Often, I imagine, it would be one that came to a halt because of external circumstances. The day job gets frantic for three months and when you go back to the book you read the first chapter and think: who are these people? Yes, that happened to me.
Or you get ill. Or there is a sudden family crisis.
Sometimes it is to do with the book itself — a publisher changes their mind, for instance. And yes, I have one or two of those. (One I was very glad to stop, to be honest. I’d really gone off the hero.)
I still have a 40K word file of a book I really liked. It was a sequel that the publisher decided, mid-creation, they didn’t want after all. Please could they have a romance based on a (then) popular reality television show instead?
My reply was 1) ouch and 2) no. Continue reading