Leo's Angel Oak Tree

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Today, we are talking about trunk novels.  Yes, we all have them, but what can we do with them?  Are they so awful that they can't be revitalized.  It's strange to me that we loved the idea enough to write the ENTIRE novel, but when they don't get published or even requested, we toss them into our closet, on a shelf somewhere, under the bed, or even worse, line the pages at the bottom of a bird cage and never think about them again. 

I think we can all agree that the writing is weak (dare I say, awful), the plot needs help, the characters are stagnant, and maybe the whole thing lacks a certain spice.  However, do we ever remember the joy we had writing those words.  Can't we dust them off, dissect them, and rewrite?

I'm thinking of my first trunk novel, and what I loved about it was the characters.  At the time, I loved their voices.  But, I threw it to the trunk because well you always hear that your first novel written never gets published.  Well, I'm here to say that I'm a much better writer now than I was then, so why can't I pull that bad boy out and revise!  Isn't that what REVISION means!

So, I'd like to hear the good, bad, and the ugly about your trunk novels!!  Leave a Comment and let's discuss!!


  1. I don't actually have a trunk novel yet, unless the unfinished first nano attempt counts. However, there was a topic on the podcast "Writing Excuses" that talked very well about this very topic. There are some that should never see the light of day and might even need burned just in case, but on the other hand there are others that ended up becoming published novels from the authors that run the podcast. One even took different ones and combined them into a single novel.

    I'd say give it a try. If you love the story and think you want to write it then go ahead and revise. I'd heard the whole first novel bit too but what really counts as that. I've got like 7 novels going right now and plan to send out whichever one reaches the ready stage first.

  2. You are absolutely, every writer has a trunked novel of two buried deep in their Word Files. I've got one. I open it up and play with it every now and then.

  3. Melissa, I haven't written enough novels to have any thrown in a trunk yet. I do, however, have many trunk short stories and trunk poems. Some of them are even worth saving ... But submitting is so much less rewarding than writing ...
    gotta get going on the submitting thing...

  4. I still love my first novel way too much to put it in the trunk or sweep it under the bed, but I have set it aside. I have a writer friend who took something she wrote ten years ago and is rewriting the whole thing. Pretty amazing. I may do that one day with my first one.

  5. Thanks for all the great comments so far! I love hearing about these unsung manuscripts!