Cannibalism (Brian Katcher)

We've all been there. That beautiful manuscript that you labored upon for years. That epic fantasy, that work of high literature, that steamy romance...

It ain't going nowhere.

Maybe you've been turned down by every agent in town. Perhaps everyone in your writers' group cringes when you bring up SPACE NINJAS again. Or maybe, upon rereading, you realize that the world simply isn't ready for your 'Facts of Life' / 'Saw' crossover. Their loss.

But the whole book's not bad. The fourth car chase was pretty powerful, for instance. Or that great speech about how life is like an octopus on a tandem would be a shame to lose that. Or the subplot where the guy's mean wife (let's call her Sandra) won't let her husband (let's call him Brian) buy a motorcycle. That's a story that needs to be told.

So when do you pull the plug on your creation and transplant chapters so that other books might live? At what point do you say 'I've wasted five years on this project, and now I'm officially giving up'?

That's a decision only you can make. Just remember, there's a lot of excellent material in that unsold novel. Maybe it's time you let it go and used the jokes for the greater good. It's not easy, but sometimes it's the right thing to do.

All it takes is abandoning all your hopes and dreams and everything you've ever worked for, forever.


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