Ghosts of Novels Past

One of the hazards of posting excerpts when I’m not actively drafting, it turns out, is that I go diving through my old drafts…which reminds me how much potential is buried in there. Then I get the itch to go back to them.

That might sound reasonable, but I’m aware that turning back to an old story is really just another form of procrastination on whatever project I’m trying to stick to. Bouncing between novels never serves me well.

So I have to resist that urge with all my might, and remember my current goal: stick with my MirrorWorld. To that end, today’s excerpt will be from unfinished book number three in that trilogy. (I drafted numbers one and two but have yet to revise them, and then got stuck in book three because I had not worked out enough of the plot for it.)

My challenge with novels I’ve written is that I do always have affection for them, whatever the problems that led to their abandonment. It’s too easy for me to remember the good times and get pulled off course.

Basically, danger lurks on all sides for us as writers, whether as the “shiny new idea” or the “comfortable old idea.” I try to use the older drafts to boost my confidence without diving back in, and use the new ideas as rewards for the future when my current work is done.

Is it just me? Or do you experience this temptation with your WIPs if you have any set aside?

Today’s Excerpt: “I remember you talking about someone named Liam,” he added quietly. “Someone who looks like me. Someone you miss.”

She couldn’t look at him then, hearing the way his voice got soft and sympathetic. It wasn’t appropriate. He didn’t even know Liam. He didn’t know her.

The silence stretched out for what felt like hours, but she kept her gaze fixed on the floor, resolve firm. Then she watched, her mouth dropping open, as he sank down into her view, crouching on his heels to look her in the eye.

“I remember you saying that you were lonely.” He searched her face, so close she couldn’t look away. “Did I imagine that?”

Maybe he has power of his own, Elle thought dizzily. He might as well have bewitched her. She couldn’t do anything but tell him the truth.

“No, you didn’t imagine it,” she whispered.

When he stood, she felt like she’d just stumbled off a carnival ride, one of those big spinning ones. She could breathe deeply again, but she was shaking on the inside.

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Ghosts of Novels Past

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