The File

So, after a year of barely writing (except for some magazines), I’ve opened my works-in-progress file at least twenty times. And closed it very quickly. What is that drivel? Okay, some of it isn’t drivel. One work is rather close to my heart, but it’s the one that got me an agent for a day and was pulled apart and put together so many times by said agent’s instructions that I don’t even know what it was supposed to be… and yes, I can recognize a run-on sentence.

The other I like, but it’s fluff. Contemporary romance fluff. Meh.

There’s a fantasy that’s half done, but I don’t care about it anymore. And the beginnings of a sequel to a book that is not selling well anyway.

So, what’s in your file? And are you better off deleting the damned thing so you can move on? I feel as if I need to throw my old boyfriend’s photos out before I can date again. Except, in this case, we’re talking about 100,000 words over four books. That’s four novellas to some.

Hmmmn, do I have the nerve to just hit delete?


6 thoughts on “The File

  1. Maura says:

    I never delete them but I move them to a “DOA” folder. I’ve often used parts or ideas from these works in new, better, WIPs.

  2. I’ve got a few WIPs on the backburner. Some are gently simmering and just need to be stirred; others are scalded into charred black gunk and the pot’s about to melt.

    I also never throw anything away, and a few such WIPs became the basis (or at least opening chapters) of what evolved into very different stories. Others, I open because I see the possibilities, but I feel that mental roadblock go up the minute I try to add to them. I’m convinced one of them is my Great American Novel (TM) but I’m only averaging one chapter a year on that one, it seems. I hear other Great American Novels took a decade to write, so at this rate, maybe I’ll finish mine in about two?

  3. ciarcullen says:

    Thanks for stopping Katrina and Maura. I actually made progress on the contemporary fluff. But Katrina, I know what you mean, I have one that is the “book of my heart” or whatever… Ugh, this stuff isn’t easy, is it? The stuff “around” writing. The psychology of it all…

  4. TK says:

    I have like 4 NaNo that are unfinished, stories that are over 10 years old, 3 game setting books that need completion, as well as countless sets of notes and snippets.

  5. Sadako says:

    Sometimes I think it’s a good idea to hit delete–though I’m a bit of a hypocrite since I’ve got a bunch of old stories that I’m probably never going to use that I’m still not deleting…

  6. anny cook says:

    I have a folder of “jumpstarts”–usually about six or seven pages. And I have a folder of “dead in the water” stories that started out fine but just drowned for lack of interest.

    Like Maura and Katrina, I sometimes use bits and pieces. I’m convinced that no writing goes to waste. Sometimes the leftovers are best served cold…

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