Revise or RIP: My Abandoned Novel


That’s what I called the novel I wrote in 2017 and partially revised in 2018 while I was trying to come up with an actual title.

Spoiler alert! I still don’t have an actual title.

I never finished revising it and currently it’s sitting in my document folder, staring at me like my cats do when it’s 20 minutes until dinner time and they’re convinced I’ve forgotten about them.

I have not forgotten.

Though I would never give up on my cats, I am debating giving up on Pirates! It’s not that I don’t like it anymore. I do. I just feel like I was an entirely different person when I wrote it. My life is entirely changed and I don’t know that I can go back to it without completely rewriting it.

It’s heartbreaking. I loved that story, those characters, that setting. And I still do. But sometimes you can’t go home again, you know?

Also, in keeping with the theme of pirates, I have plundered that novel and used some of the elements for other stories. For instance, I apparently have a fixation on over-protective older siblings and rebellious younger siblings finding a way to coexist. That theme has appeared in more than one of my stories since I originally wrote about it in Pirates! Is it repetitive to keep returning to that well? Would that make returning to Pirates! pointless?

I mean…the stories are different, but seriously…find a new theme Robin.

On the other hand, is this just example of not finishing something I start? Am I making excuses to follow the shiny new ideas, which will inevitably lead to me never completing anything at all?

When is it time to tough it out and keep going? When is it time to move on? How am I supposed to know the difference?

I don’t yet have an answer for this, but I think I’m going to start by rereading what I already wrote and see if it sparks any joy for me. Marie Kondo isn’t just for physical possessions, you know? If it doesn’t, then maybe it’s time to say goodbye. If it does…well, I guess I’ll have to figure out my next step from there.

Have you ever chosen to quit a project you loved? Have you stuck with a project to the end, even when you weren’t sure you should? Were you happy you did?


Published by Robin J

I’m an aspiring novelist who hasn’t quite figured out this whole writing thing. I’ve been scribbling down stories since I was a little kid, but only dared to dream that I could write something worth reading as I became an adult. At 33, I still feel like I have a lot of progress to make before I’m ready to try publishing, but I’m getting better every day. Typically I write Fantasy (of both the Adult and YA varieties), but I have dipped my toe in Romance and Sci-Fi. When coming up with a story to write, all I care about is that the plot grabs my attention and the characters tug at my heartstrings. The genre is an afterthought. I tend to set myself lofty goals. Mostly I fail, but occasionally I surprise myself and succeed. Either way, I enjoy being pushed beyond the limits of what I thought I could do. That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish with the Milwordy challenge. I may or may not reach the full million words, but I know I’m going to learn a lot along the way. I hope you will, too!

2 thoughts on “Revise or RIP: My Abandoned Novel

  1. As Chuck Wendig would put it, “Finish your shit!”

    No matter how abandoned, how terrible I think my work is, or how I regret starting on the project in the first place, I make sure I have a COMPLETE product regardless. At the very least, I’ll have an actual manuscript ready, instead of the ten half-written ones should I keep abandoning everything I start.

    Wishing you all the best on your own journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, when you put it that way…😄

      You’re right. There is a danger of me never finishing anything if I just keep moving on to the next thing. And even if this novel still isn’t good after revision, I suppose it’s a good learning experience. We all need practice in revision just as much as we do drafting, right?

      Thank you so much for your comment! Best of luck on your writing journey as well!


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