Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

How do you recognize when your writing simply isn’t working? How do you start over?

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If you’ve written much, you know what I mean when I say there comes a time when the writing just isn’t working. No matter what type of writing you do, I’ll bet you’ve been there once or twice — that point when you realize the plot just won’t move, the characters are unreal, the dialog is flat, etc., and you really have to bury the thing.

Back in the “old days” before such high-tech wonders as computers with never-fail hard drives, CD/DVD backups, thumb drives, etc., I would chuck such turkey manuscripts into a bottom desk drawer until I could develop the courage to toss them in the trash, or maybe let them sit awhile hoping to revive them (resurrect them from the dead?) at a later date. I’ll bet I’ve still got a couple of those lamo paper piles stashed somewhere in the haunted office I no longer use.

What about you? Any of those lost children of the writing world hidden in your closets? How did you decide when it was time to kill them off?

I know the feeling of joy that eventually comes when I finally do the right thing and abandon such projects. It’s a relief. I’ve never tried any of the rehab programs, or detox products, or colon cleanse miracle supplements on the market — but I’ll bet the feelings of renewal and relief are similar.

Tell us your experiences with writing projects, manuscripts, whatever, that have failed and how you deal with such things.
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