Giving Up

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Is it ever alright to give up on something? As a writer, I make giving up a regular practice. Sometimes, a scene, character, or even the entire story doesn’t work. It is then that you must be brutal and truthful. Is it ever easy? I have found that the process of letting something die is difficult, but once it’s done, I feel so much better. A bad story is burdensome, not only to the reader, but to the author. Killing it is the only right thing to do. I have sacrificed hundreds of pages to the understanding that the book would never live. I make it a point to give every book I start a fifty-page chance. If by the fiftieth page the story isn’t working, I have a little funeral and scrap the project. I have done this probably a dozen times. So, sometimes you should give up and move on. It’s a much better alternative to keeping the story on life support, only to find out it was never alive in the first place.

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