When Should You Give Up On A Manuscript
Index to "When Should You Give Up On A Manuscript"
Sometimes you shouldn't try to burst through that brick wall that just loomed up and hit you, and sometimes you shouldn't climb over or burrow under. Sometimes, the solution is to go write something else. Sometimes that's not an option if you have sold the thing on the basis of a one-paragraph description (which I've done -- even sold a trilogy like that), so here are ideas about what to do if you must produce that particular novel or story.
If you hit a wall in midst of a novel length work, there's a very high probability you made a huge mistake on PAGE 1, very likely Parag 1.
Go back to the outline, nail the point at which the conflict is initiated, nail the resolution, and find the MIDPOINT.
With those three "beats" (see SAVE THE CAT! writing textbooks) explicitly one-sentenced before your eyes, you can draw the line between them with defined SCENES.
|Three Book Series SAVE THE CAT!|
Find the scene that derailed your writing -- chances are it is either a) off the because-line between conflict and resolution,,,
... so CURE is to delete that scene ...
...or b) involves explicitly showing rather than telling something deeply personal that's been festering in your sub-conscious for years and needs some psychological probing ...
... so CURE is harder.
You don't need to put in your idiosyncratic life details (which is probably the wall that you hit) -- you need to put in the details you will find by reading "self-help" books on that psychological hangup.
To find exactly how to craft that scene, read the most popular current self-help on that topic and then articulate the problem as a question to post on QUORA -- see what answers turn up, and that will likely be what you can use to convey an understanding to your audience.
Now go back to drafting the manuscript and start on page one incorporating the "foreshadowing" for that emotionally potent and revealing scene using every art of SYMBOLISM ...
...and Art of subconscious cultural associations -- every ART -- because this "hit a wall" problem is best and most expeditiously resolved by the use of ART.
This process will allow you to deliver your manuscript on contract deadline and in publishable form -- and likely facilitate the publisher wanting to buy your next novel.