How Do You Know You’re Writing the Wrong Book?*

by | Oct 25, 2022

(*Asking for a friend.)

Actually, I’m asking for me. I suspect I’ve been working on the wrong story, even though I’ve been making progress on word counts, having dreams with solutions to plot points, etc.

After wrangling with this manuscript for two very long days, I asked my husband to let me read the first chapter to him. Thankfully, he’s a very willing sounding board. He brought a pen and a pad of Post-it notes and his full attention to the task of listening.

Reader, I wasn’t even halfway through the first 3000 word chapter when I realized *this* was not the book I should be working on. What I’d written was mostly back story, me re-telling parts of the previous four books in the series to bring myself up to speed — and put potential readers to sleep. And when I scanned more chapters, I noticed the same thing. I mentioned that to my husband. He commented it seemed as though I didn’t know where the story should start.

He was right. I had put down a lot of words in the process of searching for the perfect scene with which to open this book — and still, I hadn’t found it.

Sigh. Now what?

The answer to that question is easy: move on. Open a new Scrivener file. Or, in my case, open the Scrivener file dedicated to all my ideas for the series about immortal goddesses living in the modern world — and dive in.

I rewarded my patient listener with the first few paragraphs of a story I started noodling with when I was writing The Goddess & the Woodsman. And you know what? *THAT* is the story I’m going to work on. It’s fresh, it’s funny, and I’m falling in love my version of Persephone.


(To anyone who’s a fan of my Calliope books and was looking forward to the 4th book, it’ll get here — just not as quickly as I had planned.)


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