To paraphrase a song from “Evita”:
“Oh, but it’s sad when your draft novel dies,
the opening and closing of doors.
But your main plot was just too weak to survive,
which means ‘up yours!'”
It’s always a bummer when your novel dies–a little part of you goes with it. I thought I had a pretty cool concept for a mystery mixed with a ghost story involving a dead…well, I won’t give it away. I wrote four chapters–gave them to people to read and they said, “Hell yes, more please!” Wrote some more and then around page 138, disaster struck. I realized that; 1: the ghost story angle simply wasn’t working; 2. the other running thread was becoming far too complex; 3. I was getting away from the story I wanted to tell about a haunted….yeah, that thing; and 4. the ending I had envisioned was far too “WTF” and I really had no idea to even get there.
Okay, so I was writing this off the cuff. Sue me. I had some good characters and interesting notions that got better each time I thought about it, but I just couldn’t see the plot going anywhere with what I had. It pains me because it was pretty darn good writing and I had people really wanting to read it, but there you go. Blame the author for not thinking out the story ahead of time and not being clever enough to pull off a very tricky plot.
Failure happens. You just bounce back. I’ve got something else in mind–believe you me, I actually have an ending and I’d say the plot mixes silent movies and a bit of steampunk; it’s a bit sci-fi meets kung fu meets movie stars and famous directors. I don’t know yet if it will work–I never do–but we’ll give it shot and see how it plays out.
So “The Long-Forgotten” is dead. For now. It’s been cryogenically frozen and, like Frankenstein’s monster, may arise again some day. Maybe sooner than you think..