Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Value of Trunking

Last year I had a finished manuscript (MS)  (edited and critiqued) that I sent queries out to a few agents on.  I heard back from those agents with no.  I set the MS aside and began a new MS for NaNo.  Then, part way through NaNo, I thought I knew how to fix my MS, so I went back to it, but it still didn't work.

At this point, many would think I was completely discouraged.  I had over two years of work into this novel and it still wasn't right.  Instead, I put it away and started working on a companion novel for it.  As I worked on this new MS, things started to shift in my mind for the original MS.  And then, I had the breakthrough on how to fix what was wrong.  Not only that, I had a way to better connect all three companion novels my brain was spinning.

I learned the value of walking away from a project, letting it sit while I worked on something else.  How about you?  Have you trunked a novel?  Why and do you plan to go back to it?


  1. I'll start by saying that you know that I'm not a novelist. But I know that when I had to write stuff in school or if I have a paper I have to do, I find it very useful to set it aside and come back to it later. I think that the writer becomes too attached to what is going on in the story or paper and can't see the big picture. By setting it aside, you get a fresh look at it and can see where you went "wrong."

  2. Congratulations on being able to make all of these projects come together in a wonderful way. I wish you fantastic success.

  3. Walking away is always such a hard thing for me because I'm sooo impatient! But it's been really beneficial, I just took a few months off from my novel and have come back with a clear head and great ideas for revisions. Stephen King has said you need to take six months away from a novel before revising. Six months! Gah! But some time is definitely helpful to get a book where it should/could be. Glad you were able to get your projects together!

  4. I'm trunking one right now. My YA novel just isn't right and I'm not sure why. It just isn't clicking. So, I've set it aside and I'm going to work on something else for NANO and maybe when I go back to the other MS I'll have a break through. If not, I'll just work on something else until I do. :)

    I've been working on my outline for NANO and I'm almost ready to trunk it before I start...ugh.

    Author of Concilium, available July 2012
    Concilium: The Departure, available November 2012

  5. I am currently making revisions on a project I've been working on for a few years now. This may very well be my tenth round of revisions.

    Walking away, working on other projects, and coming back with a fresh perspective is invaluable. Only time can show you the potential of a project that isn't quite right in its first incarnation.

    I love this story and these characters. It is my second novel ... but it won't be my second novel published. It might not even be my third. But I like to think it will have its time.

  6. I've often thought about trunking a novel. One in particular but for some reason, I just can't bring myself to do it. Oh well, I'll just keep going.


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