Recently I attended the monthly meeting of the Northeast Ohio RWA chapter. The presentation, by the funny and talented Donna MacMeans, was about adding emotion to your writing. I learned some wonderful tips for doing that. For an example, check out Donna's article on "Rooting Interests."
As usually happens when I attend a meeting like this, I think about the lessons being imparted in relation to my WIP. And as usual, I find room for improvement in my work. This time, I had a stunning vision of clarity when I realized why I have been having such a hard time writing this book: the conflict, or rather, the lack thereof. My hero and heroine are too alike. In real life, that's a reasonably good thing--common interests and all that. However, it doesn't make for particularly interesting fiction.
Now the time has come to decide. Do (Can) I make their lives more complicated and thus more interesting, or do I put this one under the figurative bed? I have had these characters in my head for years. I know where I want them to end up, but can I make the journey interesting enough for anyone to come along for the ride? Do I even want to keep trying, or would it be better for my mental health to say au revoir?
I did some thinking, and read a couple of great blog posts: http://wordwranglers.blogspot.com/2011/11/book-under-bed.html, and http://katesheeran.com/2011/05/13/under-the-bed-not-a-bad-thing/. I have learned so much about writing with this manuscript. Working with these characters has been fun and enriching, but frustrating. They haven't changed all that much since they first were put on paper, but I have changed in so many ways. And so, under the bed it goes, at least for a while.
Once I made the decision, I felt so much better. I went back to another MS that I had started last year, and immediately cranked out 10 pages.
Have you ever trunked a MS? Why, or why not? Did you ever go back to it?