Before everyone gets worked up in a tizzy, I'll clarify. I quit a short story I was writing.
For the last couple of weeks, I've been working on a short story I titled "Until Death". In this story, I had to explore what it might be like as a 5 year old who had lost her mom and dad. There were some nights when I'd finish writing for the day and I'd have tears streaming down my face, my nose would be all snotty and Hubby would look at me weird and ask me what was wrong. "Writing a tough scene," I'd say and that would garner an even stranger look because I'm one of those writers whose spouse just doesn't get it. Not that it's a bad thing but the point is, I could've said the all-famous female line, "Nothing," and it would've been more acceptable than I was writing an emotional scene.
But it wasn't the emotion that got the best of me. It was the realization that the story was going nowhere. I had over 5,000 words, almost 20 pages... and not only had it taken so much longer than my writing usually does, but I felt the story wasn't going to reach any type of great climax. In order for a story of the length and caliber that I was going for to work, there has to be enough of a climax to satisfy the reader. The story has to have enough of a conflict to be interesting and, for my personal preference, I try not to be predictable. I still feel like it is a good concept and maybe one day I'll have an epiphany that will bring it back to life and allow me to finish it, but this isn't that time.
This is a difficult decision for me. This is the first time in over three years that I've just given up on a story. Usually before I start a story, I think, "How can I take this concept, which undoubtedly has been written before, and make it different? How can I heighten the climax? What can the protagonist learn from point A to point B?" This time, I didn't follow through with my usual train of thought on the process and it reflected in how the story was progressing... which wasn't very far.
It reminded me of what author Nathan Bransford said on Facebook a few months ago: "If you aren't having fun writing it, they won't have fun reading it." And I wasn't having fun writing it. At. All.
Sometimes you just have to scrap them or leave them in a hard drive to collect dust for awhile. I'm not proud of it and I'm trying hard not to see it as a failure. It's time to move ahead.