Dead Stories

Doing some routine organizing the past few days, I noticed a bunch of stories which I barely recall writing. They are half-finished, some are just getting started, some are aimless. They do exist though, with words and thoughts all decorative on the page.

I have been pretty committed to finishing what I start, so I was surprised to find these stories. But they aren’t from all that long ago. All of them were written within the year.

When I found them, I spent a bit of time reading them over. Some aren’t too bad. And yet, I have almost no desire to go back to finishing them. They’re dead to me.

I may be inclined to borrow from these old stories at some point, resurrecting maybe a character or idea that I think would be useful. But the idea of tacking on an ending, or writing the last half, feels very unlikely.

This is why it is so important that you finish what you are writing. Heinlein’s Rule No. 2: Finish What You Write. If you don’t, after awhile it’s like you’ve feel asleep and slipped down to the bottom of the mountain. You feel like you’ve lost so much ground that the desire to keep climbing to the summit disappears.

I am not sure how this even occurred with me abandoning stories. It’s more than likely that more urgent projects pushed them aside. But I need to remain vigilant. It’s far too easy to have your stories die on you.



About Robert Steele

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