinds of blocks. They'll tell you to ignore the shiny new idea, and 99% of the time, that is the advice you should follow. Today I'm going to tell you about that elusive 1%.

When you're writing, you should always be writing something you love. I'm not talking about the quality of the writing or turning off your inner editor, I'm talking about the idea itself. Because if you love your idea and the potential behind it, you can write some horrible stuff and still be happy. If not, well, you'll struggle for every word and you'll bleed for every new plot point.

If your writing is a nightmare, try evaluating your story. Is it the kind of story that you have passion for? If so, is it an idea that maybe needs to marinate for a while? And are you forcing yourself to write something that you don't love? These questions are important, especially when it comes to your writerly morale.

Have any of you ever dropped a novel idea that just wasn't working? I, uhh, kind of has a history of it. Anyway, if you're participating in NaNo, what are you writing and why do you love that idea? Tell me in the comments!