You may have noticed a change on the word count meter I have for my current WIP. No, it hasn't malfunctioned, there's a reason why yesterday it read 33,000 words and today it says 6000.
You see, I'm a chronic re-writer.
I'd had both my crit partners read what I'd done so far and they both said the same thing (but in a different way). Erin told me that the story seemed to have a 'distance' to it. CT gave me some great insight, telling me that the emotion wasn't working for Nick, and Madi seemed a bit "whatever" about him. The intensity that earned me a 4.5 / 5 star review for Dead Reality (yes, I am still going on about that) just wasn't there in Nick and Madi's story.
So, I chucked it.
Not literally, though I imagine it would feel quite satisfying to take a manuscript that wasn't working and throw it out the nearest window.
I reassessed the characters. Madi was working fine, but Nick was sucking the life out of the story. He had to go (sorry, Nick, maybe we'll find another story down the track for you). After Nick took exit, stage left, along came Richard. He hates his name and makes everyone call him Ric. Within the first page, Ric had the attitude and snap that Nick had been lacking. And when he and Madi come face to face? Well, let's just say they were far more interested in one another.
It means I'm now way behind where I wanted to be in terms of turning in my next book, but if the results are I submit a better book? Then I'm not complaining. After all, if I send the editors at Noble a crap manuscript, they can reject me just as easily as they reject anyone else.
Just because I'm published now doesn't mean everything I write will be gold. Sometimes, characters or storylines just don't work the way you think they're going to.
At least I know when to cut my losses and have fabulous crit partners who aren't afraid to tell it like it is.