I have rewritten a book many many times, the moment where I didn’t like where the story was heading. Or it simply didn’t make sense anymore.. Even if I have wasted a lot of time on the first couple of drafts. But I feel it’s a necessity.
As a horrible story that doesn’t seem to have anywhere for development can be very very difficult. And in such cases, maybe putting it on the side can help. I have a novel like this, which is still lying on the side, I just have no idea where it would go.
But it was from when I started novels just solely based on an idea, with little plot, or much about characters. And little ability to handle them as well, all the while I scratched my head as to where it was going.
And if you’re at this stage, try to find a coherent scene of events which is also logical in the characters viewpoint. If not, maybe go back to the drawing board and rethinking the idea.
So, if you think your story is going nowhere, think it carefully. What is the plot? How is your characters? Do you think that it’s really heading nowhere? Do you think another perspective would help?
In the mad rush of trying to finish a novel, I ended up wasting a lot of time. On hindsight that novel had not been such a great idea, just about a group being asked to get a book. I mean, could the motive get any worse. There was little agency on the characters itself, apart from some simple motives, I also failed to delve deeper into their mindsets and how it is developed.
I just wrote everything in the surface and after the book itself had little idea where it would even head next. And that was an issue which I knew was present yet I refused to address, until of course a great idea came down which I planned so I know where it would lead me to next.
Ultimately, finishing something became an issue. Because I know the story and plot was horrible from around the early middle, yet I almost finished it thinking maybe I could solve all the problems when in careful thought I should have just conserved my time and thought about it.
So, sometimes when you have doubts, listen to them. Try and see what drove you to write that novel, go down deeper into the characters mind. Perhaps you might have just saved some time unlike me.