As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my WIP needs a MAJOR overhaul. The main thrust of the plot is the same (namely, two characters on a quest together to find a particular object) but the broader context of that plot is changing completely. The end result will basically be a different book, which got me wondering: how do you know how much work (time/energy/thought) to put into an idea? When is it time to scrap that idea and move on? When is it worth persevering through the seemingly impossible?
I haven’t doubted for a second that TSS is worth rewriting to incorporate this new plot. Yes, I’ve done 7 months worth of work already, but the thing is, I still haven’t told the story I wanted to tell. It would be one thing if I thought the book didn’t work and had no ideas for how to fix it. But I do have ideas. And I have these two characters, and this concept for the world, and this setting, and I really want to do all of that justice. Even though there’s a lot left to do now, I feel compelled to do it, because I think this is a story worth telling.
But how do I know this is a story worth telling? Well, quite simply–because I urgently want to tell it. I didn’t say it was a story that people would want to read (though of course I hope it is). Readers can only read something after a writer has written it. For now, all I can do is tell the best story possible.
It’s worth it to me because I feel creatively unfulfilled right now. For as long as this book lingers inside of me, untold in its correct form, I won’t feel quite right. Sure, I’m desperate to start querying again and to advance my career past the lonely, un-agented, unpublished stage, but I can’t do that with the wrong version of this book. It’s not the story I want on shelves. It’s not the story I needed to tell. And the right story, the creatively fulfilling story, will always be worth telling.