I've been working on a single project for over two years. It's a novel, and I love it. I love the hero and heroine, Tom and Emma. I love the rural setting. I love the fantasy and the magic. But, despite how I feel, I just can't seem to make the stupid book work. Tom and Emma and I have been through draft after draft after draft together. We've plotted. We've journaled. We've argued and struggled. We've taken short breaks while it made the beta reader and crit partner rounds or while I worked on other things. I've always come back to it. But with each rewrite, each change I made seemed to cause new problems, expose new flaws.
I know that, at this point, it's counterproductive for me to continue to work on it. There isn't anything in my apprentice writer's toolbox right now that I can use to fix it. So I have decided to put it away.
I have quite a few trunk novels, but all of them are partials - ideas that didn't work. Practice chapters. This is the first one I've ever finished, but had to give up on. It wasn't all wasted time, though. I learned a lot about writing. I've learned a lot about how I write and what works and doesn't work for me. I feel that I'm a better writer because of this book.
Even though I'm still mourning, I'm not going to include it in any of my goals for 2009. It's time to let go - to move on to other projects and use what it taught me to write something better.
Writers, how do you let go? Or do you ever? Is there a trunk novel out there that still compels you?