Abandoning your loved ones

Sometimes a story simply won’t or can’t be written. The idea is a good one but somehow it won’t translate to the page. However many times you try it simply doesn’t work.

“My Monster” should have been good. Based on a real life experience it was intended for a well known weekly woman’s magazine. The ingredients were all there. A stroppy nine year old, a mum in a new relationship, the child’s attitude towards Mum’s new partner and how it was resolved by an unexpected family visit. I tried the long version first, then cut it right down to 750 words. I tried mainly dialogue, then mostly narrative, but still it was flat and unconvincing.

This story isn’t the only one I have in my files that hasn’t made it. My fellow writers at Room in the Roof will remember a certain cherub with attitude and then there’s the outline of a novel, or rather the plan and detailed notes. Again it should work. I know my characters and their background. The setting is one I’ve used before in “City of Secrets” but the book won’t come together.

Totally abandonment feels wrong. I can’t delete my darlings and yet I know that spending more time on them is frustrating and unproductive.

So what to do about it? Any suggestions gratefully received.


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