Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Should I Abandon My Online Novel?

The title says it all, and I need your help.  Should I abandon my online novel?

I plan to write the next two chapters, but I'm seriously considering calling it quits.  The reasons are manifold, but the basic one boils down to the reason a lot of writers abandon their stuff - it sucks.

Yep, I can be honest.  This thing I've written over the last two months is not very good.  The premise was something I've been playing around with for years - role playing dorks(it's okay...I'm a dork, so I can say that) get caught up in their own adventure and slowly start to become the players they were portraying - but never got around to doing anything with.  I saw this online experience as a chance to see if I could flesh it out.

I was wrong.  Not even close.

To start with, I have no outline, so I'm flying by the seat of my pants on this one.  Outlining is crucial to anything I write because it provides me with direction.  I can foresee where things are going and make correction en route.  Without an outline, I'm kind of just going by whatever strikes me in the moment.

Why am I not outlining?  Because it's time consuming.  In addition to my "regular" life of work and two children, I'm also working on another book that I don't feel I've given enough attention to.  The novel in question is a Homecoming prequel, and I need to give all my outlining imagination to it if I want it to come to fruition.  Outlining a second book takes not only time, but also focus, and I need that focus on one project or neither will come off well.

Next, time is just getting away from me.  I write three blog posts a week, and I normally complete them on Sunday night so that I can post a week's worth of material.  That allows me to focus on other stuff the rest of the time.  However, an online novel is more involved than a 750 word post, and it requires much more effort.  Even at 1500 words, that's not a very big chapter that allows for a great deal of detail.  Am I giving anyone any sense of what's going on?  I know writers must be brief, but I think it's a little too brief here.

Due to knowing what's involved in writing a new chapter, I tend to put it off from the rest of my weekly posts.  That leads to my thinking about it when I'm supposed to be working on my other novel, and so I delay, figuring I have plenty of time.  Suddenly it's Thursday night and I have nothing, so I sit down and slap together a half-assed effort.  I think that half-assery shows.

Finally, I don't want people to judge my talents too much by the mess in my online novel.  I could be scaring away customers who read this and think it's representative of my work.  It's not.  My novels are far more in depth and better written.  Unfortunately, folks might not get through to read my other stuff if they look solely at this.

I need feedback.  Lack of feedback will constitute acknowledgement that I need to move on.  Please help me figure this out.

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