I've pretty much taken the last week off, enjoying time with family and a distance away from writing and my novels. I'd all but come to the conclusion that Sasha will be a shelved novel, not finished, not fully realized, but I wanted to be sure. So while I had the time, I read it. (Yes, TikiBird, I know I said I wouldn't, but I did. I read it in my recliner, no pen in sight, no desire to edit on my mind.)
I was surprised to find scenes and dialog that made me laugh or that were perfect as is. I expected a lot rougher of a first draft, but the tension between the characters was real and believable and their conversations were witty. Shocking. Delightful.
Halfway through my reread, I thought maybe I was wrong. Maybe I could finish this novel. Visions of having two novels being queried at the same time danced in my head. I continued reading.
Something happened about twenty pages from the end (of what I'd written), and I realized all over again that this was not the novel for me. I adored reading it. It is a novel I would have purchased, if written by someone else. But it wasn't a novel I wanted to write.
I told Cody, in a rare moment of complete honesty, that I wanted someone else to read what I'd written merely to stroke my ego with praise over how good some of those scenes are. That's a really shallow reason for me to want anyone to read anything. It's definitely not reason enough for me to continue writing. Or, if it's a reason, it's not the right one.
So my decision is final: I will be starting work on rewriting Areia after the new year (while querying Madison). I've taken down all storyboards of Sasha. I'm going to recycle the pages I printed. The files have been moved into the larger "Story Ideas" file. It was fun and it was good practice, but it wasn't right for me. As far as learning experiences go, it could have been a lot more painful.