When I announced that I was postponing The Assassin, I had every intention of taking a long time off from the story. Well, that lasted a week and a half and last Thursday, I found myself playing with the idea of some major changes. Ideas I really liked.
So, two hours later, after some busting out the notecards and the highlighter to take some scene notes (post on that coming soon), I decided to make these major changes, bringing in the third “reincarnation” of The Assassin. Which led me to wonder, how do you know when it’s time to ditch your draft?
1. You Find Yourself Purposely Ignoring It
Now, I’m not talking about writer’s block, that’s totally different. I’m talking about genuinely ignoring it when you know you need to work on it and know how. Dragging your feet, doing things like cleaning or taking out the trash instead of sitting down and writing.
2. Rewrites Don’t Seem to Take You Anywhere
If you’ve rewritten your story time and time again, keeping most of the main parts the same, but it doesn’t seem to ever get any better, it may be time to ditch the draft.
3. You Decide to Change a Major Part of Your Story
Whether it’s a subplot, a location, a character’s back story, big things that play out through the whole story deserve to get a full make over. This third option is what happened to me as I launched myself into the third incarnation of The Assassin. Cassie is older, lives in Texas, and has a new last name, plus many other changes.
I also want to say, just because you ditch a draft doesn’t mean you have to ditch the story. Sometimes, you need to ditch everything but the framework and start over on the details.