"When you're hitting your head on a brick wall, you're going in the wrong direction."
This is solid advice that has gotten me through a good chunk of my life, and it's true. When you find yourself stuck in a corner, unable to move, and hitting a wall, you're going the wrong way. Something needs to change.
In this case, it was the 10,000 words I'd written for Book 4 of the Heroes and Villains series, and the plot idea I've held on to for two years as I wrote the other books. Volcanoes and super villains seemed like such a good idea. And, you know, maybe it is. But it's not the right idea for this series, or these characters, or this time.
And even knowing that, scrapping a book is a tough decision to make. That's two week's worth of writing gone. Two weeks wasted. A quarter of a novella tossed back into the mysterious ether of the computer hard drive. I really hate failure. I hate feeling stupid. I hate realizing I was doing the wrong thing all along. It's such a frustrating feeling. No, frustrating isn't the right word. It's a poisonous, insidious feeling. One that whispers of the futility of effort and tells you that you will never be good enough.
But there it is.
I restarted Book 4 and now have 4000 words (10%) of a new novella. This one clicks better. It makes more sense, the agendas of the characters are falling in place, and the plot is gelling.
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