Monday, February 7, 2011

All My Failures

Today's topic is ideas that have been thrown away. And trust me, I have LOADS of these failures. I can't even remember all of them, but I have been writing for a few years and most of what I have started I stopped writing after a few chapters. As I've gotten older, (if you can call fourteen older), I've stopped giving up and kept working through my stories. Well, they also are good ideas.

One idea that I trashed was pretty much an exact replica of the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan. It was told from a guy's POV, and it was pretty much Sweep. I got a few chapters done with that before deleting it.

Another idea that I threw out soon after starting was about a boy who finds out he is a witch, and a girl takes him to a magic school in Italy. He gets a crush on this girl, but when he gets to the school he discovers that she is already in a relationship... with his cousin. There was also going to be some riding on sea monsters in this book. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I would like to try to revisit this story in the future. This was told in duel perspectives: one boy and one girl.

The final bad idea I am going to be talking about is The Deceased. It was a book about a girl and a guy who are seemingly the last ones left after the zombie apocalypse. This one was the farthest I've actually gotten in a book without finishing it. The problem was that the story was going way too fast, and the book was already about three fourths done when it was 15K. You can see the problem with that.

And then I wrote Enchant for NaNoWriMo. I actually finished a whole book. Admittedly, it needs a lot of work, but I think it could actually be something when I get those rough spots fixed up.

And while writing this post I've noticed something. I think the reason I've had so many flops was because I was still finding my voice. When I started writing, it was always from a boy's POV. Then I got a little better when I added some girl perspective. Now, I almost always write from a girl's POV. Don't ask why, because I can't tell you.

Anyway, those are some of my failed attempts to write a book. If you have any that you'd like to share, feel free to comment!


  1. I've tossed aside multiple ideas too! But instead of throwing them away, I put them in a folder - they just may inspire a better story :-D

  2. I liked what I read of "The Deceased." I wouldn't completely give up on that. It might not make it is a novel, but it could be a really good novella.

    And you are right. Finding your "voice" is a big part of it, and you are soooo young. That's an impressive amount of "failed" ideas you've had already. I have no doubt you'll come out with something amazing.

    I agree with what you said at the beginning also. The older I've gotten the more likely I am to follow through with a book. But it seems to that if I do quit something, it's always about the 40 page mark. I don't know why.

  3. I would sincerely advise you NEVER to delete anything you write! I deleted my very first novel, and I regret it every day. I'd love to just have it around on my hard drive to look at and laugh every now and again. I have earlier stories, but I'm so sad that I don't have that first novel that I considered to be a "work of art."

    PS, awesome post. I think it has inspired me to write a failed-ideas post of my own :)

  4. I love this post because I've recently gone over this about my own projects. But I love the failures as much as the brilliance. I love failing miserably because nothing is irreparable. I see them as a challenge--- as a million chances--- to do better, to push harder, to start over, to open an old document and fall in love with all of that failure all over again. I love seeing something in an older draft that was good--- an idea that I can still be passionate about--- a line I can use in another project--- a name that's too good to leave alone. I love those failures because they remind me of how much I've improved. I've come so far from thinking that rubbish was good and knowing that rubbish can be improved if given another chance. I love the failures and I love that you've made me acknowledge that.

    "Failure is always the best way to learn." -The Kings of Convenience "Failure"

    Thanks for the reminder,
    Deserae McG

  5. A lot of my recent failures have cropped up again somehow. My MS is actually one big mosh-pit of ideas that didn't work by themselves. But yeah, I've gone down a few roads that turned to dead ends. I understand what you mean about POV - in the beginning I had trouble writing anything but girls, but once I stretched my muscles a bit, I found the guys' voice just as, if not more, appealing. (And I'm a girl, by the way.)

    Nice post - it's always fun to read about "shelved ideas", since we probably won't ever get to see them in person. But I agree that Deceased could be a novella! I think shorter is better for horror/thriller, personally.


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