Monday, June 4, 2018

How to Break Up With Your Book (And Why It’s Not Always a Bad Idea) by Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Hey, everyone! Annette here. Please welcome fellow Mountain Brook Ink author Taylor Bennett back to SW with a relatable post for anyone who has ever needed to change directions on a novel while the clock is ticking. Enjoy!

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How to Break Up With Your Book 
(And Why it’s Not Always a Bad Idea)
by Taylor Bennett

Book Two was not going to write itself.

Unfortunately.

When I got a contract for my debut novel, Porch Swing Girl, it sold as part of a trilogy. Which means that I had two more books to write for my publisher. At first, this seemed like a breeze—a dream, even. After all, writing is a part of who I am, and I’d fallen in love with my characters from Porch Swing Girl. Surely, I wouldn’t have a problem, right?

Wrong.

It took me nearly two first drafts (with completely different story lines) to realize that I had to go in a different direction altogether. But how did I come to learn this? And how on earth was I able to abandon a manuscript that I’d spent nearly half a year on?

It wasn’t as hard as one might think. In fact, it was relatively easy.

If you suspect you might be in the same place as me, don’t be afraid to lay your project aside. Book breakups, while painful, aren’t the end of the world. In fact, they can oftentimes be a huge blessing.

But wait! Before you break up with your book, you need to assess the relationship.

Ask yourself these questions:
·         When I think about this book, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Chances are, if it’s dread, anxiety, or a handful of other unpleasant emotions, this book might not be right. That’s not to say that it will never be right and you should delete the file from your computer—it simply means that maybe it’s time to take a break.
·         Do these characters feel like friends?
Are you still in love with your hero? Do you still feel like your heroine is your best friend? If not, some distance might not be a bad idea.
·         Why am I writing this book?
If you’re struggling to answer this question—if the why has disappeared and you find yourself struggling to remember why you ever picked this idea in the first place—it might be time to step away.

Don’t get me wrong—sometimes our books drive us crazy. Our characters don’t do what we want them to do, our writing rhythm is out-of-whack. But usually, even during those times, we remember the why, the reason we started writing this book in the first place. That passion for the story and its characters, can often encourage us to keep fighting.

But if you’re burned out and frustrated, there’s nothing wrong with stepping away and taking time to explore a new idea—or take a break from writing altogether. If you and your book are simply no longer meshing, there’s nothing stopping you from getting out of the “relationship.” Even if you’re under contract, there’s a good chance that your editor will support your decision, as long as they know it’s for the good of the book.

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Porch Swing Girl by Taylor Bennett

What if friendship cost you everything?

Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.

With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.

But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.

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Homeschooled since kindergarten, Taylor Bennett is the seventeen-year-old author of Porch Swing Girl, which will be released by Mountain Brook Ink on May 1st. When she’s not reading or writing, Taylor can be found playing her violin or taking walks in the beautiful Oregon countryside. She loves to connect with readers via her author website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (her favorite!), Pinterest, and Goodreads. 

You can connect with Taylor here:


6 comments:

  1. First, I love the title of your book! It sounds great! :)

    Second, I've broken up with two books because I hadn't found my genre yet. It was hard to abandon all that research, but it's all safely put away, just in case I can use it later. Thanks for the encouraging post today and great job!

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    1. Thank YOU!! I’m so glad you like my title :)

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  2. Great post, Taylor! I see it as nothing is ever wasted. All that work on the earlier drafts grows our writing craft, and like Angie mentioned, the research may come in handy later. Hugs, my friend. Thanks for visiting!

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    1. Thank you so much for having me!! And you’re right—nothing ever really goes to waste.

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  3. What wonderful advice. I had to put a book idea aside because I couldn't get into it and come up with good side plots. But now, a year later, I have a new idea that is shaping beautifully. Writer's block is horrible, but it can help to take a break and rethink the whole thing.

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    1. Yes!! Sometimes taking a break is the best thing you can do to get those creative juices flowing again.

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