After three years and about 60,000 words (~20,000 this year alone), I have trunked my novel, Carrionhove.
Trunking, for those not aware, is basically putting away a piece of work. One might do this because it needs more time, more editing, or maybe it’s just unworkable. In my case, Carrionhove was unworkable.
The plot’s been revised six or seven times. Characters were changed. Locations. Key scenes. Short of the character names (and in a couple of cases, even then), everything that could change did. None of it worked. Sure, there was some pretty brilliant stuff in there that I am proud of but a few key scenes don’t make a novel.
It is very hard not to think of all that time spent as wasted. After all, given what I know now, it’s unlikely the novel will ever see the light of day. Late nights, early mornings. Notebooks and maps and world building. That’s a lot of effort and it’s frustrating.
Then again, acknowledging that something is not working and will not work is also a sign of growth as a writer. I’m not sure what is next. There’s another fantasy novel that’s been taunting me and I’ve had the urge to go back and revisit some old stuff that’s been bubbling in the back my head. In any case, I’ll carry on cuz that’s what us writers do.