Here I sit on this (surprisingly warm) December morning, heaving a sigh because the (altogether-dreadful-and-never-to-be-seen-by-living-eyes) rough draft of Book 5 is now complete. Redrafting awaits, yes! But for a moment, I may breathe.
And as I breathe, I can't help but reflect on other novels begun in the last few years that have not made it so far even as the (altogether-dreadful-and-never-to-be-seen-by-living-eyes) rough draft. My list of abandoned projects is not as extensive as it might be . . . I'm a pretty stubborn cookie when I set my mind to it. But there are definitely a handful of pieces that I have begun and discarded. Some with very good reason! Some . . . well, there might be potential in them. Someday. Maybe.
Thought you might like a peek into my own personal Manuscript Graveyard:
1. Phantom Dancers--A seriously boring, rather full-of-itself, ghost-story retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." If I ever touch it again, it will need some major revamping!
2. The Mute Princess--A comedic novella about a princess who has a brilliant gift for eloquence . . . except when she meets the love of her life. Then the curse of her evil fairy godmother descends, and the princess falls completely tongue-tied and can't speak a word! Kind of cute. Might pull it out again someday, just for exercise.
3. Cinderbelle--A retelling of "Cinderella" and "Beauty and the Beast" starring one of the bad-tempered older sisters who is sent to the Beast instead of the sweet and beautiful youngest. I mean, who wants to keep that around the house anyway? Let the Beast have her! Heheh, I rather like this one. I might have to finish it one day.
4. The Song of Love--A comedy novella about an art thief in post-WWII Venice, loosely parodying The Maltese Falcon. When was I ever that ambitious? Can't imagine how that one got started!
5. Troll Hunt --A short story based on my own childhood in England during the Gulf War. This one's actually finished, but needs to be illustrated. Don't know when I'll ever get around to that, though!
6. The Song-Holder--A convoluted retelling of "The Snow Queen" and "The Marsh King's Daughter." Meant to be co-written with my sister-friend, Erin. Too mixed-up to support itself, however. But some interesting ideas down at the core. Might shake it out again one day.
So there you have my Graveyard of Forgotten Stories. Even professionals go chasing up rabbit-trails sometimes. Often. More often than I like to admit . . .
But please do note, for every forgotten story, I have finished at least two others. Don't abandon your work unless you see absolutely no alternative! And never throw it out entirely, because there might be a gem hidden in the midst of all that nonsense that will glint with inspiration for you one day . . .