It may seem like a tough decision to pull the plug on a novel 7 chapters (14,600 words) long but since I first thought about scrapping it and having slept on it, it seems like the best thing to do.
The problem wasn’t the themes or ideas, it was the approach I took with the characters I chose. My main problem was the number of protagonists. I chose triplets, so you got three people plus their significant others and friends, their work mates and quickly the number grows. Then you’ve got to have an antagonist or two plus other bit players, and the number got so unwieldy that I couldn’t keep track and characters were being writing about so infrequently that the whole novel had no pace or manageable structure. The ideas were spread so thin that no-one had any solid motivation and it all ended up in a contrived mess.
On the plus side, scrapping ‘Broken Branches’ as it was does feel good and that underlining uncertainty I seemed to constantly battle has gone. I’ve also looked at what I do like about it and what didn’t work and have started putting together a new approach to tackle this story.
I can recycle a few characters, use the ideas more effectively plus this false start has enabled me to hammer out what’s really important and get to the point quicker.
I got a rejection for my first novel, Railroaded, today too so this isn’t a day that will stick in the memory long.
I’m still sticking to my deadline of getting a first draft done by the end of this year, scrapping it all and starting again at the beginning of August doesn’t change that! No siree!