How do you know when it's time to give up on a novel? How do you know if succeeding isn't just not giving up?
I'm 360 pages into a manuscript for a novel version of "When My Girlfriend Lost the Weight," and I can confidently say my answer to both questions is, "I don't know."
Honestly, I hate this manuscript right now. It's flaws seem unbearable. Every word I write feels like a waste of time, and then there's the head-scratching realization that I've been working on this for about four years now.
So why haven't I stopped?
The simple answer is: I've stopped too many times before.
Early on I committed myself to finishing this project before writing anything else. I haven't adhered to that mandate as strictly as I could have, but I can definitely say I've written a lot less of other things because of the time spent writing this.
But here's the kicker--is that a good thing or a bad thing? I can confidently say I will finish this thing, but I also feel fairly certain it's flaws will overwhelm it as I make final revisions.
So has all this time been worth anything? Sadly, only more time will tell.