Wednesday, 9 November 2011


I've had a much better, clearer idea for the novel. Well, more than an idea. It's a whole picture. There's a setting which is far less vague than the current one and more defined characters. Also, fewer of them. It has a darker side, which I usually enjoy. It still has secrets too.

Shall I leave the current one at nearly 6,000 words, set it aside, and start the exciting new one, which I am seriously burning to do? Or am I in danger of becoming a serial novel-starter? I am scared I will keep changing my mind and not finishing.

I remember when I sat exams with a choice of questions, we were advised to pick one after a few minutes of careful thought and then stick to it. Never go back and change your mind, they said, as it would waste time and you would never concentrate properly for thinking about the abandoned work and whether you'd made the right decision.

I have taken two days off from the novel to concentrate on a short story and let my mind wander over the new idea. Tomorrow I must either start it or continue the with the first one. I can't wait to find out which I choose...


  1. Give it a day or two to settle, and then re-read the first one. You may feel better coming to it fresh. But if it really doesn't excite you, move on to no.2 (but stick wth it!). That's what I'd do (I think...).

  2. Interesting, Joanna - I'd tend to get on with the one that's really exciting you. But then, I have too many novels started and abandoned to advise you! And yes, in one of my OU exams I started one question then changed to another - definitely not advised (though I did pass the exam fortunately). Good luck with your choice.

  3. Many thanks, Frances,that's very good advice. I shall look at the first one again this afternoon. In the meantime, I've just been out driving and thought through the second idea and it's coming together really well. Definitely more exciting at the moment than the first one.

    Thank you Rosemary. I think there is definitely more of a thrill attached to the second one and if I choose that option, I shall aim to stick with it no matter what!

  4. I think you have to write the one that excites you most. Even if it means starting a new one. But, as Frances said, stick with this one :0)

    Suz (who has too many half finished novels on her hard drive)


  5. Thank you Suzanne. I really value the advice you've all given and have now made the decision to start the new exciting novel and nothing will deter me from finishing it. I've made a pact with myself to see it through to the end and I'm starting today!

    I'll let you know how it goes and I can hardly wait!