I have been working on and off on my first novel, and it has been rough. I only have around 14,000 words, but the story doesn’t seem to be working. This has left me at a crossroads. Should I plow through the rest of this supposed plot, or scrap it and start over from the original short story?
My original story, “My Co-Pilot, Jessica Tandy,” is the cornerstone for my hopeful book. An earlier version of it was published in 2016 as part of Storgy’s short story anthology, and an updated version is a quarterfinalist for Screencraft’s Cinematic Short Story Contest, so it has gotten some notice. I know there is a story to tell. I am just stuck at what.
So a brief synopsis of the story. Tandy Buchanan, the protagonist, is an up-and-coming comedienne with mental issues and suicidal tendencies. Her voice of reason and imaginary friend is Jessica Tandy, who has been dead for over 20 years. So there you have it. Where to go next?
As of now, I am looking at her past (age 12 and up) and seeing her mental health deteriorate. That is not working. It feels forced. My new possible path involves focusing on Tandy as an adult and her dealing with her celebrity world and her “insanity.” Readers in workshops I have attended have wanted me to focus on the adult side of her. I may be heading that way.
So now what? Scrap about 9,000 words (saved on standby,) or keep going. Thoughts?