Is It Trunk Time?

As I observe the calendar, I notice it’s the last week of September. That means that November, and the madness that is NaNoWriMo is fast approaching. I opted not to participate in NaNoWriMo in 2011 because I was furiously editing Dream Chaser, the novel I started in NaNoWriMo 2010.

I’ve been working on Dream Chaser for nearly two years now. I’ve had some people take a look at various amounts of it, and generally the feedback has been positive. One person noted that the dialog wasn’t really working.

I can clearly see that it still needs major, major work.

The first draft was too short, so I added a section (about three or four chapters) to the beginning. With Rebellion (the short story I’m submitting for Saucy Chronicles II), I kept moving the beginning up. With Dream Chaser I pushed it back. Maybe that was the right, maybe not, but I’m worried what I added to Dream Chaser is little more than filler.

Dream Chaser needs a down to the keel teardown and rebuild.

I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to set Dream Chaser aside for a time, and work on something else, but I hate the idea of leaving DC unfinished. I mean it is finished, but it’s a long long way from done.

Dream Chaser is my third attempt at writing a novel. The first two never got more than about 10,000 words in. Dream Chaser was the first time I wrote the whole thing, warts and all.

I wonder if it wouldn’t make more sense to start afresh with a new story for NaNo.

I put the question to my writer’s group, and they think that taking a break from Dream Chaser might be exactly I need to do. It would be better for me, and ultimately for Dream Chaser. That’s the only way I could do this. I have to come back and do this story well.

Would it be better to put Dream Chaser aside and come back to it another time?

How do you know when it’s time to ‘trunk’ one of your novels?


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Laurie Tom
Laurie Tom

What I've heard (and what I agree with now that I'm working on my second novel) is that the first is the learning experience.  Once you've finished the first, you understand what you did wrong so your second one comes out stronger.

Since you've actually finished the draft, I'd set it aside with the understanding that you may come back to it later, but it did its job as a learning exercise.  Most novelists' "debut" novels are actually their fourth, fifth, six, etc. novel written.  Only a lucky few get it right the first time.  Like anything else, writing a novel requires practice, and the more novels you finish, the better the later ones get.


I think you should try to put it aside...not away...for a while.  Working on something different may give you some new ideas, perspective, and maybe even a second novel.  Who knows?   Keep going...Your Mom says so!!!