This one time at Writer's Camp…
Know When To Fold ’em
Take Peggey the Editor for example. If I have an idea and I think it’s brilliant (because I think all my ideas are brilliant), I throw them at her. She’ll dissect them and let me know just how badly they suck (or have potential). I’ll take back the non-sucky bits, mutter darkly under my breath about her parentage and whatnot, and get back to work on the non-sucky bits. Then I’ll throw it back to her and she’ll go over things and tell me what is starting to no longer resemble a steaming pile of cow chips. I’ll start to question both her parentage and sanity while taking it back and trying all over again. Some people call those who throw themselves into the literary line of fire “sounding boards”. I call them brave.
The downside is that sometimes, no matter what you do, there is not a single non-sucky part of the idea. You try and try to get that baby to resemble something nice and not like something which got stuck in the garbage disposal. But you can’t give it up and you cling to it as though it were your life support. Heck, it may very well be. But in the end, you just gotta know when to fold ’em and walk away.
Have you ever had that singular moment when you realized that the idea and story just isn’t going to work?