Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Picking up the Pieces

Here's the deal: You've got stories, right? And I'm not talking about that current WIP... the one you're kinda getting sick of for reasons you cannot readily (or, perhaps, willingly) explain. I mean unfinished stories/projects. Piled in a folder on your laptop, shoved under the bed, scribbled in the notebooks cluttering either end of your bookshelf. For one reason or another, you started them, then quit. Why?

Your guess is as good as mine. But here's the thing: Ain't it a good feeling, knowing you can always go back, pick up where you left off? Or, in most cases, read from the beginning, edit (because you're so much better now than you were then, yeah?), weed out the unnecessary rubbish, adverbs, et cetera, and finally move on with the story. The story you started, because it convicted you at one time. Made you believe in the characters, the plot, the space and time, the list goes on and on.

That's where I am right now. I started a story (historical romance) and got about 8 chapters in before calling it quits. However--and to make a long, drawn-out, pity-party tale short--I sort of had an epiphany the other evening and came up with this: It's a good story and there's no reason at all I shouldn't finish and sell it.

Easier said than done, I realize, but I can't allow myself to think on the negative. I won't. So, here's my plan, my intended course of action for picking up the pieces. If I wrap up the story within 25-30k words, I can edit, edit again. And again. Probably another time for good measure. And then I can offer the story to Harlequin Historical (UK).

In order to do that, however, I've got to push my Pantser tendencies to the side a smidge (just a smidge, mind, because I am a Pantser by nature), put on my Plotter panties (sorry, I couldn't resist), and outline the rest of the story. Complete with character arcs, GMC, satisfying ending, all wrapped up in a big red bow--or maybe a Redcoat, since this is about a British soldier post-Waterloo--and ultimately, ultimately feel some satisfaction for mapping out a game plan, then executing it.

I guess you can say Baby Jake's given me a sudden burst of energy. And confidence. Can't forget that.

So, I ask you, gentle reader:  Have you started a project... and it can be any project; a story, home improvement, organization, something work-related... but have you started something you really feel as if you should revisit and, ultimately, complete? If so, what?

By the way, don't forget the Barry Lyga Goth Girl Rising book giveaway! The deadline's this Saturday @ 10 PM CST and, yes, I will ship overseas. Good luck to all!

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,



Sarah Pearson said...

I've started a ton of stuff that never gets finished :-) There is one though that I would like to go back to, it needs a lot of work but it was my first attempt at a full length novel so it has a special place for me.

Best of luck with getting yours to the finish line!

Bonnie Rae said...

Oh man I have so many stories half done laying around! Honestly though I think I will eventually finish my historical on Wills and Erina/Samuel. I mean, they are all great, the story is great and after this many years I think I owe it to them to finish eventually!

Andrew Leon said...

I don't have enough me to deal with all the things I've started. It's really come down to prioritizing them and starting at the top. Some of them, I will never get to even if they are good ideas.

Kimberly said...

If I have my way, I'll finish them all. Until then, they're still mine.

Lela said...

I've started a few. There is one, close to my heart, that I really would love to finish. The character is a favorite of mine. :) His story needs to be told.

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