Drafting Novels: Sometimes You Have to Abandon Them

29/05/12 6:00 AM

“Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for. ”

—Ray Bradbury

I’ve been quiet here. My last post was the end of April, and now it’s the end of May. As many of you know, I’m a marketing copywriter by day and fiction writer by night. (I realize this sounds redundant.) The marketing copywriter bit has been keeping me extra busy, as it usually does this time of year. But I’ve also been working on novel #3.

Okay, so it’s really novel #3.5. See, the book I’d been working on since last August just wasn’t coming together — at least, not in the way I needed it to in order to continue with it. Then, this other idea came to me — hit me in the face, actually — with such force that I was left standing and saying, “Well, duh. Of course I should be writing about that.” So, I began writing and have been ever since. Things feel good in the same way they felt good when I was drafting What Happened in Granite Creek (side note: I started another novel in between Forgotten April and Granite Creek, so maybe this is part of my process).

I’m not giving myself a firm deadline for finishing this draft, but my soft deadline is end of July, which is quite doable. That said, I’m not going to rush through it just so I have another book to put out there. Quality matters. I’d love to have another book out at the end of the year/beginning of 2013, but the writing comes first and will dictate the release.

Anyhow, now that I’m slowly emerging from the weeds, I’ll be getting back to regular blogging and also tweeting again (I took a much needed break from that as well). One place I’m always active is Facebook, so connect with me there for the latest news on my work, book chat, and the occasional debate about things like swearing in novels.

What have you been up to and what do you have planned for June? Share! 🙂

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Posted by Robyn | in Creative Writing, Writing | 10 Comments »

10 Comments on “Drafting Novels: Sometimes You Have to Abandon Them”

  1. Susan W Says:


    Good luck with your new novel!

    As for me, during June I’m wrapping up my blogging class and gearing up for my usual round of quarter-end craziness.

  2. Robyn Says:

    Thanks, Susan. Wishing you much luck with your work as well. 🙂

  3. Steve Tannuzzo Says:

    The two most important words of this post: Quality matters. There are plenty of prolific hit-or-miss authors out there. I’d rather wait and be rewarded with something above average.

  4. Robyn Says:

    @Steve — I agree. And I know it’s a numbers game right now…the more books you have out there, the more money you can make, the more fans you can get, blah, blah, blah. But that all means diddly squat if the writing sucks. I’m a fast writer (and could be even faster if fiction were all I was doing). But even then, I’m not sure I could put out more than a novel a year without the work really suffering (I think I could do a novel and some shorts).

  5. Robin Says:

    Anything you write is worth waiting for. I’m excited! A new novel to look forward to!

  6. Robyn Says:

    Thanks, Robin! 🙂

  7. Martin Dugas Says:

    Bonne chance Robyn avec le nouveau roman! (You should still keep the abandoned novel in your back pocket… you never know, perhaps one day one of your future novels might need a little something more or an ‘organ transplant’ of some sort… The abandoned novel could come to the rescue and provide the necessary organs (ideas/characters) needed to complete that other novel!)

  8. Robyn Says:

    Merci, Martin! And you’re right: always save old drafts. I still have an awful bottom drawer dweller — my very first novel that I wrote circa 1996 — sitting on a hard drive somewhere. Scares the crap out of me, actually. But! I’m definitely saving the most recent WIP. I may indeed return to it and perform some surgery.

  9. Moneen Says:

    Anything worthwhile takes love and time…can’t wait to hear/read more from YOU!

  10. Robyn Says:

    Thanks, Mo! 🙂