Writer T. James' Exploration of Words, on the Internet.

Long-term Project News (2)

My two longer term projects are ‘under review.’ I need to decide whether to proceed with either of them:

A fantasy novel (no working title), paused at around 60,000 words, is the first thing I ever wrote. It has plot and pacing issues. Can I resurrect it?

A short story (working title, “Cassie”), which I hoped to publish, has issues with style and content. It covers the subjects of cancer, depression, disinterest and relationship breakup, and hope. Was it too ambitious?

Decisions: Do I abandon them and move on? I don’t yet know…


  1. Kirkus MacGowan

    I can’t tell you what you should do, but I can tell you what I did since I was in your exact spot about four months ago.

    I went with the short story first. Should I have revived it? Probably not. But I knew in doing so the experience I’d gain would be invaluable.

    I revised, edited, rewrote, cut, and when I was done… I did it all again. By the time I was done it was in workable condition. Still not the best by any means, but it wasn’t the horrible mess I began with.

    I went back to the novel and pounded out the rest. Since, I’ve treated every chapter like that short story. Just discussing it now makes me ill. I wish we could just write, life would be much more enjoyable, but I forced myself to do the editing I so hate.

    Neither are published yet, though I plan to release the novel some time this month. So did it work? I have no clue. But I can tell you the second novel I’m working on reads like another author wrote it. The changes from the first short story until now are unbelievable.

    If your blog, your posts, and your humor are any indication, I’m not too worried about your capabilites.

    In the worst case scenario I spent my time on two things that will never make me a penny. But the experience has been priceless.

    • T. James

      Hi Kirkus, nice to see you dropping by again. I appreciate you sharing your experiences; as you say, your situation was really very similar to where I am now.
      You’ve actually given me a lot to think about. I’ve been busy with real-life and a series of short-term writing projects, all of which are teaching me something; except the skills I need to hone a longer piece into something finished.
      It may very well be worth me knuckling down and bashing one or both of these longer pieces out, simply for the learning experience. I need to stop thinking about what they will end up like before I’ve done them, and probably just get on with it…

      “If your blog, your posts, and your humor are any indication, I’m not too worried about your capabilities.” Thanks, that was very generous. However, I submitted sections of both pieces for critique, and they came in for some justified, but major criticism. I was left feeling the pieces were falling so far short that maybe just moving on to something new was the best option. Both myself, and others are happier with my writing when I write short stuff. Now I think I’ve missed something, and whatever I editing/re-writing skills I can learn from going back over my work will be worth acquiring even if the final products still never see the light of day. I’m really pleased for you that you managed to get something publishable out at the end, and thanks for the kick up the backside. ;)

  2. SLWestendorf

    TJ I think many writers (myself included) have been where you are. The link below is going out on my Twitter feed tomorrow morning, but I think a sneak peak is in order. I agree with Kirkus, you should have no concerns about your writing, you have talent. I hope this link will give you some inspiration.
    “Seven ways to remain enthusiastic when writing” http://tinyurl.com/3trnqtz

    • T. James

      Thanks Sandy. I’d not lost enthusiasm for writing, so much as my confidence in the worth of these two pieces of work. I’m generally happy with how my other writing projects are progressing. I wish you lots of success with your new blog, and finishing your second draft…

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