Especially my virtual one that holds all my "put to the side" manuscripts that either didn't make the cut or were snippets of an idea that I didn't have time to work on right then.
It also contains books that I've started but then got "stuck" on.
So when I turned in my latest manuscript to my agent for her to work her selling magic... (What? It IS magic right???) my desk drawer is where I turned to when I was contemplating what to work on next.
I picked out the last manuscript I'd worked on almost two years ago now.
It had about 22,000 words on it, but when I put it aside, I was super unsure about where I was headed with it. I had worked on that last chapter for WAY too long, and had gladly stuffed it in the drawer when edits came calling for my debut novel, Sandwich, With a Side of Romance.
At Starbucks one brisk afternoon, I began to read through, editing a little bit as I went. I smiled. I laughed some. I rolled my eyes some.
But overall, I liked what I had. The farther I got, the more I wondered how in the world I could have gotten stuck. Even *I* was excited to see how the story would play out.
Only... I got to chapter 13.
And the whole wonderful story took a steep nose-dive into the ground.
Crashed and burned.
When I ended at chapter 15, where I'd ended up shoving the whole thing in a file on my desktop to collect desk, I could clearly see my problem.
My last three chapters were CRAP. Forgive my blunt language, but it's the truth.
So, I backed up. I deleted a whole chapter, and reworked two more.
And I smiled. I liked my story again.
I'm now excited to write more and see where it goes.
Of course, verdict is still out. I've sent the first three chapters to my agent to get her opinion and see if she feels it is as brilliant as I thought it was. She totally might give it two thumbs down.
And that'd be fine.
But my point is...
There is value in setting aside a stalled story. There is value in taking a break and separating yourself from a story. Whether it is between writing "The End" and starting to edit, or if you've encountered the dreaded writer's block and after months of trying, can't seem to shake it. A fresh brain will help pinpoint problems much faster than one that has been spending too much time having hairs pulled from its outer covering.
Oh, and those forgotten novels you doubt will ever see the light of day?
Might be worth pulling them out once in a while... just for kicks:-)
Discussion: Do you have any discarded or unfinished manuscripts in your desk drawer?
And FYI! My debut novel is on SALE!!
Well, the ebook version on Amazon.com is anyway!
From now until December 22nd, you can get Sandwich, with a Side of Romance for only $3.99 on your Kindle!
Of course, it's still available in paperback at all the normal places online, and at most Christian bookstores near you! :-) They make GREAT Christmas presents *wink* *wink*