Sep 29, 2009

Is There A Moment When You Can Say Enough?

My co author and I decided to convert one of our "for fun" stories into a possible series. We changed the names of our characters, built in descriptions and reworked our plots in today's world with cell phones and GPS. We started off rather excited and committed. We ended up discouraged and snipping at one another.

We found that time was not on our side. She's a busy mother of 9, grandmotherhood on the horizon, a difficult situation with an unemployed husband and a very real need to make some money of her own. I have work deadlines, a difficut employee and a dad determined to build a house today if possible.

So reluctantly after getting about 100 pages into the book, we decided it just wasn't going to happen. She didn't want to spend time on a book that might not garner any monetary results. I could never follow her vision of the characters and found myself relegated to cheerleader instead of co author. Neither of us could devote the time we needed to writing at this point.

So why do I feel like a loser? And why do the characters keep nagging at me? And why do I love them as much as the "for fun" characters? Are they trying to tell me something? Did I throw the towel in too soon? Is it a case of reality bites or giving up too easily?

When I am writing for work, you have have a beginning, a middle and an end so you just follow the course until it's done. Fiction is so different. You can start at the end of the story and rewind or start in the middle and do flashbacks. In fact most books of this particular genre start in the middle of the action and show tidbits of the characters and not much of their history.

I'm chasing a rabbit here. My real focus here is when do you say enough. Is it when the voices in your head stop talking? Do you talk back to them? Can you shut them up? Are they worth listening to?

When is enough really enough?


  1. Tough choices. I have a few characters that think it's fun to wake me at night. I keep putting them off. It's not their turn yet. If they keep bothering you, then maybe the story will come together at another time. Maybe it just wasn't the right season yet?

  2. Writing with a partner is tough, especially when something gums up the works. Is there any chance your partner would give you the characters so you can create a new scenario for them and make them come to life in your own way? What is your obligation to her, as co-authors?

    And my number one question: what benefit did you expect from a writing partnership? Do your skills mesh nicely? Do you feel you lack something she provides?

    Why not go it alone?

  3. Terri, Marsha expressed the thoughts I had as I read your post. I don't have an answer for you...I think you are the only one that can find that answer. But whatever you decide, I know you will create something marvelous! go Terri!

  4. I'm with Marsha, too. If these characters are "speaking to you", I think you should at least ask if your co-author would consider letting you tell their story on your own!

  5. Thanks for the advice guys. I asked the co author and she's like go for it. I'd love to see this happen. So thanks to you all I'm going to give it a go.


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