Shelving a Manuscript

If you’ve been writing a while, you know what this is all about. It is taking a piece of work you have finished (or almost finished) and putting it aside.

This is different from trunking a novel. When you trunk it, it may never see the light of day again. But, by shelving it,you are merely letting it sit, like a pot of soup simmering on the back of the stove.

Well, right now I am in this position.

My Manuscript INFECTED is not getting the reviews I want for it. And I think I know the reason. It isn’t ready, but I have been staring at it too long. So, on the shelf it goes.

Does this mean that I am not going to write? Or maybe only write short stories or flash fiction (under 1000 words)?


I am already working on a second novel that was originally slated to be the sequel of INFECTED. I am changing it into a stand alone novel. I think this may actually be the better way to go, to be honest.

One of the things I have the most trouble with is making the romantic relationship between my two main characters seem real.

I don’t have that problem in the ‘sequel’. It is about the former MC’s son. A two-year-old boy with the mind of a 25-year-old. He has the blood and soul of a green one. hence the title GREEN ONES. He is an object of their prophecies. But no more spoilers for you!

I think one of the reasons this will be a better fit for me right now, is that there are no romantic elements in the main story. It is told from the child’s point of view. (Have I mentioned he has the mind of a 25-year-old).

This thriller/horror is going to be my main project for the next three months. (That’s usually how long it takes me to rough out a novel). Then time for edits, and beta reads, and edits, and more edits, and crits, and edits, and even more edits. Occasionally I will also be playing with INFECTED to turn it into a prequel. Should be an interesting time for a bit!

Wish me luck!





Filed under author, character traits, characters, conflict, crazy, crit, critique, critiquing, editing, growing, ideas, inspiration, learning, love, novel, story, thinking process, voice, writing, writing process

7 responses to “Shelving a Manuscript

  1. Jen

    Can’t wait to read it!! 🙂

  2. You know you are always my first reader, luv! *hug*

  3. Hi!
    Now before you get mad and throw things at me, maybe you should be working on short stories or flash. Give yourself a break from writing long stories, and work on shorter ones. Get the feel for creating shorter ones, because it seems to me you’re having difficulty because you can’t find the story. Honestly, I don’t think working on the sequel is the answer. How can you write the second book, when the first isn’t complete?

    Just my two cents. 🙂

    • Actually I am writing shorts as well. And the ‘second’ novel is now the ‘first’ novel, while the original MS has been relegated to a Prequel. *chuckles* Look for me to put a short up on Sunday actually!

  4. I’ve shelved so many projects! One of them may come back out in November for NaNoWriMo!

    I think the biggest reason I STARTED writing short bits was to have the sense of accomplishment that I get from finishing something and sharing it on the blog! It helps me feel less worried about not having yet finished my big WIP.

  5. I agree with Darke and Michelle. Plus, writing short fic is a good writing exercise. It will help you tighten your prose.

    Goodluck, sparrow! And most importantly, have fun while writing. ❤

  6. Good luck, Dawn! And your new WIP sounds awesome. I have two books I’ve shelved until I can get back and rework them GOOD. I have a couple I’ve “trunked”, but honestly, I loved those characters and stories so much that one day, I’d like to take them out and rework them, too. It’s all about finding the time to do it. ;-/

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