Don’t Give up on Your Book Before You’re Through: A Reminder

If ever there was any doubt as to do I use this blog as a personal help along with my writing, well, I hope this clears it. (In other words, cloudy mornings and the Third Werewolf Novel, combined, make me cranky.)

I’m sure it would be easier to leave your unfinished, unpolished copy be, but…

You’ve already written more than a half of the projected initial wordcount. Do you really want to quit now?* There’s something to be said about finishing first drafts, indeed, but justifying quitting in the second half of the game is not a part of it. Not today.

It’s the setting of your dreams—and you get to play in it. You’ve carved it out from your own memories, ideas, half-forgotten facts, semi-finished research, your wish folder, whatever you have, and you’ve actually managed, after so much time, to make it work. Why the hell would you let it go now, when you’re so close to revealing a great new tidbit about the world to the, um, world?

You love the characters. You’ve already spent so much time with them—and, possibly, not only you, but your reader(s), sounding boards, friends, family, etc., too. You’ve already polished up their motivation as far as it goes, you’ve jotted down what their parents had for dinner when they were born (or not), you’ve crafted them out to the best of you capabilities of having fun, and now you’re ready to give up on them and leave them hanging on the eve of the ball? I don’t think so.

There are people whom this book will make happy. Fun fact—you might not even know about it. But it’s always worth remembering that the readers (—is that the scariest word out there? it might as well be—) have completely different opinions on our own copy, and they just might love something we’ve thought the worst thing we’ve ever written. (Or close to it.) If you don’t finish the book, you won’t be able to get it out there, and you’ll miss on a good chance to make somebody happy. Is it really worth to miss that?

When you finish this one, you’ll get to play in another book. If nothing else gets you writing, think of this one. Think of your next book. And the next. Do you want to be writer of books or a writer of almost-books? Not-quite-books? I’m aware that thinking of the next project doesn’t always work for everybody, least of all me—lest I go write the said next project first—but it’s always better to have something done than to leave it hanging. I’ve already got a huge amount of unfinished, old copy. These days I have a strong preference towards finished drafts.

If you crawl a bit faster towards the grand finale of the book, you’ll (finally) get to write the big confrontations and emotional conflicts you’ve been dying to write while patiently typing out the first half of the story. Do you really want to give up on the chance of having your two parties and their respective footsoldiers meet under stark moonlight in the canyon of your hometown’s biggest river while their feet and their paws keep getting wet and muddy, and fight their friends and reconsider sides right up until *the event* we’ve all been waiting for occurs and changes everything? Do you really wish to skip all that, just because you don’t feel like writing it anymore?

Nope… you most definitely do not.

Or, let me rephrase that for a sec…

Not. Fucking. Today.

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*(There’s a really old and really bad joke in Croatian which goes something like: ‘I’m tired.’ ‘You’re right. Let’s to back.’ And the protagonists of the joke go back climbing over the 99 walls they’ve already climbed across because they were too tired to finish the race by climbing the 100th wall. The sad part—the joke actually makes so much sense, even years later, to me.)

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Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash.