If I Let You Go "Letting Go" Bloghop


Even though I'm away on holiday right now, I still wanted to take part in Kyra Lennon's If I Let You Go "Letting Go" Bloghop, so I've scheduled this post. 

Here's what Kyra has to say about the bloghop:

I invite you to share some stories about letting go. Was there a time when you had to let go of someone or something? How did it make you feel? How did you handle it? Or if that's too personal - which I completely understand - how about writing a piece of flash fiction? 

The only rules are - obviously - it has to be related to letting go, and please keep it to a maximum of 500 words.

When the day arrives, I will hop around to all the entries, along with my independent judge (otherwise known as "Mum" LOL), and the story that touches us the most will win a $10 Amazon gift card!

For my story about letting go, I thought I do something a little different. While I have experienced personal loss, the stories are either too personal to share or I was too young to remember the impact it had on me. 
Instead, I've chosen to write about the type of letting go I think all authors have experienced - letting go of a novel.  

We've all got one (or two, or three) stories, which at the time we thought we great, they might have been 'the one' - the story that would see us through to publication - but then we came to realise they weren't and we have to let go of these stories.

I have two such stories, both of which were born during NaNoWriMo. My first NaNo novel, Destiny's Road - written in 2012 - was a swords and sorcery fantasy, set in a fictional world where the Fae existed, people had magical powers, and the King and his line had just been assassinated. At the time I was in love with the characters, and story and thought it was going to be something huge. Even after NaNo, I felt confident that though it needed some work, I could knock it into shape. Then I started seeing the depth of what was wrong with the story, how lacking in direction it was, and realised it would need a lot of work. I also realised I was being too ambitious for my first piece of original fiction. I was trying to be the next George RR Martin or Patrick Rothfuss, when really I should have been focusing on being the first - and only - Clare Dugmore. After almost 70k words, I realised it was time to 'let go' of Destiny's Road. I wasn't ready to write that story yet. I've since come to realise, I might not be ready to write that story every, but that perhaps, in the future, my Destiny's Road characters and ideas can come back in another form. 

The second story I've had to let go is one long-time followers of my blog will know about - my contemporary fantasy, starring triplet protagonists - Sibylline Nights
Sibylline Nights was born during NaNo '11, and was actually the second time I'd attempted to tell a version of this story about witch triplets - the first version never getting more than 5k. This time around, things were going to be different. I plotted and planned more. I had character sheets; I had elaborate backstory and world building. I even wrote 26 posts on Sibylline Nights for the A-Z blogging challenge. I felt like I was writing what I knew, while still pushing myself. I really, honestly, thought Sibylline Nights was 'the one'. I knew it needed work, and revisions and edits, but I thought I could stick at it, and make it perfect. I completed the story at almost 106k words, and revised almost 50k of that with help of critique partners. I was also entering contests with the characters from Sibylline Nights and receiving great feedback about the voice. But, by the time I'd revised chapters 1-30, my feet were getting itchy and Camp NaNo was rolling around. I decided to take a break from Sibylline Nights and start a new story. I had every intention of going back to
Sibylline Nights once I'd written a first rough draft of my Camp NaNo 2012 paranormal romance Cupid. But, somewhere along the lines of writing Cupid and getting feedback on the early chapters, I started to see all the flaws of Sibylline Nights. While it has some fantastic elements and amazing characters, the plot needs streamlining and I really need to tighten and focus the narrative. I also came to realise that though I adore fantasy, my real love - and where I'm stronger as a writer - is romance. Cupid has allowed me to blend the two. So now I've shelved Sibylline Nights - though I hope to, one day, when I've improved as a writer, go back to it, as write it as the story it deserves to be. 

So there you have it, the two times in my writing life where I've let go. And you know what? I feel better for it. Even the experience of writing about letting go has been immensely cathartic. I know both Destiny's Road and Sibylline Nights won't be shelved forever, one day I can resurrect them and allow them to be the books they were meant to be. But for now, I trust my instincts, know my strengths and weaknesses, and have let go of my babies. 

I'd love to hear about the times you've let go, be it when writing, or something else more personal. Let me know in the comments or link me to your Kyra Lennon's If I Let You Go "Letting Go" Bloghop post and I'll reply when I return from holiday.

40 comments:

  1. Sibylline Nights should not be shelved, in my humble opinion. It doesn't need as much work as you think, and I've been wondering what in the hell happened to make you stop writing it! :p Personally, I think as soon as you have Cupid tied up, you should go back to it! ;)

    Thank you very much for joining in with the bloghop! Have a fabulous holiday!

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    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, honey! <3
      I won't be shelving Sibylline Nights forever, but at least for a while. I just don't feel like it's the story I intended it to be, you know? I'm going to work on some other projects, and then go back to it, and hopefully I can tell it in the way I always wanted to. :)

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  2. I think letting go is part of writing. We let go of scenes, books and sometimes the entire W.I.P. to make room for the right thing.

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    1. I agree, and I think knowing when to do that is very important.

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  3. I believe that when the time is write your stories will come to fruition!

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  4. Letting go of my writing and characters I sometimes harder than letting go of anything in my real life. I just can't seem to do it. I shelve everything, hoping one day to revive it!

    Hope you and the fam are enjoying your holiday!! Take lots of pictures.

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    1. I've shelved two things, but for me, it's never a permanent thing. I always feel I'll come back to a story in the future.

      Thanks, we had a wonderful time. :)

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  5. Sometimes it just takes a while to find our strengths.

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  6. "I was trying to be the next George RR Martin or Patrick Rothfuss, when really I should have been focusing on being the first - and only - Clare Dugmore."

    And someday, fledgling writers will want to be the next Clare Dugmore!

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    1. Aww, Carrie, you're so kind! Thank you. :)

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  7. Yeah we have all had to let go of projects. Hard though isn't it when you have put so much into it? Thanks for sharing your story.

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    1. Thanks for commenting. It is hard, but I also find it cathartic. :)

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  8. Great post. I know how it feels. I have too many of my babies, my manuscripts, sitting on a shelf. I want to nurture them all and hope they'd be best sellers, but sometimes, they're more for us alone, to help us learn and grow as writers.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Christine! :) I hope one day I all my MS babies will see the light of day, it just takes time. :)

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  9. Always go with your gut. If you feel Sibylline isn't ready. It's your right to shelf it until you're ready. And Destiny Road...yeah, it doesn't feel like..you. I can see why you might never get back to it. This is truly a 5 star post. Great way f changing the letting go flow of tragic true stories and flash fiction by just getting into the true nitty gritty of writing. I believe you'll stick with Cupid. You seem so vibrant when you write about it.

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    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, Sheena. I agree with everything you said. Cupid is my love at the moment, and I can't wait to share it with the world. But I will go back to both Sibylline Nights and Destiny's Road, but perhaps tell the stories in a different way. :)

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  10. Saying hello from the blog hop. They say no writing is ever wasted. Even though you've shelved some stuff, you might still be able to use some of what you'd written or the experience of having written it in future projects.

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    1. Oh I agree. Even if I don't go back to these stories, the experience and things I've learned will stay with me. :)

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  11. I hear you. For now... I let go of my first series and the second and moved on. Letting go let me find a better path. Sometimes it's for the best. Someday, I'll resurrect them and push them out into the world...

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    1. Thanks for commenting Mary! I agree, sometimes giving yourself time to find a better path is all you need! :)

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  12. I hope you're having fun on holiday. :) This was a great topic to pick for your post - there does come a time when moving on from a story is the best thing to do - an they're never a waste because of all we've learned along the way.

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    1. I had a great time, thanks! :)

      Glad you enjoyed my post, thanks for your comment.

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  13. I'm with Kyra - Sibylline Nights sounded awesome. I still remember the hop when you posted pictures of them. Don't let go!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement Jaycee. I am letting go, but don't worry, it won't be forever. :)

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  14. I've shelved books too. Recently I decided to permanently shelve the original 8-book series I wrote with my Atlantic City characters, since the way I wrote them and their stories in 1991-93 just wasn't how their characters and storylines ultimately developed. They'd need way too much editing, revising, and rewriting if I transcribed them from the handwritten originals all these years later. The strongest material will be used in my other Atlantic City books taking place on the same timeline.

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    1. Sometimes shelving is just the best thing you can do for a story, but it's great that you'll be able to use some of the strongest material in your Atlantic City books. Best of luck with the series. :)

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  15. It is hard to let go of a novel concept, especially one that has been completed. 106k is a lot to shelve. Lots of hard work and sweat goes into a writing project. But as with Cupid, you may find a place for your characters and the plots in other works. I hope your other writings are going well and at least keeping you from dwelling on the loss of the other two.

    Good luck Clare.

    .......dhole

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    1. Thanks for your comment Donna. It was hard letting go of so much, but also cathartic too. Having other projects to work on helps, as does the idea of going back to these stories sometime in the future, and writing them as I intended.

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  16. It's kind of heartbreaking when you realise a work you loved isn't quite turning out how you wanted it, or you just get sick of it and want to do something else! I had a similar experience with my first novel. It was rejected by 12 agents and I couldn't figure out what else to do with it. (This was before I was blogging and had no CPs, lol.) But that doesn't you mean you can't go back to it later and you can always take lessons you've learned forwards.

    My entry was a flash fiction piece, rather than a personal story, but if you want to read it, it's number 6 on Kyra's linky list!

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    1. Thanks for the comments, Nick! That's exactly how I feel. While it is sad, I hope to go back to those stories one day, and make them stronger with all the things I've learned since shelving them.

      I'll be sure to check it out, Nick! :)

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  17. This is a really wise post. Good for you that you've recognized what you can set aside (at least for now) while you pursue your biggest love. Letting go can be a temporary choice, too. ;)

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    1. Thanks Nicole! Yes, for me, shelving a novel is always temporary. :)

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  18. making any changes to stories you've almost already completed is a tough one. ouch! thanks for sharing. great blog here...new follower..hi!

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    1. Thanks for the comment, and for following my blog. It was tough to let these stories go, but also cathartic. :)

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  19. This is the first post I've seen like this, and I must admit, I love it. Letting a novel go, something that you've given up HOURS and DAYS of your life to, is incredibly difficult. You fall in love with characters, the plot, and suddenly...the you are the only person who will love them. It's really sad, but sometimes unnecessary. Thank you for sharing this post :)

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    1. Thank you for commenting Lynne. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Letting those stories go was very hard, but I also know I'll go back to them one day, so that helps. :)

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  20. Not sure if my comment went through from the last one, but I'll re-say it.

    Thank you for this post. It is incredibly hard to let go of a novel, something you've spent so much time on, fallen in love with. I think it's the whole idea that you love these characters, this plot, and suddenly, you're the only one who ever gets to meet it. It's really sad, but sometimes, necessary.

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    1. Yes, your last comment did go through. It didn't appear right away because I have moderated comments turned on, and couldn't allow comments until Friday when I was back from holiday.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting though. :)

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Thank you for taking the time to read this entry, and comment. I really appreciate it.